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 Rescooped by Sharrock from Weird Statistics in the News onto School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor

# Four Common Statistical Misconceptions You Should Avoid

Statistics have become a fixture of modern society. We read them in news stories and they're used to determine policies that will affect every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, many people wildly misinterpret them in fundamental ways.

Via Bill Bentley
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Statistics are heavily math-based, but they're used to analyze real-world scenarios and situations. Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value. Reliance on numbers as an unbiased representation of reality is comforting, but without tying it to real-life people and situations, the information borders on worthless."

Bill Bentley's curator insight,

Several good, basic things to know about using simple statistics.  A quote from the article that I like:  "Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value." Bill

Will Morony's curator insight,

Great discussion starters.

Sharrock's curator insight,

excerpt: "Statistics are heavily math-based, but they're used to analyze real-world scenarios and situations. Separated from reality, statistics are of limited value. Reliance on numbers as an unbiased representation of reality is comforting, but without tying it to real-life people and situations, the information borders on worthless."

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## “Teaching Kids to Code” Guide: A Fantastic Resource - GeekDad (blog)

“Teaching Kids to Code” Guide: A Fantastic Resource GeekDad (blog) As GeekDads we are probably more aware than others of the increasing interest from parents, schools and businesses of teaching kids to code.
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## Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve

the characteristics common to Level 5 leaders: humility, will, ferocious resolve, and the tendency to give credit to others while assigning blame to themselves. Collins fleshes out his Level 5 theory by telling colorful tales about 11 such leaders from recent business history.
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## The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners

You have no excuse for being bored.
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## What Do People Know About Excellent Teaching and Learning? - Center for American Progress

The misalignment between what the public thinks and what the research says about student learning and effective teaching is troubling. But the problem is clearly solvable, and researchers, practitioners, and policymakers must take focused steps to elevate the science of learning and communicate the findings to the public.
Sharrock's insight:
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## ASCD - ESSA State Implementation Map

State Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is prompting many changes to state and local education policies. It’s crucial for educators to be involved in these implementation decisions, particularly around new accountability systems, professional development and evaluation requirements, and well-rounded education provisions. To help keep you informed and engaged in this process, this map provides links to state resources and opportunities for involvement. The amount of information and level of detail varies by state (and is entirely dependent on what each state provides) but may include links to four specific areas:
State ESSA Resources
Opportunities for Input

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## Women Are Losing Professional Ambition As Their Careers Progress

“Desire to advance to a top position declines at the senior manager level and above and drops from 72% to 57% as reality sets in about the challenges for advancement to senior leadership,” the report says.
Sharrock's insight:
A reminder that we can "blame the victim" when we expect women to persevere despite the realities of the workplace and of the surrounding society of the organization that they work for. Then, when that is understood, you can expand that view to racial inequalities where a minority male may also discover and accept realities of the workplace and of the surrounding society of the organization that they work for. "Loss of ambition" can occur to anyone at any time when perspective limits ambition. Using Occam's Razor-type thinking, we can discard the gender, race, and ethnicity labels to simply blame the organizations culture and leadership for the lack of ambition in employees. The messages sent to employees can vary, but in the end, the perceptions and beliefs need to be understood and changed, requiring a more mindful approach to communicating expectations and rewarding employees consistently so that the messages are validated. Employees should not be expected to be crazy enough to ignore the limitations of their own experiences and observations in order to maintain their ambition and to persevered.
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## Genderswapping The Debates To Find Out If A Male Version Of Clinton Would Have Won

"When we see someone we immediately project an expectation given their gender, race, nationality and numerous other attributes," Guadalupe says. "That determines what we think of them even before having any real information on them and also creates a set of expectations on how the person should behave. Somewhat simplifying things: For Clinton, what is calm and in-command in a woman becomes weakness and submissiveness. For Trump, what is negatively seen as aggression in a man becomes passion and emotion, and that is maybe more appealing in a woman."
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## This Former Googler Used Burnout To Reignite Her Career | Fast Company | The Future Of Business

Here’s how I’ve learned to pivot out of a career plateau in order to move toward something new and more challenging.

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## In Africa, Chinese Developers Are Building A Mini-China

Chinese influence also goes beyond physical infrastructure. Now it's possible to pick up a copy of China Daily, China's state-run newspaper, in some African cities, and watch CCTV, China's state-run news channel. Some cities have Chinese language schools, and some African students are given grants to go study in China. In markets, Africans can buy Chinese bikes and mobile phones that aren't sold in other parts of the world.

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## How Evolution Drives Culture and Technology | Digital Tonto

we survive not as individuals but as communities and that makes all the difference.  Starting from simple principles, they’ve been able to unlock many of the counter-intuitive secrets of how cultures emerge, adapt, spread ideas and produce technology.
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## This Is How To Win With Passive-Aggressive People: 5 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Well-adjusted people are assertive. They’ll explain why they can’t help or ask for what they want. Aggressive folks will respond to requests with a flat “No” and will happily steamroll you to achieve their goals. Other people are passive. They’ll cave and do what you tell them, or give up on what they desire rather than ask for it.
And then we have the passive-aggressive bunch: they’re not going to say no, but they’re not going to follow through either. They’re not going to ask for what they want, but that’s not going to stop them from trying to get it.
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## Europe’s sterile secularism could do with a dose of India’s founding ideals

