“Pet Liberal Programs” and “Research”


In response to “Face facts on pet liberal programs”, Jim Tynen, The Wake Forest Weekly, December 12, 2013.

Now I’ll have to endure conversations and e-mails from my conservative friends about how useless Medicaid and preschool are.

As Charlie Brown would say: “Good grief.”

The claim: a University of Virginia study found Medicaid fails to help the poor.

I fear that very few people will look up and read the entire UVA study analysis on the Internet.  Those who do will find arguments about the poor research techniques used in the study.  It’s a long piece to read on a computer (or any other way), but it becomes clear from the article and the comments that follow that the study’s conclusions were not supported by the kind of research that Mr. Tynen describes as “facts and science.”

The claim: preschool programs don’t make a difference.

This claim is as shaky at the Medicaid claim.

Here’s my take on preschool.  There are way too many variables to conclude much about whether it produces better students.  Look up and read about the studies.  You will find that the main factor, the one that really matters, is how involved and how good parents are at teaching their children and providing them with good examples of a hunger for learning.  Preschool at the very least places youngsters who might otherwise not be persuaded to learn, not to mention youngsters who might not be getting enough to eat or eating healthy, in an environment that can do both.

The title of the article suggests the reader face facts.  The facts are that the studies referenced are there to be read, but the conclusions of those studies are riddled with conclusions the studies do not support and the article does not mention them except to point out that there is no simple answer to complex questions.

By the way, I invite the reader to look up the Brookings Institution and discover that only conservatives describe it as “liberal group.”  Liberals describe it as a conservative group.  Neither description is correct.  Brookings turns out liberal and conservative research in nearly equal numbers, according to research the reader will find in the web pages that describe the organization.

In Mr. Tynen’s article we have but another example of churning out conclusions from shaky research in order to prod along a point of view.  Good grief.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s