GOOD

Who's On Top? Color-Coded Maps Rank States' Education Performance

A new report from the Department of Education puts all the latest educational data at your fingertips.


We all hear horror stories about the poor academic quality of America's schools, but a new study shows that different states rate very differently on measures like test scores and graduation rates. For example, students in Massachusetts and Minnesota are two to three times more likely than their peers in West Virginia and Mississippi to pass national eighth-grade standardized tests, according to the U.S. Department of Education's new State of the States in Education report.

The report maps five sets of data: fourth- and eighth-grade scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress; on-time high school graduation rates; college-attendance rates; three-year associate degree graduation rates; and six-year college graduation rates.


States colored green are the top 10, yellow states are middle performers, and red states are the lowest-performing. For those interested in how the data breaks down according to racial demographics and other subcategories, some data sets also have separate maps according to those indicators. Each map is followed by a detailed list giving the exact rankings and corresponding percentages.

A quick scan of the maps makes it easy to see which states reliably perform well whatever the metric (Massachusetts, for one), and which are struggling across the board (like California, the nation's most populous state). California's 71 percent graduation rate puts it squarely in the bottom 10, but that number looks downright rosy compared to other red states: Mississippi clocks in at 62 percent, while Nevada pulls up the rear with 56.3 percent of students graduating from high school.

One interesting disparity takes place in Mississippi: Despite the state's poor graduation rate, the state has the highest college attendance rate among students who do graduate: 77.4 percent. Mississippi students rank in the middle of the pack in terms of the number of college students who graduate within six years, with 51.3 percent. College graduation rate is a rare category in which California performed well, while Arizona sits at the bottom of the pack with a meager 27.6 percent.

The Department of Education have said they want to make it easier for people to see that "state and local governments have a major impact on student outcomes, and the rigor of state standards" have a larger impact on educational performance than most people realize. The ease of navigating a set of color-coded maps is a useful step in that direction.

Articles

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture