Ranks and Cranks

WalletHub released a study that ranks the states according to how well they treat teachers. OK, people love rankings, but they spawn predictable news headlines.

The study itself probably should undergo some scrutiny, since the intro mentions “According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth of all public-school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year. Nearly half last fewer than five.”

Except the authors don’t support their claim with a link to the NCES; they link to an National Education Association web page that was posted in 2011 and doesn’t mention the NCES.

Here’s a better link from 2015: “The Idea That Half of New Teachers Leave Within Five Years Is Likely a Myth

But let’s move past that to the press coverage.

Hawaii ranked worst teacher-friendly state in the entire nation

Survey: Oklahoma ranked as one of the ‘worst states for teachers’

WalletHub ranks North Carolina as one of the worst states for teachers

The North Carolina story even copied the faulty NCES citation AND included the link to the NEA web page.

The kicker is that rankings require some to be at the bottom and, of course, some to be at the top. So how about a story from a top-ranked state? Here’s one:

Educators question study that ranks Illinois 4th best state for teachers

So the rankings are only accurate at the bottom?