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Thinking for ourselves

Data Driven Decisions

By Shea Howell

[caption id="attachment_2574" align="alignnone" width="113" caption="Shea Howell"] Buy kamagra without prescription, [/caption]

Over the next few weeks we are going to hear a lot about data driven decisions. The Detroit Works Long Term Planning Project will be holding what it calls community conversations on the strategies for development it has generated. Cheap kamagra from uk, Public schools will be counting children, teachers, attendance and class size, buy kamagra online cheap. Tests and “measures of accountability” are being planned for charter and public schools. Buy generic kamagra online, Dizzying amounts of data are being put on power points, newsletters, and web sites to convince Detroiters that we have no alternative but to go along with the direction set by the corporate-foundation-government elite, kamagra online sales.

Data is being massaged and manipulated to provide the illusion of inevitable, rational decision-making, buy kamagra without prescription. We are told that it is data driving decisions, Purchase kamagra online, not the interests of a small group of people.

Nowhere is this clearer than the oft-repeated comment by the Mayor and his long term planning-foundation sponsored partners. They tell us that Detroit simply cannot afford to provide services to “high vacancy” areas, kamagra tablet. The basis of this idea comes from calculating the total cost of services in one year and dividing by the number of people using that service. Buy kamagra without prescription, Obviously, in this kind of calculation, high vacancy areas will cost more. Cheap kamagra pill, The problem here is not with the arithmetic, but with the calculation itself. Why does anyone think it is meaningful to add up how much something costs and divide it by the number of users, get kamagra. What does that tell us. Buy kamagra low price, Certainly, in terms of public services, it gives little insight into any real cost or benefits, buy kamagra online without prescription. For example, why is the calculation based on a single year, buy kamagra without prescription. Doesn’t it make at least as much sense that we should weight calculations of this sort over time. Drug kamagra, How do we account for the person who has paid taxes for police and fire services for 40 years. Or what if we calculate actual use of some public services. In general, order kamagra cheap online, police and fire are more central to “low vacancy” areas than to the single house on an otherwise open block. Buy kamagra without prescription, This sort of superficial calculation becomes a base line from which all other decisions are then rationalized. Kamagra, It is designed to give the impression of neutrality and objectivity. It is intended to obscure interests and values that really underline the “reshaping” of Detroit.

Data in Detroit is not neutral, online kamagra. It is not a substitute for discussion. Formulas should not supplant judgment, buy kamagra without prescription. Kamagra no rx required, Last year the Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts used a data driven formula to determine what schools he would close. He announced that one of the first schools to go would be Catherine Ferguson Academy. When challenged about this decision, order discount kamagra, the only rationale the EFM could give was that CFA fell below the cut off line for cost of pupil ratio. No rx kamagra, Even after a national outcry about the foolishness of closing one of the premiere public schools in the country, Roberts clung to his calculus. Buy kamagra without prescription, He was quite simply unable to exercise judgment when values, ideas, and data that was not in his formula were introduced into the decision making process.

The decisions in front of us are not self- evident, generic kamagra online. They cannot and should not be determined by data. Buy discount kamagra, Data itself must be questioned in terms of the values and assumptions that produced it.

There are very different visions of the kind of city we will have. Those visions reflect values that have yet to be discussed in any meaningful way, buy kamagra without prescription. The Mayor-corporate-foundation elite envision a Detroit that is richer, kamagra no rx, whiter, and a protected place for business and pleasure.

Many of us have a very different vision. We believe Detroit is becoming a city of creative, value based living that can sustain all of its people in a more productive future. Data will not determine the outcome.

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