First, I saw Andrew Gelman's rant about "big bad education" (link) which leads me to Mark Palko's rant about teaching "the Law of Large Numbers" in the new "Common Core" curriculum for New York schools. Mark's conclusion being:
If we start talking about setting aside significant time to cover probability and statistics accurately and in reasonable depth and put the ideas in proper context, you have my enthusiastic support, but until then maybe we should focus on the understanding, mastery, retention of the stuff that's already in the curriculum.
The Law of Large Numbers isn't even mastered by adults and college graduates and even PhDs. It's hard to imagine how we could do it justice in high schools. For example, there is mass confusion about what it is, as I have written about here.
On the sister blog Junk Charts, I mentioned the article I wrote for Imagine magazine, which is targeted at high school students. Hopefully, a few kids decide to take up statistics after reading my little contribution (link to PDF).
There are lots of bad things happening in education. To start with, the pay-for-performance concept being imported from the business world is singularly inappropriate when no one has been able to properly measure "performance". Even in the corporate world, I don't think I have come across a study that shows that CEOs, corporate board members or senior executives receive pay commensurate with their level of performance.