To celebrate the re-opening of our blog, I am republishing our most popular piece, originally published in 2005 – long before the movie version. Enjoy!
Asked at a conference what I thought was the best book on education research I’d read recently, I was quick to answer, “Moneyball.” Moneyball? But that’s a baseball book! Well, yes and no. Michael Lewis’s story tells how Oakland A’s General Manager Billie Bean got the lowest payroll baseball team in America to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins; the A’s went on to repeated success by dispensing with preconceived notions of what makes for a good baseball player and letting comprehensive data analysis inform their decision making throughout the organization.
Many of the insights offered in the book are good re-tellings of the classic writings of baseball statistician William James. Here is just a sampling of insights from James that can be applied to education research: (more…)