Monday, September 12, 2011

Interesting/Weird Fact of the Day: Maine and D.C.

Q: What do Maine and the District of Columbia have in common? 

A: They rank lowest for 2010 SAT scores by state: Maine for the lowest average reading score in the country at 468  points vs. the national average of 501; and the District of Columbia for the lowest average math score in the country (464 points vs. 516 national average).  For math, Maine ranks #50 and for reading the District of Columbia ranks #50.  

It doesn't seem like Maine and D.C. would have that much in common to share the bottom rankings for SAT scores, does it? 

(FYI: Data for the 2011 SAT will be released on Wednesday.)   

Update: "Maine is the only state using the SAT to comply with No Child Left Behind accountability standards," and they therefore have a 92% SAT participation rate, the highest in the country.  As Tom points out in the comments, that could be one explanation for Maine's low average test scores - almost all high school students take the SAT, even those with no intention to attend college.  However, nearby Massachusetts has the second-highest SAT participation rate of 86%, and it has average test scores above the national means (512 for reading, 526 for math)?


At 9/12/2011 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opps, they got you. Maine does 100% SAT testing so their average and medians are lower than other states where SAT testing is voluntary tending to attract the better students.

At 9/12/2011 1:57 PM, Blogger W.C. Varones said...

Both run by Democrats.

At 9/12/2011 3:37 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

how many in either state will graduate without an adequate education and need/require/get entitlements?

overall the US ranks 15th and worse in international achievement in math, reading and science... to start with - then we have the very worst of the worse in Maine and DC... and among the best in Northern Virginia/Fairfax.

At 9/12/2011 4:35 PM, Blogger Michael Hoff said...

Maybe Maine has more boys and DC has more girls?

Wait... was that sexist?

At 9/12/2011 5:31 PM, Blogger B D Humbert said...

But Tom - why would that matter - aren't we all equal?

At 9/12/2011 5:36 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Perhaps, more juniors (than seniors) take the SAT in Maine than any other state:

The Education Wonks: Too Much SAT In Maine?
March 26, 2006

"Maine is the first state to pay for and require all its juniors to take the SAT."

At 9/12/2011 5:55 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

How to Handle Taking the SAT or ACT at an Early Age

When you take the test again, your junior high (SAT) scores will be 7th have 6 shots.

At 9/12/2011 9:52 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"overall the US ranks 15th and worse in international achievement in math, reading and science... to start with"

And what do these ranks look like once you get to university/graduate level? ;) Thats what counts.

At 9/12/2011 10:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

we rank tops in the world at the University level but you miss the point that in today's world economy - the kids in the US that do not have competitive educations will become burdens on other taxpayers ... they'll become the 45% who don't pay taxes, need food stamps, subsidized lunches, MedicAid, etc.

the other countries view public education as a 21st century strategic imperative..

in this country.. we don't seem to care if 2/3 of the kids won't be able to get jobs when they grow up.

At 9/13/2011 4:06 AM, Blogger 2nd Class Citizen said...

Oops! Looks like you need some education too.
D.C. is not a state!
The 600,000 US Citizens of D.C. would like D.C. to be a state and would like the same voting rights as the rest of the country.
D.C. residents are oppressed by Congress, and denied the same Liberty, Freedom, and Democracy that the rest of the country enjoys.
Please do your homework.
Unfortunately, while D.C. residents have one of the highest tax burdens in the country, they have no say in how that money is spent. Congress decides how the federal taxes are spent while D.C. has no vote in the matter. Congress decides how local taxes are spent too. Recently Congress meddled with local funding for education, pushing aside the decisions made by democratically elected D.C. government officials to force unwanted policy around educational funding on the people of D.C.
Please help us educate this country.

At 9/13/2011 6:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relevant educational processes probably vary between Maine and Massachusetts, which could cause the SAT scores that you mentioned to vary. You can use one-way ANOVA to see if your sample is representative of the state population and if any processes differ between the states. This is one of the statistical tools used at automotive assembly plants to see why quality varies between stamping plants making the same part at different locations.

Sometimes you have to dig a bit to find the solution to problems, but a formal approach to practical problem solving often works.

At 9/13/2011 8:47 PM, Blogger B D Humbert said...

Lots of comments - but you all miss the point...


That is the Obama promise...

We are equal in ability and should expect and demand equal outcomes!!!!

And yes I am being sarcastic!

At 9/14/2011 2:36 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Oops! Looks like you need some education too.
D.C. is not a state!
The 600,000 US Citizens of D.C. would like D.C. to be a state and would like the same voting rights as the rest of the country.

DC was originally designed as a seat for the federal government, being located in no state, and therefore outside of any state's influence. That's worked well so far.

I'm not sure there are many who are unaware of that, so education may be unnecessary.

Those who have moved there to live since then, as you or your ancestors did, know that condition exists when they do so. If that is troublesome for you, it's a really short move to Virginia or Maryland.

You sound like someone who has moves to a location near an airport, then complains about the noise.


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