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A grant-writer for a school system told me she was supposed to report what the demographic makeup of a school would be if the magnet school recruited and enrolled specific numbers of minority students. She told me that she thought the kids would have to be there before she could compute the ratios. She was telling someone else that this cannot be known, yet she was supposed to give the number in a proposal she was writing. The person she was talking to told her that there may be a way to know what the demographic makeup ratios would be given specific changes in the number of minority students, and that I would not only know if there was a way to compute this, I might even be able to do it. Sure enough, I not only knew this could be known, but I was able to put formulas in a spreadsheet so they could play around with different numbers and get the ratios.


Beliefs and Skills of the Grant Writer

Knowing What Can Be Known: She didn’t know that it was possible to compute the demographic ratios hypothetically, but she thought I might know if it was possible.


I made a spreadsheet for her with formulas to let her play around with different numbers moving in, that computed the resulting ratios for her.  She wrote the grant, and got the multi-million dollar magnet grant for the school system.