Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

90% of Canadians

Posted by JJ in Brass Tacks (Wednesday June 7, 2006 at 5:34 pm)

That’s curiously the total proportion who hate micromanagement. Curious, that is, because it’s roughly the same proportion that engage in the practice.

The frosty Wonk is confident, though, that just as many would agree with the following assessment:

    Statistics Canada needs some serious micromanagement.

Not part of the micromanaging majority? Join us, brothers, by beholding:

Young Canadians who have high levels of proficiency in reading are more likely to graduate from high school, and to pursue postsecondary education, according to a new study.

Statistics Canada has apparently uncovered an interesting fact in the statistical jungle: if you read poorly, you’re less likely to go on to further education after high school.

Good to prove, you say? Really? Why? Let’s look at the possible uses:

Politician uses it to prove the need for literacy
Goes something like: “We must teach young minds to read, so that they can go on to learn more.” Public reaction? “Duh.”
Parent uses it to browbeat child
Goes something like: “Statistics Canada has found that. . .” Anyone who thinks this is a winning parenting strategy should probably look into joining whatever class Mrs. Federline’s publicist has chosen for her challenging charge.
Poor reader reads it, turning own life around
Uh. . .

Sure, Statscan (as all the cool kids are calling it these days) is dope (if not, in fact THE dope (no, not THAT), but hopefully, this isn’t their model manager.

After all, does spending good money to research questions whose conclusions weren’t in doubt and can’t be used to much effect really fall into this mandate:

Statistics Canada produces statistics that help Canadians better understand their country

But then, 90% of Canadians will probably never bother to read that.

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