Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Blue States, Dumb States?

So the new SAT scores are out, and, curiously, no mention is made that the red states absolutely smash the blue states. Go here and have a look at the graphic in the pop-up link. Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, even the southern (but not south coastal) states give the blue states a great big headlock and noogie. Texas sucks, but the great blue state of California evens it out. There are some blue states that fare well, like Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, but in an overall state-to-state comparison, we dumb red yokels seem to be a bunch smarter.

On the other hand, this can probably be at least partially attributed to small minority/immigrant populations in the red states ('cept Texas). It would be interesting to know exactly what the difference is. Take that, ya dang blue idiots!

Update: Well, on average red states have a math score of 547.6 and blue states come in at 532.4. The highest math scores in the nation come in from red North Dakota at 617 and the lowest are "achieved" by red Georgia at 496. There are three red states that come in a hair under 500, all of them in the southeast (Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida). North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are the red states that score over 600, while Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois are the blue states to achieve that mark.

Interesting! Doesn't seem to correlate with minority populations as well as I had assumed at first. I wonder what the differences are. I didn't expect Arkansas and surrounding states to do as well as they do. Arkansas (568), Missouri (591), Louisiana (571), and Alabama (561), which are known, at least by me, as poor southern states, trounce the nitwits in uber-liberal and affluent Massachusetts (524), New Jersey (515), New York (510) and Rhode Island (502).

Update 2: Of course differences between red/blue could be due to just about anything. I don't have a breakdown of the data by county or city so I can't really offer any analysis, except to say Nya Nya. Heck, for all I know, the high scores in the red states could be due to the blue cities that they all inevitably have, and maybe they really are the smarty-pants's they claim to be and maybe the rural yokels in the rest of the state don't take the test, too busy deer hunting you see and so all the red state run-on-scentence types just don't spoil the data. However, it is always fun to take jabs at the blue staters whenever possible, and this was an ample opportunity to poke fun at the little under-achievers. Here's a little plot of the data

Update 3: And just to confirm that I'm not a knee-jerk racist, here's what the racial breakdown of SAT scores looks like. I don't think it has anything to do with race myself, but with culture, which happens to generally fall along racial lines.

1 Comments:

Blogger B&N said...

Carnaby,

If I'm not mistaken, the SAT is used for admission to most of the colleges and universities on the coasts, with the ACT being used for the vast majority of the mid-western states. Being far more "Blue" than the rest of the country, why is it that they can not master their own test? You'd think they'd be writing it to be far "fairer" to their demographic profile, if you know what I mean.

-B

8/30/2006 9:49 AM  

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