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Topic: Re: Jo Boaler reveals attacks by Milgram and Bishop
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kirby urner

Posts: 3,690
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Jo Boaler reveals attacks by Milgram and Bishop
Posted: Dec 15, 2012 3:24 AM
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> Exactly!!
> You might also be interested to read:
> Private Data - The Real Story: A Huge Problem with
> Education Research, R. James Milgram, 12/7/2012
> tml

I worked in medical research for a long time, though not
as an author of research papers, merely as a data
gatherer. Because of HIPAA, we were scrupulous about
scrubbing the data of any "PHI" (patient health information)
that might be traceable to individuals. However, aggregate
data was sufficient for research studies and many papers
were written using data I helped collect (using computers
in various ways). I worked for Regional Heart and
Vascular Data Services in the Providence network of

At a recent Open Source Convention (OSCON) I attended a
talk on FERPA and its implications. This seemed
somewhat familiar ground.

Whereas I don't necessarily share Bishop's or Milgram's
views about a lot of things, I do agree there are two
sides to this story and I don't see the desire / need to
verify education research as in any way unethical.

Student identities and records may be protected even as
aggregate numbers are released to the public. If there's
no way for independent researchers to verify the data,
then it shouldn't count as publication-worthy scientific

This seeming truism is not followed in a lot of what calls
itself science though. In the genetically modified food
business, you will find companies seeking court assistance
in making it illegal to verify / study various claims,
because of trade secrets and/or patents. The companies
strictly control who gets access to the raw data and the
means to produce it. The same is true of some tobacco
research. Is it science if it's secret? Maybe it's just
useful and lucrative knowledge.

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