I’m writing to comment on Sandy Coleman’s article on outcomes for the Class of 2014 in the summer issue of the Quarterly. While it is encouraging to see nice outcomes for the respondent Wheaton graduates, I feel that the pie chart accompanying the story is somewhat misleading.
Perhaps it should include the 30 percent nonresponse rate, given that the nonresponders are likely not the same as the responders. In other words, the pie chart assumes that the nonresponders would have the same rates of “employed,” “graduate school,” “volunteer,” etc., which I believe is highly unlikely. It is good that the magazine footnoted that the data were based on a 70 percent response rate, but the pie chart with only 2 percent missing is what catches the eye of the reader.
I am very grateful, indeed, for my education at Wheaton (I was a math major). It has served me very well in my field of biostatistics and in my career, but I just felt compelled to share my caution in how easily the choices made in presenting statistics can paint a picture that is different from reality.
Kimberly Boomer Ring ’92