virginia beats maryland

Perhaps not in football, but I went to GMU so that really doesn’t bother me. No, we’re talking about something much more important – which state is smarter.

Earlier this month Morgan Quitno Press released their fifth edition of Education State Rankings, which is a compilation of education statistics at the pre K-12 level for the 50 United States (sorry D.C. you get the shaft again). They also award a "Smartest State" designation based 21 key metrics chosen from the report, such as the following randomly selected elements:

  • Public Elementary and Secondary School Revenue per $1,000 Personal Income
  • Percent of School-Age Population in Public Schools
  • Median Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Public Primary Schools

To calculate the "Smartest State" rankings, the 21 metrics are divided into groups for which a high ranking would be a "positive" or "negative" attribute. They process the rates of each states performance through a formula that allows them to measure how a state compares to the national average for a given category. Ultimately the weight of each factor is leveled, and the states are rank ordered based on how they perform against the national average, e.g. the higher a state compares to the national average, the higher it ranks on the list, making it "smarter."

Vermont topped the list of 50 and was designated the "Smartest State."

Virginia made a strong showing against the national average and ranked 6th. Maryland also performed above the national average, but was not in the top ten, with a ranking of 18. However, both states moved up the list by one position compared to their ranking in the 2005-2006 report.

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