US Public Schools: Equality versus Quality

Wallethub has a new post discussing the equality of public school funding in the 50 states. The report is actually an indictment of school funding in the US.

Which states are the most equal in school funding?

  1. Iowa
  2. North Carolina
  3. Arkansas
  4. Indiana
  5. Florida
  6. West Virginia
  7. Mississippi
  8. Minnesota
  9. South Dakota
  10. Kansas

Which are the least equal states in funding?

  1. New York
  2. Idaho
  3. California
  4. Montana
  5. Illinois
  6. Arizona
  7. Oregon
  8. Maine
  9. New Jersey
  10. New Mexico

Which are the states with the best quality of public schools?

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Connecticut
  3. New Jersey
  4. Virginia
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Maryland
  7. Delaware
  8. Nebraska
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Vermont

Which are the states with the worst public schools?

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Arizona
  4. Alaska
  5. Alabama
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Mississippi
  8. West Virginia
  9. South Carolina
  10. Oregon

No state on the most equal list has a leading quality public school system. It doesn’t happen. Equality is at best associated with mediocrity. In two states, West Virginia and Mississippi, equality of funding is associated with inferior schools.

Conversely, inequality of funding doesn’t mean high quality schools. New Jersey is in fact the only case where that happens. Three states combine unequal funding with lower quality: Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon. Because two of these three states have substantial Native American lands, we don’t know to what extent that may complicate the situation in these states.

Is it possible to create a high quality school system based on fair funding?

Sources:

  1. States with the Most & Least Equitable School Districts (wallethub.com)
  2. 2021’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems (wallethub.com)

9 comments

  1. I think public schools, though my peers and I went when America was still number 1 in the world, was on the descent decades before. Someone asks why do I believe so. Well, I learned far more in work and hobbies, but upon returning to the university, I was amazed how subpar the classes were. I realized then, more so when I became a teacher, what I learned in college could easily be taught to grade school students, which brought up many questions. In more recent years, realized what I was taught in college doesn’t even amount to quality in grade school. I’ll give one more example. Do you know nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions/prepositional phrases can be taught, with great ease, within a week, and all the students will remember and be able to use and identify? What happens in most public schools actually lowers the bar and the students are less able to think for themselves with each succeeding year. In other words, they’re moving backwards.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Public education has been subject to a long series of fads — untested hypotheses for which students are guinea pigs and several annual cadres are made to suffer before the next big idea comes along. I’m just a little skeptical that all students could master parts of speech in five days, but totally agree that boring students to tears doesn’t work either.

      Of course, in my time, an avowed goal of education was to enable critical and creative thinking. There seem to be some folk who don’t want students to possess that skill now.

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      • Well, decent people and good teachers will always exist, but the process vets them out. In other words, those who truly want to do a good job, they won’t get tenure, or, will find doing a good job increasingly difficult with all the extra “duties.” With time, the determined ones will be forced out, which explains much of today. No, I wouldn’t send any children to these propaganda camps. Times always change. I think we’re past the point of anything positive there, but we all have enough information and materials to do a better job at home.

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  2. Okay, I will now exit, but with a necessary parting shot for which I know there will be a comeback, demonstrating what I suspected. That last statement told me everything I kind of already knew, but without communication, we never find out. The teachers that make it through the vetting system (Very few good ones stay in because they have been there awhile, with a very few new ones.) are those programmable, propagandized, and will sell their ability to think for themselves to what they perceive as security, summers off, retirement, and health care, owing their very existence to a system long-since found of much lower quality. And they will, as part of a corrupted system, be agents preventing the youth from thinking for themselves. However, I’m discovering that, though they might not talk out loud, and some do, more and more of the youth see the propaganda and disinformation, many choosing home schooling, many doing their research above and beyond, and in this, we might have a growing populace that may help in future decades. These blogs and other sources will have unpredictable results. Time will tell.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Quite true. My point is that both “ Christian academies” and home schooling have their roots in white racism, and some of the people I’ve met who home school their kids are hopelessly ignorant. I believe that politicizing schools is a terrible error, but there are errors of the past and present that need correction.

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      • Actually, you are clueless about my point of view. You’re interpreting words through a filter rather than reading them as they are. I’m simply stating what I personally have seen and know to be true while you seem to be imagining something that would be great if it existed, but rarely does. At least not now. The quotes around racism tell me that you were the victim of the propaganda of your time, and your comment about socialism and Marxism is dated, silly and based on lack of knowledge. When did you stop learning?

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