11 October 2005

State Smarts

According to a survey by Morgan Quitno Press (rankers extraordinaire), states are able to be ranked by their smartness. "States were graded on a variety of factors based on how they compare to the national average. These included such positive attributes as per-pupil expenditures, public high school graduation rates, average class size, student reading and math proficiency, and pupil-teacher ratios. States received negative points for high drop-out rates and physical violence."

Massachusetts came out on top. New Mexico was at the bottom (for the third year in a row). My state is in the lower half: ranked 30th.

Want to see where your state lands? Have a look.

I'm not really convinced that any of this is meaningful. Besides, it isn't as if states are competing with one another---what good does it do to rank everyone? And if you're living in a "dumb" state, what are you going to do about it---pick up and move to Boston? Why is it that the "smart" states are doing so well? Might be fun to poke around in the data sets used by the Morgan Quitno Press.

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