As I've recently shown (numerous times actually and so have many others), spending more money is not correlated to student achievement. But guess what is?
The number of letters in your state's name IS correlated with student achievement!
Yup, the data suggests Nevada can improve low-income student achievement on the NAEP 8th Grade Math and Reading exam by nearly 3 points if we change our state name from Nevada to Ne! Granted, 3 points isn't much, but its a step in the right direction!
Check out the scatter plot of the results below:
Source: NCES, NAEP data, 2007 8th Grade Math and Reading Scores for low-income students
While spending can't even explain one percent of the variance in low-income student achievement, the number of letters in your state name can explain 10 percent of the difference. The real hoot: the relationship that we see comes with a 97.6 percent certainty that it isn't random!
What we have is a weak but statistically significant correlation between the number of letters in a state name and low-income student achievement on the NAEP math and reading exam.
Unfortunately, correlation is not causation. There is no rational reason why having fewer letters in your state name boosts student achievement. But think about this for a moment...at least there is a correlation! People claiming that we should spend more money to improve student achievement base such opinions on pure fantasy as there isn't even a correlation between spending and student achievement.
If you still think we should spend more money to improve student achievement...well, you're just crazy. You'd have a stronger factual foundation if you claimed we could improve student achievement by shortening Nevada's name.