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Thread: Study ranks cities' literate behavior

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Study ranks cities' literate behavior

    This is the second year of the America's Most Literate Cities study, which this year includes 15 more cities. It ranks cities with populations of 200,000 or more.
    In all, 22 variables are measured in 5 major catergories.

    Most literate cities
    1. Minneapolis
    2. Seattle
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Madison, Wis.
    5. Cincinnati
    6. Washington, D.C.
    7. Denver
    8. Boston
    9. Portland, Ore.
    10. San Francisco

    Least literate cities
    70. Garland, Texas
    71. Fresno, Calif.
    72. Arlington, Texas
    73. Long Beach, Calif.
    74. Anaheim, Calif.
    75. San Antonio, Texas
    76. Santa Ana, Calif.
    77. Corpus Christi, Texas
    78. Hialeah, Fla.
    79. El Paso, Texas

    More at:
    America's Most Literate Cities Study
    Study from UW Whitewater.
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    Boy: Heavy on the Texas (and California :-S )

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    There sure are some smart ****s here in the midwest.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    And what would be some possible reasons for this seemingly geographic split between So-CA/TX and the Midwest/the Northwest/New England?

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    Quote Originally posted by Hceux
    And what would be some possible reasons for this seemingly geographic split between So-CA/TX and the Midwest/the Northwest/New England?
    1. Weather. Why read a book when you can be outside? What can you do in Minnesota in February?

    2. Ethnicity: Maybe I am crossing a line here, but maybe Northern European ethnic groups value "book learning" more? Or, at least, there is more of a cultural emphasis. (Note: I fully recognize that there are different types of learning and different types of skills (I wouldn't know how to start a house remodel, for instance), so I'm not saying Europeans are "smarter" than other ethnic groups).

    3. Investment in public education. I know the public schools in my hometown (Fort Wayne, Indiana) have far nicer facilities and less overcrowding than California schools-often even the ones in wealthier districts.

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    Quote Originally posted by Hceux
    And what would be some possible reasons for this seemingly geographic split between So-CA/TX and the Midwest/the Northwest/New England?
    Possibly the amount of Mexican immigrants in the Southwest

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Maybe they need to include people who are literate in other languages besides english. I'm always amazed at how ethnocentric studies can be when we have always been a nation of immigrants. I bet if that study was done during the 30's places like the mid-west would be at the top of the heap as Germans, Poles, and other non-english speaking eurpoeans were flooding into places like Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Toledo and Cleveland.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Boy: Heavy on the Texas (and California :-S )
    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Possibly the amount of Mexican immigrants in the Southwest

    plus Hialeah, FLA (mostly Latin). Sure sounds to me it might be more of a language issue than a literacy issue.

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    Cultural differences. The Lake States especially were settled and have long been run by folks who value education as a means to advancement. And for a long time this extended far down into the "lower class" members of those communities. I fear this is crumbling as any hope of real advancement crumbles in our increasingly stratified society, and with a political leadership that cynically does everything it can to appeal to the "common" people, but also everything it can to ensure that they are locked into a permanent pool of cheap labor and habits of indiscriminant consumption.

    The Sun Belt has always appealed to people whose approach to the world is more about the "quick buck," more about speculation than hard work (there are many individual exceptions to these generalizations, of course, but I am convinced that they are accurate at the level they are intended to be). They are way less apt to invest in the community because they are way more likely to move on.

    I note also that fundamentalist denominations are more common in the Sun Belt, and contribute greatly to the lack of literacy by fostering a mentality that there are simple answers. Many thousands of children are taken out of public schools and placed in "schools" which teach that the most basic process of life - evolution - not only doesn't exist, but quite frequently that those who acknowledge that is exists are somehow evil.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Man With a Plan's avatar
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    It appears that the states containing the literate cities have been voting for good democrats, while two of the three states containing the most illiterate cities had a Bush as governor. :y

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    Quote Originally posted by Man With a Plan
    It appears that the states containing the literate cities have been voting for good democrats, while two of the three states containing the most illiterate cities had a Bush as governor. :y
    Uhm.. isn't governor Romney a republican?

