Initiative 1351 seeks to lower class size in Washington. While I’m generally in favor of it, I believe the people behind it — including the Washington Education Association and the National Education Association —are running a deceptive ad for it. They say that Washington ranks “47th out of 50” in class size. That might be true, but it really doesn’t tell me anything. If Washington ranks 47th out of 50, that’s a fact of life, the world is not Lake Woebegone; not everybody can be a little bit above average.
A far more important figure,one that could help voters decide if what I-1351 is worthwhile, is the difference in students per classroom between all the states. If the difference in students per class works out to single digits or less, then I-1351 probably won’t accomplish very much and what it will accomplish will come at a high price.
Perhaps the leaders of the NEA and the WEA need a refresher course in basic statistics; I’m sure at least one of their members could help them help them overcome their problem with numbers. Either that or they need to wear a dunce cap and promise not to try to mislead voters with meaningless statistics.