There are lots of reasons that I can think of that the New Hampshire Legislature needs a makeover, not the least of which is that it has had the honor of being featured in a hat trick of ridicule by showing up on Comedy Central's Indecision site, The Colbert Report, and The Onion. So it’s not particularly surprising to discover that they don’t check their facts. But Representative Kingsbury's egregious misuse of data to further an anti-kindergarden agenda is over the top.
We were similarly appalled by the Florida Board of Education not validating its school rating data.
There’s a simple makeover solution here: Put real data analysts to work, and keep politicians away from the data until its been fully vetted and approved by several independent data geeks. It would take most graduate students I know about 10 seconds to see the flaws in Representative Kingsbury's logic. It might have taken them a day or two to validate the Floriida data.
The truth is that lots and lots of data points get thrown out to the media on a regular basis without careful validation. Part of the reason is that there probably aren't enough data geeks to cover all the bases. But in the meantime, folks, can't you just take a day or two and run some of this by a local stats student before you put this stuff out there?
### (Thanks to Fearless Competitor for the image.)
Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements. Katie and Beth Kanter are authors of the book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to be published this year by Wiley.
The Measurement Standard is a publication of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, will be glad to talk with you about measurement for your organization.