Statistics

A Thought on the Narrative Versus the Statistics

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Statistics

Over the last week, I’ve released general control over the content of my blog to 5 awesome people within my circle of friends, some of whom I talk on a regular basis. I gained inspiration for said release from the TEDxNYED event, a series of idea-exchanges that keep inspiring me to change my way about having conversations. The idea to have this series of bloggers came from Chris Abani and Michael Wesch, who both discussed the idea of conversation extensively. The former talked at length about how the narrative is just as important as the statistics, and the latter discussed how new media can have serious and fundamental consequences for societies large or small.

When I read through the pieces of Jovan, Marcy, Monise, C. Marquez, and Maegan, I just kept thinking: “These are stories that rarely get heard.” There was a sense that the yells and screams need to be validated as much as the speeches and epitaphs. The passion matters just as much as the numbers. Let’s not deviate from understanding the technical and professional; we miss those elements often enough to the point where I started to despise case studies in favor of the stats.

Then I started to look deeper into these peer-reviewed articles and charts, and realized that some of it certainly felt valid, but I never got a reason why. I never got an understanding about the times in which those statistics were taken. I never saw statistics of the people who were being enumerated in their opinions and why some polls never made sense.

Jay-Z’s quoted as saying “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” Yet, numbers aren’t the ones that use numbers: men and women do. Thus, every so often, we need to find a few stories that typify and exemplify what’s happening behind the numbers. These were the stories, and I was honored to host them.

Voices of Concerned Educators: Call Me Ms. Mala, Radical Mujer Tutor of Color [Maegan Ortiz]

Voices of Concerned Educators: Who Will Take A Stand? [Monise Seward]

Voices of Concerned Citizens: The Twilight Zone and How Affluence Perpetuates the Achievement Gap [C. Marquez]

Voices of Concerned Educators: Steal [Marcy Webb]

Voices Of Concerned Educators: Bridging The Gap [Jovan Miles]

and a precursor to this:

Validating Blogs #4080: Indirect People Are Shadyyyy

Jose, who saw the view from the Capitol Building and am enamored …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

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