by Debbie Walker
“Once upon a time,” I love those words for the beginning of a story! Doesn’t really fit for this story, but I like it! Critical Thinking is almost a fairy tale or story of wonder but I will see what I can do with it here. I had a class, at a New Hampshire college, called “Critical Thinking.” I enjoyed it and the instructor.
One of the things the instructor pointed out was the truth about statistics. I am still quite naïve about a lot of things, even at my age! The instructor told us that before we bought into the statistics of any study to consider who did the study and what did they want to justify. I can’t tell you how many times that thought has traveled through my mind.
Recently I heard the statistics for new employment. Nope. I can’t buy into their study. I was hearing the numbers given and then I remembered something I learned last year. This may even give you thoughts:
I know a man who had been unemployed for quite some time. He had gotten the new job through an employment agency. YeHaw!! He was getting a chance to get back on his feet, finally. He even enjoyed the job! He’d been on the job for about two months when his supervisor stopped at his work station one day to tell him that he was really doing a good job. Imagine his surprise when that evening he got a phone call from the employment agency and they told him he was laid off. He had that happen either two or three times. He also discovered he was not the only one to whom this was happening. Every so many months employment statistics will show up on the news. It goes sort of like this: Look at us, see how many people we employed this month or the past four months. BUT, do they tell you how many people lost their jobs; do they tell you that the same jobs are being refilled every so many months? I don’t think so. I think it is a disgusting practice. Does anyone ever check statistics?
A school, the vo-tech in Florida that my daughter attended for a while had an interesting activity going on. Deana had started a program at the vo-tech and she wasn’t doing very well. These people were going all out to bring in more high school kids. It seems their interest was in how many kids they were bringing in. However, they didn’t have to be concerned about how many quit because their money came in with their enrollment, no consideration was given for students who left. Quite a deal they had.
Okay, so when you hear statistics quoted start your questioning. It makes for some interesting conversations. Oh yeah, you will have to forgive me for part of what follows. In the north a story starts out, “Once upon a time.” In the south it may start out “Hey man, you’re not going to believe this s—.” Thank you for reading. Love to hear your thoughts!!!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Sub. line: Critical Thinking.
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