Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average”
See Clinton’s full speech here.
See my follow-up post here.
A numeric average is a relative statistic. If I have a set of numeric values and I calculate an average using the set, by definition, some individual values will fall below average, and likely, some will be right on the average. If I remove these below-average and average values, the original average does not remain fixed– and if I average the remaining originally-above-average values, some will newly be below average, and likely, some exactly average.
The truth about the relative nature of averages is apparently lost on Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. On December 22, 2015, Clinton spoke at a high school in Keota, Iowa, where she said, “I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better-than-average job.” She later equated “better-than-average” with “good.”
Listen to her words in this 25-second video clip:
Of course, closing “below average” and “average” schools only leads to a recalculated average among remaining schools– some of which would be “below average” upon recalculation– and some of which would likely be exactly average.
In fact, the only way to guarantee that no school could possibly be below average is to only have a single school. Still, based on Clinton’s “above average” criteria, that one would have to go, as well. It wouldn’t be below average, but it wouldn’t be above average, either. Being the only one, it would be, well, average.
Not good enough.
Let’s just shut every school.
Problem solved, Hils.