8/16/2006

Any Other Questions?

Blue States Rank High on ACT!



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10 comments:

Josh said...

lol It's days like these where I wish we had access to OTBL.

By the way. Somebody scoop up AboveTheBorderLine.Net

Roadkill said...

Well, yes, there I do have a few questions.
For instance, what is the significance of the low percent of students tested in 8 of the top 10 states? Could it be that the 10-17 percent of the students tested in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Maine, New York, and New Hampshire represent the upper tier of the student body and those most likely testing for admittance to college? (Note: Minnesota and Wisconsin, both in the top 10, tested 68% and 69% of their students).
Conversely, what is the significance of the high percentage of students tested in the bottom 10 states? Could it be that the 61 to 100 percent of the students tested in Illinois, Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi represent a broad cross section of the student body in those states, including the lower tier of students and those unlikely to pursue college? (Note: North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, all in the bottom 10, tested 15%, 29%, 29%, and 38% of their students, respectively.)
I think we need to be careful about drawing conclusions on educational quality in various states based on ACT (or SAT) scores without assessing which, and how many of the state’s students are taking the test(s).
To do otherwise raises questions…

Josh said...

The significance of those low percentages are a direct correlation to the states that primarily have colleges and universities that only accept the SAT...

As a rule,the best colleges and universities in the country only accept the SAT

Josh said...

and i'll still add that the top 2 in the country (minnesota and wisconsin) are still blue states and have over 60 percent of students tested.

so there.

Roadkill said...

You may be correct, Josh, that those top 10 ACT-scoring states have colleges and universities that only accept the SAT, but I’m not sure that addresses my point regarding where those 10-17 percent of students who do take the ACT rank in relation to their peers. In all probability they are the upper-tier, college bound types. And so the disparity remains in that most of the bottom ACT-scoring states test most to all of their students, good and bad, college bound and otherwise, and as such, their average ACT scores will naturally be lower than those of the top 10 ACT-scoring states who only test their top students.
The broader question is, of course, how well those “top 10” states would do if they had most or all of their students taking the test, as do most of the “bottom 10.”
And yes, I acknowledge you point on Minnesota and Wisconsin; they are two left-leaning states that both score high and test most of their students. Good for them.

Watchdog Watcher said...

Roadkill:

Do you think you could find a stat anywhere that puts Mississippi above
Wisconsin in Educational performance?
It's pretty obvious that Red State give public education a lower priority. I think the proof is in the pudding.

Roadkill said...

WW:
No, I probably can’t find a statistic putting Mississippi above Wisconsin in Educational performance. But then again, I have not implied that any such stat exists.
My only point all along has been that the top-performing states generally test far fewer of their students than the lower-performing states, and those that do test in the top states are probably the better, college bound students. As such, the top-state scores are higher than they would be if most or all of their students were tested. Conversely, if only the upper tier, college-bound students were tested in the lower performing states, their state average scores would rise. Understand that I am not saying the tables would flip-flop, putting the bottom states above the top ones on the chart, but rather that the scores would compress, making the disparity between top and bottom states far less pronounced.
Minnesota and Wisconsin do test a lot of students (68-69%), so their average scores are a much better measure of academic abilities on a state-wide level that other top states.. But what about the 30% or so who don’t test? What is the profile of these students, and if they did take the test, what would be the impact on state-wide averages? I think these are fair questions, not because they will drive MN and WI to the bottom of the ACT performance chart, but because it would give us a better, apples-to-apples measure of how our states really stack up against each other.

Watchdog Watcher said...

Roadkill,

OK, I see your point. But I'm not sure that these test are "required" by any state?

You are probably correct to not accept these results totally on face value. I think Josh's argument about SATs also has implications concerning the results posted.
My point is that Blue States value education more (so far) and this probably projects a psychological benefit to their citizens. In other words, Red State culture is promotes education less.
Is that scientific, no, but I think it's true and accurate.

Don't forget that this was posted in response to an OTBL post that showed
a hereoic American Marine from the a Red state and what appeared to be bizzarrely attired revelers ( I think the implication was that they were in a Gay Pride parade ) from a
Blue state. I think this fall I'll be able to go to any state on any Sunday and find bizzarely dressed revelers. (At any NFL Football Game)

Josh said...

Road kill your logic makes perfect sense and I completely agree actually.

I do have a hunch though, if those states did test more of their students that their average scores would still be higher than the red states.

Partisanship aside, I honestly believe left-leaning states are better at education… At the same time I think right leaning states are better for industry.

The beauty of our union lies somewhere among this

Josh said...

lies.. hmm. what state did I get my education in again. haha