CLI Composite Learning Index

Various authors, Canadian Council on Learning, May 29, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"Canada scores 76." So proclaim the authors of this CCL report on learning achievement in Canada an elsewhere, thereby propagating a completely useless and misleading piece of non-information. There's a lot of room for criticism of this report, but I'll just take on its major problem. The authors argue, "by using an objective, statistical method, the CLI effectively and reliably connects the dots between a community's learning conditions on the one side, and its social and economic well-being, or outcomes, on the other." Objective? Just what is objective about including a measure such as "average distance to the nearest religious organization" as an indicator of learning? Or "amount spent on charitable donations?" Or "amount spent on print publications?" Even a measure such as "percentage of people who have completed a university program" reflects a certain bias, one that supporters of trades and technology have worked for years to attempt to counteract. Objective? Oh, please.
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