Math Relearning/Progressions/High School Statistics and Probability

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These are my comments on the Common Core Math Progressions document Statistics & Probability: High School (PDF).

Overview

"Probability is presented as an essential tool" - Right up my alley. And I'm so glad I'm studying this now, because I somehow missed it in school. I did take a statistics course in college though. It was for psychology majors. It was also at 8 in the morning.

Interpreting categorical and quantitative data

"decide on the median or mean" - I've always wondered this. I probably learned it in college and forgot.

"accounting for possible effects of extreme data points" - I always wonder what to do with these. It sounds like there are ways of dealing with them that are more disciplined than the hand wringing I do. Honestly I feel like I'm guessing half the time I try to do anything meaningful with statistics.

"Perhaps a better (and simpler) model" - Fitting lines to data is a good example of the importance of learning about functions.

"always the possibility of a closer fit" - Does statistical software run through possibilities at least semi-automatically? It should.

Making inferences and justifying conclusions

"repeatedly drawing random samples of size 50" - Very interesting! I wonder if this technique has a name. I imagine there's a way to calculate the findings without actually drawing the samples.

"no extreme data points" - Is there a mathematical way to determine if a data point is extreme, if you can't quite tell by looking?

"re-randomizing" - Another interesting technique.

Conditional probability and the rules of probability

Using probability to make decisions

Where the Statistics and Probability Progression might lead

This is good info for students. I think probability and statistics is one of the most useful areas of math for the general population. So much human knowledge is statistical.