Simpson's Paradox Assessment:
Will, Jordan, Alex
1. How Simpson's Paradox led to some faulty conclusions and subsequent implications (policy-wise and beyond).
In "A Nation at Risk", a 1983 report authored by the Reagan Administration, several alarming claims are made around the declining performance of high schoolers in the United States. Perhaps the most jarring statistics were those that reflected the trends in SAT scores during the 17-year period between 1963 and 1980. They can be seen below:
The College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) demonstrate a virtually unbroken decline from 1963 to 1980. Average verbal scores fell over 50 points and average mathematics scores dropped nearly 40 points.
College Board achievement tests also reveal consistent declines in recent years in such subjects as physics and English.
Both the number and proportion of students demonstrating superior achievement on the SATs (i. e., those with scores of 650 or higher) have also dramatically declined.
From this, as the 1983 report does, one could deduce that American educational standards slipped during the cited period; however, when one breaks down the data further, more factors are at play in the data than the simple delinquency of American youth. As was stated in WMD, during that same 17-year period, the number of students taking the SAT ballooned enormously. This was a result of expanding opportunities for minorities and lower-income students in higher education that resulted...