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Consider the Headlines:

Successful Schools May Help Keep Kids Out of Trouble
Students more likely to avoid drugs, booze, fights in schools that perform well academically, study finds

But is this true, given the data? Consider these glimpses of the data and "argument", as provided by lead author Amy Tobler, a research assistant professor of Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine:
  • "University of Florida researchers looked at academic achievement scores at 61 inner-city middle schools in Chicago between 2002 and 2005"
  • "Seven schools did better than expected and the rates of drug and alcohol use and delinquency by students at those schools were as much as 25 percent lower compared to other schools"
  • Conclusion: "Students who go to schools that achieve better-than-expected academic results may be less likely to use drugs or alcohol, steal or fight"
  • Tobler's Implication: "It could be good teaching, better administration, whatever these schools are doing, if we can replicate it, it will lead to not only academic achievement but improvement in healthy behaviors as well...Some schools can break that strong link between sociodemographic disadvantage and drug use and delinquency."
So, what sounds wrong with this "evidence" and its implied "conclusions"?

Source: Prevention Science, March 2011.