Did education professor agree to manipulate data?

Did James O’Keefe catch Rutgers University education professor Bruce Baker agreeing to accept payment for a study with a predetermined, pro-union conclusion?  That is the big question after O’Keefe released a video of Baker saying that he would “play with the data first to see if it would undermine [the proposed study].”

I do not buy Baker’s claim that he found his phone and email exchanges with O’Keefe to be “disturbing,” “strange,” “twisted,” and the like.  Additionally, I am skeptical about Professor Baker contention that he was “playing along” and suspected “that this whole thing was a sham.”  If he was aware that the whole thing was a set up, why didn’t Baker confront O’Keefe?

Baker also argues that it is common for researchers to “vet the data.”  I suspect that this is true, but “vetting” data is not the same as “playing” with it.  It may have been a case of poor word choice, an argument that I would have been willing to entertain.  Indeed, word choice would have been a much better defense than his chosen strategy – conflating the two concepts.  Obviously the latter suggests manipulation, whereas the former suggests evaluation.

Update: RiShawn Biddle of Dropout Nation has a must-read piece on Bruce Baker.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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