Which means red state schools–with more education innovations like charters–lead the way. Walter Russell Mead:
When it come to excellence in education, red states rule — at least according to a panel of experts assembled by Tina Brown’s Newsweek. Using a set of indicators ranging from graduation rate to college admissions and SAT scores, the panel reviewed data from high schools all over the country to find the best public schools in the country.
The results make depressing reading for the teacher unions: the very best public high schools in the country are heavily concentrated in red states.
Three of the nation’s ten best public high schools are in Texas — the no-income tax, right-to-work state that blue model defenders like to characterize as America at its worst. Florida, another no-income tax, right-to-work state long misgoverned by the evil and rapacious Bush dynasty, has two of the top ten schools.
Newsweek isn’t alone with these shocking results. Another top public school list, compiled by the Washington Post, was issued in May. Texas and Florida rank number one and number two on that list’s top ten as well.
There’s something else interesting about the two lists: on both lists only one of the top ten public schools was located in a blue state. (Definition alert: on this blog, a blue state is one that voted for John Kerry in 2004; red states cast their electoral votes for Bush.)
There were no top ten schools on either list from blue New England states like Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. Nor were there any in the top 25. By contrast, Alabama made both the Newsweek and the Washington Post top ten. Only two public schools from these states made the Washpost top fifty list; zero made it into Newsweek‘s elite. 150 years after the Civil War, South Carolina is kicking New England’s rear end when it comes to producing great public schools.
According to this, the top three spenders in education–New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia–produced none of the top 10 high schools and only 3 of the top 20. Bang for the buck, no?
More from Mead:
But the results are shocking enough: the People’s Republic of Vermont has achieved parity with Mississippi: neither state has a single school on the Newsweek list of 500.
Defenders of the high tax, high regulation, highly unionized model of state governance that characterizes the blue states like to point to their higher quality of government services as justification for the taxes they pay and the regulations they accept.
Let those crackers and hillbillies in the red states wallow in their filth and their ignorance, say proud upholders of the blue state model. We blue staters believe in things like quality education — and that costs money.
Maybe the blue states have fewer potholes? Or, um, more tellers at the DMV? Something to justify the extra taxation, no? Or maybe it’s just the fat pensions.
UPDATE: linked by Creative Minority Report. Thanks!