Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sutherland's New Lies on Vouchers

The Sutherland Institute has released a new press release (Hat Tip: KVNU) regarding vouchers. This one has many tasty morsels for us this evening. To begin with:

Independent research conducted by the non-profit Sutherland Institute shows the average tuition among the majority of voucher-eligible private schools in Utah is $4,520.


"Independent" research? Are you freaking kidding me?!? The Sutherland INstitute is so far removed from being independant that it defys description. It's like asking a Hostess employeewhich tastes better: Carrots or Twinkees. It's like letting Greg Curtis be the independant arbiter in the RSL stadium debate It's like letting Bill O'Reilly moderate the Hannity/Rocky debate. It's like letting Rob Miller count the posts to see who gets to 1000 first. It's like letting Jerry Sloan be the Ref of the Finals.

("How many aalogies are you going to use? As many as it takes to convince you!")

OK, enough of that. ON to our good part:

Of the 88 voucher-eligible schools contacted, 64 responded. The responding schools reported annual tuition charges from $1,600 to $52,200. Only six private schools are clearly unaffordable for low-income families the new voucher law is primarily intended to serve. Those six were omitted from Sutherland’s results.


You gather data. then you eliminate the 10% of your data that hurts your desired result?

If we're going to play with the numbers, then we might as well post the following "independent" survey results:

*67% of regestered voters in a recent poll found vouchers to be a bad idea. (Results based on an informal survey of people named Bob Aagard taken at the Salt Lake City Library on September 27, 2007. I voted bad idea twice, and the third time I was distracted by a cute girl sitting nearby and said "sure, it's a good idea for you to ask her out." I think my answer was misinterpreted.)

*100% of the girls in the library are cute. They are also married.

*62.5% of he voices in my head are allergic to redheads.

*4/3 of Utahns are bad with fractions and/or ratios.

*57% of BYU fans think Harline is still open in the end zone. The Other 43% wish it were still that easy.

*7.11% of the population likes slurpees. I buy enough for the other 82%.

*12.5% of Democratic First Lady Candidates are Mormon. Only 10% of Republican First Lady Candidates are, however. (This one's actually true....)

*2% of Senate Republicans havea wide stance when using the men's room. The number jumps to 7% in the House.

*85% stopped reading a long time ago. The rest of you can stop now.

4 comments:

Shaun said...

>> *62.5% of he voices in my head are allergic to redheads.

Hey! I heard that!

Anonymous said...

4/3 of those surveyed think Bob is most amusing when angry. :)

The Senate Site said...

So, could you please clarify that when you mention the "wide stance" you are talking about the National Senate, not the Utah State Senate? We try to keep our stance incredibly narrow.

Paul Mero said...

There is only one reason to look at the average, or mean, private school tuition in this debate...and that is in its relationship to affordability. What you criticize is simply our acknowledgement that a few private schools in Utah never will be affordable for low-income families on vouchers...so why include them?

If it makes you feel any better, we only eliminated private school tuitions over $10K...there are still several schools under $10K and above $5K that also will be unaffordable for many families. (Because I can tell how much you don't want this to work for any needy family.)

The real point is the connection between tuition and affordablility...so dropping six schools that everyone will agree are unaffordaable for low-income families is not only good analysis, it's simply reasonable.

I have to say as well that I am stunned that you imply that any adovcacy group is incapable of sound analysis. If this is the case, then sound analysis is non-existent because EVERYONE is an advocate of something in some way (especially government bureaucrats like the State Office of Education).

Best, PTM