A reader explains why policymakers and the public are hoodwinked by numbers. Follow the links:

Diane-

I got to this article in the WSJ through the Naked Capitalism blog I read daily:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323374504578219873933502726.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks_4

The Naked Capitalism blog also included a link to this article from 2006 on the same topic:
http://www.auroraadvisors.com/articles/Webber-Metrics.pdf

I forward these because I think they explain why school boards and politicians are hoodwinked by VAM. I know enough about statistics to know that VAM is junk science… but most people (and especially businessmen) want to believe everything can be reduced to a mathematical model and so we find ourselves in VAM-land.