    Having lived in Virginia and Rhode Island, I can see why states prefer one party to another. New England is like a glorious playground, while the South is just broken and uncomfortable. In Virginia I vote republican all day, but in Rhode Island or Maine, probably democrat.. just depends on what your state needs.

    Partisans.. yuck.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Big Easy King's avatar
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    Ranked at no. 43, New Orleans has a lot of work to do with improving education, especially at the elementary education level. There is an ongoing battle between the the New Orleans School Board and its relatively new Superintendent. The State granted more authoritative power to the Superintendent to the dismay of the School Board, which has been very ineffective for years in accomplishing necessary improvements.
    A person who strives is one who thrives. It's GREAT to be THE KING!!!

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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    Cultural differences. The Lake States especially were settled and have long been run by folks who value education as a means to advancement. And for a long time this extended far down into the "lower class" members of those communities. I fear this is crumbling as any hope of real advancement crumbles in our increasingly stratified society, and with a political leadership that cynically does everything it can to appeal to the "common" people, but also everything it can to ensure that they are locked into a permanent pool of cheap labor and habits of indiscriminant consumption.

    The Sun Belt has always appealed to people whose approach to the world is more about the "quick buck," more about speculation than hard work (there are many individual exceptions to these generalizations, of course, but I am convinced that they are accurate at the level they are intended to be). They are way less apt to invest in the community because they are way more likely to move on.

    I note also that fundamentalist denominations are more common in the Sun Belt, and contribute greatly to the lack of literacy by fostering a mentality that there are simple answers. Many thousands of children are taken out of public schools and placed in "schools" which teach that the most basic process of life - evolution - not only doesn't exist, but quite frequently that those who acknowledge that is exists are somehow evil.
    Very perceptive, Lee. I would add (in reference to the Sunbelt and the West) more emphasis on the quick buck from mineral wealth (I know mining and lumbering are hard work, but...)

    Let's not mention over-consumption again, though, shall we :-C

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Man With a Plan's avatar
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    Uhm.. isn't governor Romney a republican?

    Yes. Now people can buy one floor of a triple decker for $600,000.


    Having lived in Virginia and Rhode Island, I can see why states prefer one party to another. New England is like a glorious playground, while the South is just broken and uncomfortable.

    Huh? Elaborate.

    In Virginia I vote republican all day, but in Rhode Island or Maine, probably democrat.. just depends on what your state needs.

    "All day"? I know southern republicans love to place more than their allocated one vote (see Florida), but all day!!!


    Partisans.. yuck.

    OK now we're in first grade....yuck lol

    Wait a second...based on the content of your e-mail..is this... :y

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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Uhm.. isn't governor Romney a republican?

    Having lived in Virginia and Rhode Island, I can see why states prefer one party to another. New England is like a glorious playground, while the South is just broken and uncomfortable. In Virginia I vote republican all day, but in Rhode Island or Maine, probably democrat.. just depends on what your state needs.

    Partisans.. yuck.

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    There's no need to get ugly. You insinuated poor literacy rates correlated to what political party held a state's governor seat. That's crap, we all know it, and I thought it was a bit ironic coming from someone with in a state with a Republican governor.

    New England is compact, beautiful, and virtually crimeless when compared to the South. I'm not sure how to explain it, but when I lived in Rhode Island, liberal views and concerns made sense and seemed necessary for that state. Now that I'm in Virginia, I see the merits of their historically conservative policies. People in rural Virginia have very different priorities than people in urban Rhode Island and I have no desire to see either change. I was comfortable there, and I'm comfortable here.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Perhaps those conservative values and politics are why Virginia sprawled, ugly, and crime-ridden?

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    I don't think folks wanting to own land so they can tend cattle and grow agriculture had anything to do with the relentless influx of domestic and foreign immigrants. Are there not enough blogs and forums on the internet for you guys that you feel the need to create a political debate here?

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Toledo finished 40th in the rankings. Not bad.

    My guess is that Toledo would have finished higher back in the 1950's or 1960's. Toledo has lost thousands of white-collar type jobs. Cause and effect? Perhaps.

    Side-note: Cardinal.....UW Whitewater did this study. Do they do similar studies?

    Side-note 2: The results just indicate the populations of the core city. Are the figures meaningful, then?

