Ohio not stellar among ‘smart states’ study

Well, here’s some bad news, fellow Ohioans.

A new study has ranked Ohio as the 43rd smartest state in the nation.

I think that’s supposed to be a nice way of saying we are the eighth dumbest state.

(I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not really that dumb at math. The study included the states PLUS D.C., ranking 1 through 51.)

The report, created by Safehome.org, utilized four categories to rank the states, focusing largely on college degrees and higher education entrance exam scores, coupled by high school graduation rates. They say they collected the data from reputable sources like the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education and the College Board.

Here’s how Ohio fared:

l Adults 25 or older holding a Bachelor’s Degree: 17.30 percent;

l Ohio’s high school graduation rates in 2017: 84 percent;

l Ohio’s median SAT score in 2018-2019: 1,097;

l Ohio’s ACT takers meeting subject benchmarks: 43 percent.

According to the analysis, here are America’s top 10 smartest states: New Jersey, Utah, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Montana, Virginia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oregon and Minnesota.

Even Ohio’s nemesis Michigan beat us, coming in at 35th smartest.

But don’t feel bad. Our neighbors (including my home state of Pennsylvania) didn’t make the top grade either. But Pa. did come in at 14.

That’s where I graduated high school and earned my bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Granted, like most people, I see high school graduation as very important. And undoubtedly, earning a college degree is very commendable. But let’s face it, not everyone goes to college, and if you don’t, should you be automatically dismissed as among the “not smart” crowd?

Of course not!

I was the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, but I’d also be the first to acknowledge there are members of my family way smarter than I am.

(I am a little bit smart, so that’s why I’m not going to divulge my opinion on which family members have more or less smarts than I do.)

According to Safehome.org (who, by the way, is probably the smartest of all of us because it’s a home security web site that is using studies like this to drive traffic to its web site), about 65 percent of all Americans think they have above average intelligence, and two out of three people say they are smarter than other people. Everyone can’t be right, and that’s especially aggravating to those of us who are (wink, wink).

What I’m really trying to say here is we all are intelligent in our own way. We know what we know not only from our formal education, but certainly because of our upbringing, open-mindedness, job training, life experiences, what we read, what we watch on TV and, largely, our desire to learn new things.

Hopefully, dear reader, you have learned something new and interesting today as your read your daily newspaper. It’s here, in these pages, that we try hard to provide important, accurate and informative information. It’s been said, in fact, that newspapers grow all-around general knowledge.

Whether it’s the local or national economy and jobs outlooks, trade, commerce or what’s going on in your local government, you can bet your local newspaper will have it. It shares knowledge about poverty, education or war. And along with that, you’ll find sports and entertainment news and even glimpses at history. And most of all, it’s reputable and trustworthy.

For certain, that’s not always what you can count on when trolling around the internet or logging on to social media, is it?

And if you’re wondering, Idaho came in last. In addition to Ohio, others in the bottom 10 are Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi and Kentucky.

They better hit the books, er, newspapers.

Linert is editor of the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator.



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