Educational Attainment

The Fifty States And Educational Levels

A new 2018 survey of education in the 50 states reveals the following:

The top ten states are found in New England and the Middle Atlantic states primarily–with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire in New England; Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia in the Middle Atlantic area, with Virginia greatly influenced by the educational level of its Northern Virginia suburbs outside of Washington, DC; and also the states of Minnesota in the Midwest, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain West, and Washington State on the Pacific Coast. All of these top ten states were Democratic states in 2016.

States, including California, Florida and Texas rank lower on educational attainment because of large numbers of immigrants with lower accomplishments due to language barriers, but are rated higher in quality of education ranking. New York, Illinois, Delaware, Oregon and Hawaii are among the states which are ranked in the second ten best states, all Democratic states in 2016.

Meanwhile, the ten lowest states in educational levels are all Southern States, except for Nevada, Oklahoma and New Mexico—Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee, not at all surprising. All of these ten were Republican states in 2016, except for Nevada and New Mexico.

Notice that the higher educated states are “Blue”, while the lower educated states are “Red”, and this is the basic split within the nation–the educated vs the poorly educated.

War On The Liberal Arts In Florida, Texas, North Carolina: The Promotion Of Dumbness!

The right wing Republican Governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have declared war on public funding of the liberal arts at the state university level in their states!

Considering that poverty is very high in these states, and educational attainment is lower than in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western states, it is clear that the Republican Party in these Southern states wants to keep people dumb, and prevent the promotion of skills that are essential for a good productive life–like reading, writing, analyzing, and simply THINKING!

A person who gains a college education with little or no exposure to the liberal arts is a person denied basic knowledge and appreciation of the great contributions of mankind over the millenniums!

To say that no one needs to major in anthropology, or literature, or history, or classics, etc is to declare war on intellectual pursuits, and it is clear that we have many people coming out of college ready for the technical and business worlds who have no basic communicative skills, but are simply robots who cannot read, write, analyze or think clearly!

And to say that different fields of knowledge are unworthy is to declare war on the whole point of education, to make people better human beings, not just train them for a field of work that might, very likely, disappear over the course of a work life!

To gain intellectual skills is to gain vision, gain a sense of humanity and compassion, and to have a quality life, not one only judged and based on materialism and greed!

These governors—Rick Scott, Rick Perry (and his likely successor, Greg Abbott), and Pat McCrory–prefer stupidity and ignorance, as that makes it easier for them to pursue their right wing goals to undermine the future of their states, among the lowest in achievement, and bound to get worse with this kind of damaging attack on the liberal arts! They are only out to promote the top one to two percent, and want a work force that is unable to compete in a way to advance and, actually, challenge the establishment elite!

Those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it! We still need anthropologists, historians, poets, playwrights, artists, musicians, and others in the liberal arts, as part of a humane society, and no student should be denied the opportunity to major in any of these or other liberal arts fields, and they are often better educated than those who come out of colleges with no exposure to the liberal arts!

There is a need for a strong reaction to this detrimental attack on basic human knowledge by the scholarly community!

Martin Luther King Assassination Anniversary, And Trayvon Martin As A Symbol

Today marks 44 years since the tragic assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

As we mourn that event yet again, and as more Americans visit the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC, we have to ask how far have we come from that day in 1968.

Certainly, the conditions for African Americans are far better today than they were in 1968, but that does not mean we can sit on our laurels.

Having a President who is African American; having other political leaders in Congress and the states and cities who are African American; seeing the growth of a large black middle class; witnessing more African Americans in the professions; witnessing more interracial marriages–all these signs of progress are wonderful!

But they are not enough, when we still have a large crime rate in the inner city ghettos; when black males are an endangered species when they end up in white neighborhoods and are seen as intruders; when one third of young black males are in prison; when the educational attainment of many African Americans still trails that of other racial groups; and when the illegitimacy rate is still much too high in African American households.

And the case of Trayvon Martin, a young black male who was no threat to anyone except for his skin color, being murdered by a man who had no right to utilize his gun; was over 100 pounds heavier; and who was told by 911 operators to leave tracking of Martin to the police, so as to ascertain if he was looking for trouble, is just the tip of the iceberg!

As long as we have tragedies such as Trayvon Martin, we are far from judging people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin. Prejudice and discrimination still run rampant, sadly, two generations after King’s death!