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Some Statistics Posed For Thought

Continuing with last week's effort, I also have an overflowing surplus of content for "Statistic of the Week"...and not enough time/space to include it. So, let me do some catching up here...all organized around an education theme.


Fact: $1.4 million = the lifetime earnings that a classroom of students loses after spending a single year with a "grossly ineffective teacher." This claim was made in a study cited by a California judge in a ruling regarding tenure laws.

How are such things calculated? And, how does one measure "grossly ineffective"? I expect that some of my former students have described me as such...so I apologize for the loss of money!


Fact: For each person who does not graduate from high school, the total costs of prison, parole, and welfare average about $69,000.

If one believes in cause-effect logic, maybe we should just hand out high school diplomas. But then, some critics claim that school standards (district/state) have already been reduced to that level!


Fact: From 1984 through Jeopardy's 6,829th episode, host Alex Trebek has asked 416,569 official questions. For this, Alex gained a Guinness World Record.

Why not recognize math teachers and their officially asked questions? I estimate that a high school math teacher averages 50 questions per class, teaches 5 classes per day...which leads to 250 questions/day or 1250 questions/week or 5000 questions/month or 45,000 questions/school year...leading to 1,800,000 questions asked by one math teacher during their career! Where is the Guinness World Record recognition for that feat?

Source: TIME (2014) and Phi delta Kappan (1996)