State Education Grades vs. Political Parties

On January 12th Diane Ravitch posted an article written by Mineral Wells Texas School Superintendent John Kuhn. John proceeds to blast the newly released “A-F” letter grades for schools in the State of Texas. As part of his article John also noted that Education Week had just released their state-by-state “A-F” grades for each state.

Just to humor myself I decided to look at the grades given to each state and compare them to the political parties that are currently in office.

General Numbers:

  1. 18 currently have Democrat governors
  2. 31 currently have Republican governors
  3. 1 currently has an Independent governor
  4. 14 with a Democratic-controlled Senate
  5. 34 with a Republican controlled Senate
  6. 1 with a neutral senate and Nebraska has no parties in the senate
  7. 16 with a Democratic controlled house
  8. 33 with a Republican controlled house
  9. Nebraska has no parties in the house
  10. 7 states are led by total Democratic control
  11. 22 states are led by total Republican control
  12. 21 states have a combination of control


The bottom ten states: Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, Idaho, New Mexico, Mississippi, Nevada

  1. All are southern states except Idaho.
  2. 8 are under total Republican control
  3. Louisiana has Democratic governor, Republican House, and Senate
  4. New Mexico has Republican Governor and House, with a Democratic Senate
  5. Grades include
    1. 1 “C+”
    2. 2 “C-“
    3. 3 “D”
    4. 4 “D+”

The top ten states: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, New York, Minnesota

  1. 8 out of 10 are in the northeast.
  2. The other two are northern midwest states
  3. 2 are under total Democratic control
  4. 1 under total Republican control
  5. 3 have a Republican governor with Democratic House and Senate
  6. 2 have a Democrat governor with a Republican House and Senate
  7. New York has a Democratic governor and House with a Neutral Senate
  8. Minnesota has a Democratic governor and Senate with a Republican House
  9. Grades include:
    1. 1 “B+”
    2. 5 “B”
    3. 4 “B-“
    4. There are no “A” grades

A couple of apparent conclusions from looking at the top ten and bottom ten.

  1. The writers seem to have a bias in favor of schools in the northeast and against schools in the south.
  2. The bottom ten are predominately controlled by Republican.
  3. The top ten are more controlled by Democrats.
  4. This report reads very similar to the Texas A-F Report Card that just came out. Let’s make the school all look bad and then use that as political leverage for something.

A few other notes of interest to me; it shocks me that Wisconsin is rated the 11th best state for education with Governor Scott Walked at the helm of the W.I.S Titanic. The teachers and educators in the Wisconsin are to be commended for their effort and accomplishments considering Walker’s war against them.

Kansas is ranked is ranked 27th despite Governor Brownback’s effort to placate the Koch brothers with excessive tax breaks at the expense of every other program in Kansas. His policies have hurt the funding of public schools and universities. Kansas is the home of two of the best teacher colleges in the country, Fort Hays State University, and Emporia State University. These two universities have managed to stay afloat by managing their funds very carefully but will not continue to do so if the Brownback ways continue.



State Governor Governor’s
Education Letter Grade State Ranking
Massachusetts Charlie Baker R D D B+ 1
New Jersey Chris Christie R D D B 2
Vermont Peter Shumlin D D D B 3
Maryland Larry Hogan R D D B 4
Connecticut Dan Malloy D D D B- 5
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan D R R B 6
Pennsylvania Tom Wolf D R R B- 7
Wyoming Matt Mead R R R B- 8
New York Andrew Cuomo D N D B- 9
Minnesota Mark Dayton D D R B- 10
Wisconsin Scott Walker R R R C+ 11
Virginia Terry McAuliffe D R R C+ 12
Rhode Island Gina Raimondo D D D C+ 13
Maine Paul LePage R R D C+ 14
North Dakota Jack Dalrymple R R R C+ 15
Delaware Jack Markell D D D C+ 16
Illinois Bruce Rauner R D D C+ 17
Nebraska Pete Ricketts R N/A N/A C+ 18
Iowa Terry Branstad R D R C 19
Alaska Bill Walker I R R C 20
Indiana Mike Pence R R R C 21
Washington Jay Inslee D R D C 22
Ohio John Kasich R R R C 23
Colorado John Hickenlooper D R D C 24
Hawaii David Ige D D D C 25
Kansas Sam Brownback R R R C 26
Kentucky Matt Bevin R R D C 27
Montana Steve Bullock D R R C 28
Florida Rick Scott R R R C- 29
Missouri Jay Nixon D R R C- 30
Utah Gary Herbert R R R C- 31
Georgia Nathan Deal R R R C- 32
West Virginia Earl Ray Tomblin D R R C- 33
Michigan Rick Snyder R R R C- 34
Tennessee Bill Haslam R R R C- 35
North Carolina Pat McCrory R R R C- 36
South Dakota Dennis Daugaard R R R C- 37
Oregon Kate Brown D D D C- 38
Arkansas Asa Hutchinson R R R C- 39
California Jerry Brown D D D C- 40
Texas Greg Abbott R R R C- 41
South Carolina Nikki Haley R R R C- 42
Louisiana John Bel Edwards D R R D+ 43
Arizona Doug Ducey R R R D+ 44
Oklahoma Mary Fallin R R R C+ 45
Alabama Robert Bentley R R R D+ 46
Idaho Butch Otter R R R D+ 47
New Mexico Susana Martinez R D R D 48
Mississippi Phil Byant R R R D 49
Nevada Brian Sandoval R R R D 50

David R.Taylor

29-Year Teacher, Coach and Principal

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