Today we welcome our first guest post here on the blog—an analytical commentary by Minnesota native and longtime education policy wonk Dan Wick, who left the late lamented Twin Cities nonprofit Charter School Partners a couple of years ago to pursue graduate studies at Princeton.
Wick drafted his post in response to one I penned in the wake of a couple of local judicial decisions in twin school integration proceedings that some have perceived to be, in essence, Trojan horses containing frontal attacks on parental rights to school choice. In my piece, I suggested that Myron Orfield, the controversial University of Minnesota professor who has churned out stacks of anti-choice, anti-charter research, is in the habit of tossing out scholar-speak that intimidates critics while not actually proving his points.
Well, turns out Wick can perform a regression analysis, too, as well as see through one. What follows is Wick’s compulsively readable critique—complete with footnotes—of the 2013 study in which Orfield claims to show that charter schools are failing impoverished Twin Cities students.
Argumentum Verbosium Pt. II: On “All Things Being Equal”
Statistical jargon is an awful combination of boring and inaccessible. Myron Orfield’s Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity “Failed Promises” analysis uses this jargon to try to prove that charter schools are a bad option for Twin Cities families. In simple terms, I will attempt to explain why this is intuitively and statistically incorrect.
What on earth is regression analysis and how can I use it to state my policy conclusions with infallible certainty? Continue reading