Lies, damn lies and statistics
So, I'm already running into some challenging snags.
A California transplant, I'm still learning about all the ramifications of Prop 13. Coming from Texas, where school district's still raise money the old fashion way, I mistakenly thought the poorest neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley would have the largest class sizes and the smallest per pupil spending.
Boy was I wrong.
You might wonder what this has to do with the health story I pitched for the California Health Journalism Fellowship, but you'll just have to keep reading
The poorest areas here, thanks largely to Title I funding, actually have the smallest classrooms and the greatest per pupil spending.
The online comments are already ringing in my ears: "See, throwing money at the problem doesn't work."
But I know just enough about the historic disparities that plague the poor and minorities to know that sometimes the numbers are just what my J-school professors said when they warned about the three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.
As one education advocate suggests, the even playing field that morphs into a distinct disadvantage for minority children may require more be done with more, not less.