In a democracy, it is not religion per se but efforts to stigmatise and intimidate people or groups that is a matter of concern. This is what India has yet to tackle effectively. When political parties can reach out to religious communities, take up their concerns and show that they give representation to candidates from different religions, they give a voice to minorities. This stems the sense of alienation and neglect that radicalisation so often taps into.
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A new study tells us why we might not be at the top of the social food chain.
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## Gifted Children by Leah Davies,

Gifted children represent both a challenge and a resource for schools. Educators have a responsibility to provide programs to meet the educational needs of gifted students who are capable of learning at advanced levels. Ideally, schools would have specifically trained teachers for gifted students who actively collaborate among classroom teachers, themselves and parents to create a challenging and supportive learning experience for these children. While the criteria for identifying gifted students varies from state to state*, the following are characteristics these children commonly exhibit:
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## Leaders Need More Skills in Creativity and Appreciation

When all you have is negative criticism, and if all you are looking for are problems, of course you're going to find problems. This is not creative, though. It's not constructive in the purest sense of the word, because “constructive” implies that something is being built.
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## Four-ish Reasons to Embrace Vagueness At Work – NewCo Shift

In purely human systems, vagueness is also a recipe for better decision making. The U.S. Constitution had vagueness built into it from the very start. The founders wanted a certain amount of permanently unresolved tension between the three branches of the federal government: the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. They knew that the long-term survival of the U.S. depended on a continuous redistribution of power. Assuming that the technology, politics, and economics of the future would be beyond their imagining, they left room for solutions that were also beyond their imagining.

That is why citizens, constitutional scholars, and the members of the three branches of government spend so much time figuring out what the Constitution means. Every American generation has had its unique crisis of government to work out. It’s hard work, but we’re a more resilient country because of it. Forever unfinished, but resilient.

Working within a vague system is tough. But we’d better get used to it. With the world racing forward with more complexity and speed, more vagueness is one of the few things we can be certain of.

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## Principal of a School on the Edge

Stay positive, take it one day at a time, and focus relentlessly on the child in front of you.
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## Employee burnout is becoming a huge problem in the American workforce

While companies are posting record profits, Americans are working harder than ever before for a nominal wage increase. The national unemployment rate has been cut in half since 2010 and the economy is projected to grow by almost 50% between 2010 and 2020. Despite this positive outlook, employees are overworked, burned out, and dissatisfied
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## Teen suicide on the rise amongst Canadian girls - BBC News

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that youth suicide declined amongst boys, but is on the rise amongst girls.
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## Breaking the STEM ceiling for girls | Brookings Institution

Ingrained biases start at an early age and become even more pronounced as girls move through school and enter into the world of work. Girls are rarely encouraged to study math or science, and often internalize beliefs that boys are simply better in these fields. For example, even when girls do better than boys in math and science in grade 4 on a standardized test like TIMMS, this difference tends to disappear by grade 8, with only a few exceptions. Parental expectations seem to shift at that age, too.  But even if they manage to overcome these initial barriers, young women who do excel in science or mathematics are often daunted by the prospect of being the only girl pursuing a STEM career, as well as by the possibility of future discrimination by employers. There are not many female role models or mentors that can help young women navigate and ultimately overcome these concerns.

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## How to Build an Innovative Culture | Digital Tonto

In his recent book, The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner explains how Bell Labs designed their buildings so that people with varied expertise would be forced to interact.   Jonah Lehrer describes much the same at Pixar in Imagine, his (somewhat tarnished, but still worthwhile) book about creativity.  The highly innovative Santa Fe Institute is specifically set up for cross-disciplinary study.

The problem is that if you manage innovation, you end working with people who know a lot about things you don’t.  Therefore, you have to get comfortable being the dumbest guy in the room.  It’s frustrating and takes some getting used to.  Nevertheless, it’s absolutely essential to breaking new ground.
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## Chinese-Built Infrastructure In Africa May Not Be As Bad As Some Think

China is building more infrastructure in Africa than any other country. Chinese banks are financing billions of dollars in new loans, aid packages and other deals to build badly-needed infrastructure across the continent, and it’s Chinese companies that are doing most of the engineering and construction work. Between 2009 and 2014, the Chinese signed approximately \$328 billion in construction projects in Africa, an average of about \$54 billion a year, according to data from the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. This trend is widely expected to continue as Beijing turns to its new development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to focus more of its economic diplomacy around the world on building infrastructure.

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## Common Myths That Are Getting in the Way of Good Leadership

People are promoted because they’re good at their jobs. Being in a leadership position is a very different job, for which most are not trained. Why they’re not trained is a bit of a mystery. It’s as though colleges and professional schools don’t expect their graduates to move beyond the entry level. Interestingly,
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## How black to be?

we're looking at code-switching a little more broadly: many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities — sometimes within a single interaction.
Sharrock's insight:
While at college, I spoke on the hall phone to one of my high school friends. When I was done, my high school friend told me I talked differently than when I did in college. I come from a blue-collar town. I talked more rough. There were probably other ways I was acting. But the insight stuck with me. What's more is that at home, peers say I "talk white".
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## The Big Sort: Our Problematic Obsession in American Education With Ranking People

Research shows that kids learn best when classroom teaching is geared not toward high-stakes year-end tests, but toward low-stakes, unit-level quizzes, created and graded by classroom teachers who use the results to refine their instruction throughout the year. The soundest use of testing, in other words, is as an instrument to figure out what children do and do not know, so that we can teach them better along the way.
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