What they don’t teach you in Texas

I received this email today from Abby from Texas:

I am a native Texan and I am writing a newspaper article about how we (High School Students) should respect Texas by honoring (not pledging allegiance to) the flag. The actual pledge has been around for ages. But while I was doing research your blog came up and I, unfortunately, came across your opinions on Texas. I just want you to know that no one loves their state more than native Texans. We have more pride in where we live than Washington, Oregon, Ohio, and Michigan combined! Your opinion of Texas being “the armpit of Satan” mad me very upset, and I just wanted to let you know that Texas is a state full of pride despite what people like you may think, and I stand by my opinion that we should honor it by pledging to the flag.


I think it is admirable that Abby is proud of her state. I think all kids should be proud of where they grew up, unless it’s Indiana. I also think that Abby should know how her state ranks among all the other less prideful states (granted, this data is a few years old, but it shows what our “leader” can do when he puts mind to it):

The Education Governor of Texas
Teacher salaries at beginning of 1st term 36 (1)
Teacher salaries at beginning of 2nd term 38 (1)
% Change in Average Salaries 1989-99 constant $ -1.1% (1)
Teacher salaries plus benefits 50 (1)
High school completion rate 48 (2)
SAT scores – 1996 combined math & verbal: 995 44 (13)
SAT scores – 1997 combined math & verbal: 995 45 (13)
SAT scores – 1998 combined math & verbal: 995 44 (13)

Bush Family Values in Texas
Highest number of children living in poverty 2 (3)
Highest number of children without health insurance 2 (3)
Highest % of children without health insurance 1 (3)
Highest % of poor working parents without insurance 1 (3)
Highest % of population without health insurance 2 (3)
Highest number of people stripped of Medicare benefits 1 (10)
Highest teen birth rate 5 (4)
Per capita funding for public health 48 (4)
Delivery of social services 47 (4)
Mothers receiving prenatal care 45 (9)
Child support collections 45 (3)
Number of executions 1 (11)
Teen smoking – down nationally, flat in Texas (5)
Teen drug use – down nationally, up 30% in Texas w/ Bush (5)

Pollution in Texas
Pollution released by manufacturing plants 1 (6)
Pollution by industrial plants in violation of Clean Air Act 1 (6)
Greenhouse gas emissions 1 (6)

Quality of Life in Texas
Spending for parks and recreation 48 (7)
Spending for the arts 48 (7)
Public libraries and branches 46 (8)
Spending for the environment 49 (7)
Best place to raise children 48 (9)
Affordable Housing 48 (12)
Home ownership 44 (2)
Highest homes insurance rates in the nation 1 (11)
Spending for police protection 47 (12)

Sources: (1) National Education Agency, Rankings & Estimates: Rankings of the States 1999 (2) U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Development (3) U.S. Bureau of Census, Current Populations Trends (4) U.S. Dept Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics (5)1998 Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among Students: Grades 7-12, Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (6) U.S. EPA, Office of Pollution and Prevention (7) Texas Observer (8) Statistical Rankings by State (9) Children’s Rights Council (10) Families USA
(11) National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(12) U.S. Bureau of Census, State Government Finances 1998 (13) College Examination Board

Class dismissed…..

(Added): On the other hand U of T is ranked 13th. Woo hoo! Hook’em horns!



Yeah. Like I would tell you....