Editor’s Letter—Vol. 28, No. 4

Dear CHANCE Colleagues,

I’m pleased to share with you the second part of our two-part special issue on the teaching of statistics and related activities before college. The guest editors for both issues are Nicholas Horton (Amherst College) and Xiao-Li Meng (Harvard University).

Part 1 of the special issue (September 2015, CHANCE 28.3) included articles on teacher training, the role of statistics in the Advanced Placement Statistics course curriculum and assessment, the growing role of data science, and the CATALST course.

In Part 2 of this special issue, we present another set of articles describing innovative approaches and viewpoints. The technology to bring data, computing, and assessment resources is the focus of Eric Simoneau’s article on STATS4STEM.org, while Peter Turner, Rachel Levy, and Kathleen Fowler make connections between mathematical modeling and the K–12 curriculum.

Robert Hayden shares thoughts on the connections between intro statistics in college and pre-college. Mary Kwasny discusses the interplay between educators, students, and statisticians and ways that the ThisIsStatistics.org site supports these communities. John Holcomb discusses his personal outreach efforts to high-school students.

To broaden the conversation about statistics before college, we asked a number of luminaries in the statistical education world (listed alphabetically by first name)—Al Coons, Alison Gibbs, Allan Rossman, Amelia McNamara, Bethany White, Chris Wild, Dick De Veaux, Donna LaLonde, George Cobb, Katherine Halvorsen, Maxine Pfannkuch, Paul Velleman, Sandra Madden, and Sharon Hessney—to provide brief answers to the following questions:

1. What are the greatest barriers and threats for statistics in secondary education?

2. What are the most promising opportunities (e.g., new forms of technology, innovative approaches to teacher training and faculty development), and what is needed to take advantage of these opportunities?

We summarize their provocative and thought-provoking responses. You can add to the conversation online at http://chance.amstat.org.

In our columns, Nicole Lazar and Christine Franklin discuss preparing students for a data-centric world in “The Big Picture.” Daniel Kaplan discusses building, visualizing, and assessing statistical models, and demonstrates how this modeling approach can be made accessible to a broad set of students in “Taking a Chance in the Classroom.” Mary Gray discusses student diversity and “leveling the playing field” in “The Odds of Justice.”

Shep Roey, Tom Krenzke, and Robert Perkins discuss the impact of disclosure risk in the context of educational studies in “O Privacy, Where Art Thou?” Richard Layton discusses influences on reproducible reporting and reviews three books on the reproducibility theme.

We hope this issue gives you new insights into some of our profession’s most important challenges and encourages you to work toward addressing them.

Scott Evans

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