I was caught by an article at the Texas Tribune that in the latest national rankings of high schools,
high schools ranked near the top in a state-by-state comparison. Now this runs counter-intuitive. It is common knowledge that Texas ranks 44th out of 50 in quality and quantity of education nationwide. Where does it get off having 38 campuses in Newsweek’s Top 500 High Schools? Texas
Well for one thing, most of these schools in
are academies. You have to apply and be accepted into these schools. That skews the student population a little. Texas
But for another, you have to look at sheer numbers.
is the 2nd most populous state in the nation behind Texas . California had 53 schools on that top 500 list. So while California ranks 44th in the nation for education, it gets 38 schools on that list by sheer brute force of population. Texas
So this led me to thinking about other populous states and how they did in the Newsweek rankings.
, 3rd most populous had 63 schools on the list. New York , the 4th most populous, had 43 on the list. Florida
OK, so crunching some numbers,
and Texas have roughly 660 thousand and 700 thousand people in their states for every school on the list. California and New York have, respectively, 300 thousand and 440 thousand people per school that made the list. Florida
So it looks like
and California made the list with so many schools because of sheer numbers, but for Texas and New York it was obviously something else. Florida
Gee, I wonder what it is, this thing that gets more schools on the list than their more populous rivals? Could it be . . . money? Yes, no surprise there.
In education, you get what you pay for. Education is not a budget item to get slashes in funding, education is an investment in the future. Education is not free.