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  19. #19
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Side-note: Cardinal.....UW Whitewater did this study. Do they do similar studies?
    Huh, I hadn't even noticed. I am not aware of any other studies they have done like this.
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Perhaps those conservative values and politics are why Virginia sprawled, ugly, and crime-ridden?
    How is Virginia crime ridden and ugly? Actually it's one of the most beautiful and historic places in North America, full with some trailer parks and ghettos in certain parts of the state, but those are EVERYWHERE, even up north. I don't understand how northern liberals are so judgemental of southern "rednecks". First of all, there are rednecks up north (just because you don't have an southern accent doesn't mean you aren't a redneck....think central pennsylvania/new york). Second of all, if liberals are so concerned about the well being of everyone, and so touchy on issure like race relations, why do they bad mouth other less fortunate people, generally from down south. People can't help it if they grow up in trailer parks in the middle of nowhere and didn't learn proper dental hygiene. Having said that, I am rather socially liberal, but I see a double standard. Sorry for the political comment.

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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Uhm.. isn't governor Romney a republican?

    Having lived in Virginia and Rhode Island, I can see why states prefer one party to another. New England is like a glorious playground, while the South is just broken and uncomfortable. In Virginia I vote republican all day, but in Rhode Island or Maine, probably democrat.. just depends on what your state needs.

    Partisans.. yuck.
    I'm not sure that we need to be voting republican now in Virginia. I mean, if you are pro sprawl or growth in Loudoun County (or you are conservative), then I guess it would make sense to vote republican, but at a state level, the republicans in our general assembly (as a group) will not address our transportation needs because they are so afraid of raising taxes. I really hoped the sales tax referendum would pass, but it didn't. Anyway, I'm sure if the democrats were in control, they would give all the money to public schools (which do need it) and other social programs and ignore transportation too, but I really want a change somehow to address the traffic problems.

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    Quote Originally posted by rocotten
    How is Virginia crime ridden and ugly?
    I believe this is my fault.. sorry everyone

    I agree, Virginia is one of the most beautiful and historical places in North America. However, the South as a whole seems to have more inherent obstacles to overcome than the Northeast, particularly New England. These are things like racial tensions, an appealing climate to potential foreign and domestic migrants, and larger states to control.

    So anyway when people, usually northerners, try to marginalize the South in comparison to other areas, it's pretty unfair. It's like comparing America to European countries. You just can't. We have a huge country of almost 300 million diverse people to make happy, while Holland has a homogeneous culture and relatively minimal immigration in about the size and population of two Massachussetts-es (would that be the plural?)

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    Quote Originally posted by rocotten
    I'm not sure that we need to be voting republican now in Virginia. I mean, if you are pro sprawl or growth in Loudoun County (or you are conservative), then I guess it would make sense to vote republican, but at a state level, the republicans in our general assembly (as a group) will not address our transportation needs because they are so afraid of raising taxes. I really hoped the sales tax referendum would pass, but it didn't. Anyway, I'm sure if the democrats were in control, they would give all the money to public schools (which do need it) and other social programs and ignore transportation too, but I really want a change somehow to address the traffic problems.
    I tend to be economically conservative and socially liberal, but I don't vote the party lines. I want change too, but it's tough to figure out who, if anyone, can make it happen.

    I really don't think conservatives are more or less in favor of sprawl than liberals are. It seems to be a concensus that everyone abhors it.

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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    I tend to be economically conservative and socially liberal, but I don't vote the party lines. I want change too, but it's tough to figure out who, if anyone, can make it happen.

    I really don't think conservatives are more or less in favor of sprawl than liberals are. It seems to be a concensus that everyone abhors it.
    Yeah, I agree NOBODY wants sprawl, I'm just not convinced everyone knows what that is...including land developers. With respect to transportation, the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be, and as of right now, I have to blame the republicans in our state govt. since they control it. I hate taxes too, but personally I think we need to raise the gas tax to cover transportation needs. If we dont fix transportation soon, its going to hurt in a lot of other economic/developmental ways. Also, DC, MD, and VA need to do something about Metro more specifically (lot can be said here...).

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    "taxes are the price of admission to civilized society". ~ name that speaker???....

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