Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just The Facts, Ma'am...

You have probably seen this little factoid posted on Facebook or anywhere else crazy folk might lurk:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:
South Carolina – 50th; North Carolina – 49th; Georgia – 48th; Texas – 47th; Virginia – 44th

Usually followed by the claim that Wisconsin (#2), and supposedly all union states, do far better than states that have rightfully outlawed or minimized collective bargaining for PUBLIC employees. Funny thing is, this claim has now been retracted. See here. Seems it was based on faulty data - their words, not mine.

But I am not surprised. This is standard practice for the loony left. They take some small statistic out of context to try and prove their point.

Blogger Iowahawk put the smack down on the premise above, so I don't want to repeat his noble work. You can see his original post here and the follow up here. He rightly pointed out the drastic demographic differences between states and the absurdity of using ACT or SAT as a ranking in the first place - especially if you are looking at cumulative score and not by ethnicity.

But I do want to take a look at the ACT numbers, of course by ethnic breakdown, to see just how collectivist states compare to free states. These numbers are for 2010.

Average ACT Composite Score 2010 (Evil free states in bold)

White students: Virginia 23.5, North Carolina 23.4, Texas 23.1, Wisconsin 23.0, Georgia 22.9, Ohio 22.5, South Carolina 22.1, Michigan 20.7, Illinois 20.1 (national 22.3)

Black students: Virginia 17.6, Georgia 17.4, North Carolina 17.4, Ohio 17.3, Texas 17.3, Illinois 16.7, South Carolina 16.5, Wisconsin 16.0, Michigan 15.8 (national 16.9)

Hispanic students: Virginia 21.6, North Carolina 20.3, Ohio 20.3, Georgia 20.1, South Carolina 19.8, Wisconsin 19.8, Texas 18.3, Illinois 18.0, Michigan 17.7 (national 18.6)

You don't want to form any definitive opinions from these numbers. Several factors might explain the difference. For instance, the amount of private schools and home schooled children per state may skew the results. Income and poverty levels may play a part as well. But it is interesting that the ACTUAL data is the complete opposite of what the left is claiming. Note that all 5 evil states are at or above the national average.

Conservatives do not want stupid children or underpaid teachers. We want a quality education system that rewards the best teachers based on merit. We do not want a system that is designed to reward laziness or incompetence. Nor do we want a system that is basically a money laundering scheme for the Democrat party - where dues go through the unions into the pockets of Democrat politicians, who then sit down with the same union folk and "negotiate" how to further screw taxpayers and ultimately the children.

Just so you know I didn't just make up the data (who would do that), here are the ACT scores and for further amusement, you can find all sorts of stuff on the Nation's Report Card.

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