Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal has a nice article about the growth of statistics. The print version differs substantially from the online version in content, though not in message.
Missing from this message is the urgent need to have more teachers, at all levels, trained in statistics. I’m currently at a meeting of the joint committee on education of the American Statistical Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. A recurring theme is that K-12 stats education has arrived, but professional development lags far behind. Agreed that our future needs statisticians. But we also need teachers who know statistics, 3rd graders who know statistics, unskilled workers who know statistics, and, well, everyone needs some statistics. And by “statistics”, we do not mean the ability to plug numbers into memorized formulas. Instead, we mean “reasoning with data.”