Education Reform and Colored Maps

 (Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

I read Paul Johnson’s book Modern Times as an undergraduate, and I’ll never forget his description of the Age of Colonial Empire.

Johnson said that while indeed there were vast fortunes to be made for some, that Empire also entailed enormous costs.

In the end, he said, European Empires were about colored maps.

Well, here’s a colored map for you- 4th grade reading scores for Hispanics in Florida compared to statewide averages in other states, via our friends at the Heritage Foundation.

That’s quite an empire that Florida’s Hispanics are creating, don’t you think? Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to joke that high performance on NAEP was directly correlated with proximity to the Canadian border, but notice the long list of predominantly Anglo states on the map: Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, etc. etc. etc.

Notice also the presence of some states that have been very proud of their K-12 reforms in the past: North Carolina and Texas for instance. Oh, and one of the winners of the Race to the Top, Tennessee. I don’t need to write a sardonic comment, because you’ve already thought of one on your own. Feel free to share it in the comments section.

Here’s another smaller, but rapidily growing empire:

Florida’s African Americans tied or outscored two statewide averages on the 2007 NAEP, but their empire extended to 8 states in 2009. The Deep South may want to pull their heads out of the sand, because they are next on the list unless they pick up their games.

Yes, I’m looking at you Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee. Florida’s African American students have their hands on the Risk dice and are ready to invade you with their plastic armies. Florida’s Free and Reduced Lunch Eligible kids already outscore your statewide average for all students in your states.

2 Responses to Education Reform and Colored Maps

  1. Patrick says:

    The Heritage Foundation makes some very nice maps. Much nicer than my bitmap maps…

  2. Lindsey Burke says:

    Yeah….sweet maps.

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