The Colorado Springs Gazette has the “scoop” on the results of a new study on education:
Whites and Asian-Americans are at higher levels academically than blacks, Hispanics and American Indians, and students from middle-class and affluent households are learning more than those living in poverty, a new study affirms. Educators have long struggled with closing an achievement gap that exists among the races and income levels. An August report by the Denver-based Bell Policy Center has analyzed that gap — it used the Colorado Student Assessment Program, national testing, graduation rates and other comparisons — and offered recommendations to lawmakers and schools on shrinking it.
Wealthy kids do better in school than poor kids? Really — I’m shocked. What was the hypothesis? We thought that poor kids might do better in school than rich kids, but upon further research, it turns out we were incorrect.
In fairness, the Bell Policy Center just studied some figures to see what the gap was in education, and the sad news is that we aren’t doing much to close that divide. I’m making light of this because the first reaction of readers is probably, “No (rhymes with pit)!” But the Bell’s study is important in showing that what was a problem for years is still a problem. Nevertheless, I’m always amazed by studies that have predictable results — particularly the medical studies — that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out what we already knew. New study shows that drinking a six-pack of beer a day will lead to liver damage. You don’t say. New research shows that old people die more frequently than young people. You’re kidding! Here’s a great example of apointless medical study. Apparently researchers have found that eating more and exercising less will lead to…wait for it…weight gain! Stop the presses!
Medical journals provided a panoramic view of the obesity epidemic this week. For instance, overweight adolescent girls put on weight because they are ignoring exercise, researchers said. A team from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine said that starting around age 9 and continuing through age 19, girls are eating just a little more but exercising a whole lot less.
I’m no doctor, obviously, but who is funding this research? When you apply for the grant do you say, “We’d like to know if eating more and exercising less will lead to weight gain. We’re really not sure what the answer will be, so we think research is necessary.” Apparently somebody who is doling out the grant money then says, “Good idea!” How do I get in on this? I’d like to study if taking my wife out to expensive dinners three nights a week and buying her a new car will make me a better husband. Can somebody fund this research please?