Look, I try not to rain on the “New Orleans is back and Louisiana is just a good a state as any to live” campaign too often.  I just don’t have that type of fight in me. The propaganda that comes out of this city is astounding.  Watching the way facts are whitewashed here makes me doubt anything I’ve ever been taught here. But numbers don’t lie. And when you put Louisiana, or New Orleans, against the rest of the nation it’s never a pretty picture. This week’s reality check subject is college graduates and how low we rank should be a wake-up call.

From Nola.com~

With only 29.1 percent of its adult population possessing associate or bachelor’s degrees, Louisiana ranked 49th in the nation in a report released Tuesday (April 22) based on 2012 Census data.

Only West Virginia ranked lower, with 27.8 percent, according to the document from the Lumina Foundation, a private Indianapolis-based organization dedicated to increasing the number of Americans with college degrees.

Both states are far below the national rate of 39.4 percent. People included in the count were 25 to 64 years old. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, the number of Louisianians holding community-college or undergraduate degrees was 32.1 percent, compared with a national rate of 40.9 percent.

Massachusetts led the list, with 50.5 percent of its population who had earned community-college or bachelor’s degrees. It was the only state with a majority of college graduates.

In discussing the report, Lumina’s Jamie Merisotis noted Louisiana’s improvement since 2008, when 27 percent of 25- to 64-year-olds held college degrees.

“Louisiana is moving in a good direction,” he said in a statement, “but state leaders must build on this momentum if they intend to meet Louisiana’s future workforce needs.”

The report also included data on Louisiana’s three largest metropolitan areas. New Orleans led in the percentage of graduates with 33.88 percent, followed by Baton Rouge with 33.15 percent and Shreveport with 29.79 percent.

In a breakdown by ethnic groups possessing associate or bachelor’s degrees, Asians led among Louisianians with 46.64 percent, followed by whites with 33.43 percent; Hispanics, 22.54 percent; African Americans, 18.58 percent; and Native Americans, 16.6 percent.

Do these numbers shock any Louisianians out there? Are they lower (or higher) than you’d expect?  it’s no secret that Gov. Jindall has had a blood-fued against education since the beginning of his first term.  Will the damage he’s done be reversible? We’re only ahead of West Virginia.  When are we going to realize we’re under the wrong leadership?

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Vitamin Q (VQ) is a writer, blogger personality, and a social commentator. He irreverently analyzes how social issues affect individuals in modern society by using sarcasm, humor, and intellect, creating his own unique blend of Southern SHADE, purely for the purpose of helping like minds cope. “I say it so you don’t have to!”
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