Maybe we ain't so uneducamated | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maybe we ain't so uneducamated

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 6:35 AM

The Democrat-Gazette today provided defense for the Arkansas legislature by reporting that some baseline information (Project Vote Smart) used in the study on educational attainment of state legislators wasn't always an accurate description of a legislator's college-going record. Other sources of information were used as supplements, but, as the Chronicle of Higher Education notes on the summary page linked here yesterday:

"This information is primarily self-reported by the legislators, either through biographical surveys or in campaign literature. In some cases, ambiguity or a lack of information meant that degrees earned and colleges attended, if any, could not be determined."

You know what they say about the tide, it lifts and lowers all boats. The question here is not so much whether the Arkansas numbers are strictly precise. It is whether ONLY the Arkansas numbers have flaws or if the survey shortcomings apply in all states. As noted earlier, Arkansas actually is doing relatively well based on the reported numbers — 1 in 4 legislators without time in college — because the number in the population at large is more than twice that. Maybe a strict, under-oath accounting would zoom Arkansas to the top of the educated legislator ranks. You think?

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