As we’ve learned lately, the Governor is fixated on numbers. Time after time he has told us that since Massachusetts has the highest test scores in the nation, we should be just like they are. This is why he was one of the five votes to pick Michael Sentence from the Bay State be our next state school superintendent.
This being the case, let’s look at another number. This one being 45.
That’s where one national group ranks Governor Bentley among all 50 states. Ahead of only five other governors when it comes to how the people of each state view the “favorable” vs. “unfavorable” standing of their governor. In Alabama, only 35 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the job the governor is doing, while 53 percent don’t approve and 12 percent have no opinion.
You can see the rankings from best to worst here in this poll by Morning Consult, a national company that does market research and public opinion polling. The are the polling partner of Fortune magazine and Bloomberg News for example. They surveyed more than 72,000 registered voters in all 50 states.
Unfortunately, our governor has the lowest approval rating of any southern governor. Tennessee is no. 6, South Carolina no. 11, Mississippi no. 16, Georgia no. 19, Florida no. 33, North Carolina no. 36 and Louisiana no. 37.
And while our governor loves to talk about our NAEP scores, it is worth noting that our students rank higher in 4th grade reading that he does among all 50 governors. And one very important part of the NAEP scores is how wide is the “gap” between black and white students and poverty and non-poverty students. Everyone is trying to narrow such gaps.
Guess what? The gap on 4th grade reading between students is LESS in Alabama than in Massachusetts. In fact, it is less for both 4th grade reading and math and 8th grade reading and math. And considering the demographics of our state school system, this is HUGE because it shows we are doing a much better job of not leaving children behind than Massachusetts is.
If we’re to set a goal of being no. one for our schools, shouldn’t we have the same standard for our governor?
(It should be noted that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker ranks no. 3 in the Morning Consult ranking. Perhaps we need to make another trip to New England.)