But when the data is skewed the median gives a better sense of ?average? than the mean. That is why it is used so often. Actually, knowing both the mean and the median is better. I do agree that it is silly to introduce all three in elementary school. The average is more easily understood and students can relate it to how their final grades are calculated. Of course, when they blow a single test and it drops their grade a whole letter, they might want to revisit the notion of median.:)
In the end, NOTHING beats the raw data. In this case a picture is worth a thousand words. With the data visualization tools available to us today, just plot the data out and you can see all of the nuances. I found this out when analyzing test scores. The distributions are simply too involved to meaningfully quantify into just a couple of numbers. The quartile and quintile charts that the researchers offer are a step in the right direction, but even then, you can get more out of looking at the raw data.
On Jan 11, 2014, at 2:16 PM, Donald Sauter <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: