An editorial in the Reno Gazette-Journal on February 1, 2015, addressed a major argument that critics used against Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s plan to raise taxes to improve Nevada’s public education system. The argument was that school funding has increased for years but performance hasn’t improved, so more money is not the answer. In particular, critics said that Nevada education funding has doubled since the 1960s but average student performance has remained flat. The editorial asserted that this reasoning is not correct. It went on to point out explicitly how Simpson’s paradox comes into play because the balance between white and Hispanic students has changed. a. The editorial used the following numbers for simplicity: Assume the number of students in Nevada to be only 100, both in 1960 and today. Suppose that in 1960, 90 students were white and 10 were Hispanic. In addition, suppose that 80% of white students graduated and 60% of Hispanic students graduated. What was the overall graduation rate in 1960? b. Suppose that the demographic has changed to be 50% white and 50% Hispanic today. Also assume that both groups improved: The graduation rate for white students increased to 88% , and the graduation rate for Hispanic students increased to 66%. What is the overall graduation rate now? c. Explain how your answers to parts a and b illustrate Simpson’s paradox.


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