July 23, 2014

Not so helpful statistics

Sorry for the watermark - source
WLWT.com published an article last week (I'll link, but I warn you that there's an auto-playing video with an advertisement right at the beginning) reporting that Fairfield City Schools has to hire 79 new teachers, 13% of their district staff; and Hamilton City Schools has to hire 40 new teachers, 6% of their district staff.

The entirety of the context given for those numbers is this quote, "[b]oth districts said that's a jump over previous years."

The article also says that Ross Schools has to hire 12 new teachers, 8% of their district staff, which is, "fewer new faces than the last two years."

No hard numbers from previous years...no comparative numbers from other districts...no state-wide averages for districts of similar sizes (or even of not-so-similar sizes.)

From second-hand information, I've heard that Princeton City Schools have hired 58 new teachers district-wide this summer, about 18% of our district teaching staff (plus another seven administrators). Anecdotally it seems higher than in previous years, but I don't have any hard evidence to prove that.

Numbers without context aren't useful.

In this case, they're just evidence of lazy reporting.

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