SableGate: No Smoking Gun Needed?

A correspondent chides me for describing speculations over reasons for Margery Sable's departure as "theories" when they should be described as "hypotheses." In science, theories are supported by bodies of evidence (gravity is a theory, evolution by natural selection is a theory); hypotheses are tentative explanations waiting to be tested.

That same correspondent takes issue with the need for a smoking gun; her hypothesis is that Margery Sable is an outspoken female agent of change who got slapped down by the male powers-that-be. She was hired to change things aggressively, went around changing things aggressively, then ran into the stone wall that is the teachers' union and the school board. During last summer's round of raises, she got zip. Squat. The message was clear. Instead of being hailed as an innovator and a leader, Margery Sable was accused of being abrasive and outspoken. Her resignation/retirement was inevitable. If this theory (excuse me: hypothesis) is correct -- then there's no smoking gun needed.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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