I’m not sure what worries me most about this.
The Department of Education has acknowledged using flawed data in a study on the impact of race on student loan repayment rates, having omitted black students from its calculation. The analysis was conducted during the debate over gainful employment regulations, in response to complaints that the rules would hurt colleges that enroll relatively high percentages of minority students.
If you’re doing a study on the impact of race on student loan repayment, it seems pretty obvious that the study should include different races, and one of the most important racial categories to analyze and study would be blacks. So on one level, I’m troubled that the Department of Education is so statistically-challenged that they would perform a study this way, much less publish the results.
On another level, I’m also troubled by this statement, even after noting the significant difference in results when using “accurate figures”:
Eduardo Ochoa, the department’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education, described the mistake in that filing, but said accurate figures would have had no impact on the final regulations.
A subsequently corrected analysis “does not justify altering the regulations,” Ochoa said, because “factors other than student demographics account for the success or failure of institutional repayment rates.”
It would be a shame to let facts get in the way of government regulations, huh?