Since all my kids are grown and have kids I haven't paid much attention to the yearly ratings by U.S. News for a long time, but ran across this year's January report this week. This was the one on high schools, not colleges.
They still have their standards and methods in place, but something not explained that I'm thinking should have been is that low population states will always have a tough time competing against states with high population and correspondingly high income areas allowing for the best of the best with professionals who put a different value system on education than rural areas.
I know goals for higher education have increased through the years, but in my opinion it is still difficult for folks who are having a tough time making ends meet to have the time and energy to push their kids or pay others to do it for them as is the case in high income areas.
In particular the rankings by state included several states at the bottom of the list who not surprisingly were the same states where there is only one Congressman and two Senators or two of each. North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and New Mexico come to mind along with the observation that there are many Indian reservations in those states where the schools have always been wanting for excellence. With the federal government encompassing the Bureau of Indian Affairs controlling the hospitals as we spoke of a few weeks ago plus the education systems it is no wonder they are not high achievers.
I would hope that Arne Duncan who is one of the best cabinet picks by Obama will be able to convince the President that the Indian reservation is certainly an area where he would be able to make a lot happen by Executive Order and wouldn't be stymied by the likes of Dick Durbin who holds the kids who live in Washington, D.C. hostage by not allowing the legislation necessary to give those kids a great education--as long as the highly paid bureaucrats and legislators send their kids to high priced private schools, it is just heart breaking to watch.
There are so many angles to the education problem we could post on that subject every day for a month and still not cover it. We'll just keep picking away at it as it appears in front of us.
Hope you have a good week in store-