Education, the act process of being educated or of educating, is an important aspect of a nation’s development (Houghton Miifflin, 2009). It is a key tool in the development of a civic awareness, competence, and cooperation (Stephenson, 2005). In the United States (US) Educational System, progression is from one to two years of pre-school education, to 12 years of average instruction, and to a four-stage higher education system (US Department of State, 2008).
In 2004, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set down different variables or indicators that determine how well a country’s educational system works (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2004). I. Indicators/Response and Explanatory Variables A. Response Variable. Response variables are those that indicate how effective a state’s education system is.
From the indicators set by the UNESCO, this study will be focusing on the following response variables: Teachers’ Pay, Income per capita (income per person, including children), the percent of students graduating from the high schools, the number of people that are illiterate, and average Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Verbal and Math Scores. B. Explanatory Variables. On the other hand, explanatory variables are those that affect or relate to the response variable.
In the study, explanatory variables are: Dollars per Pupil, State Population, the Governor’s Salary, and the percentage of high school students taking the SAT. C. Analysis of Relationship between Variables. In general, explanatory variables affect and relate to response variables in different ways. Appendix A presents a table of the different education indicators in the different states and regions of US (Table 1). From these data, Table 1A was generated to present the summarized average statistical indicators per region.
Figure 1 presents a line graph comparing the explanatory and response variables of each region. For purposes of comparison, figures from Table 1Awere adjusted to multiples of ten. In Figure 1, it can be seen that most of the response variables are directly related to the explanatory variable population. The spikes in the graph show that if the population is high, then consequently, the dollars per pupil is also high. This also goes for the teachers’ salary, except for the Western region where even though there was a dip in the population line, there was an increase in the line for Teachers’ Pay.
Also, the West differed from the other regions when an increase in the income per capita line and percentage of high school graduates contradicted the plunge in the population line. The average SAT scores and illiteracy differed from the other indicators, since a rise in the population line showed a dip in the SAT and illiteracy lines. In all, population affects the response variables in different ways per region. On the other hand, the Governor’s pay, showed no definite effect or relation on the other response variables.
II. Analysis of Basic Data Table 1B presents the condensed data on the educational indicators of the states of Nebraska and Virginia. Table 1B, along with Table 1A, can be seen in the appendices section. A. Nebraska Educational Indicators. The state of Nebraska has a population of 1,578,000. With this population, the following educational indicators were recorded: $4,831 dollars per student, an income per capita of $4,508, an average teachers’ pay of $26,600, an average SAT score of 484 (verbal) and 546 (math), a 59. 3 percentage of high school graduates, and a rate of six illiterate individuals out of every 100 people of Nebraska.
B. Virginia Educational Indicators. In total contrast, the state of Virginia has a population of 6,187,000. Also, the following educational indicators were reported: $5,360 dollars per student, an income per capita of $4,701, an average teachers’ pay of $32,400, an average SAT score of 425 (verbal) and 470 (math), a 47. 8 percentage of high school graduates, and a rate of fourteen illiterate individuals out of every 100 people of Nebraska III. Comparison of the Two States
A. Comparison of the Two States against Each Other Figure 2 presents a bar graph depicting the differences between the states of Virginia and Nebraska. From the graph, it can be seen that the state of Virginia has a larger population (6,187,000), especially when compared to that of Nebraska’s only around 1,578,000. And so, it is rather expected that Virginia has a higher dollars per pupil rate and a higher income per capita, also shown from the graph. With this population discrepancy, it is also expected that the state of Virginia also has a larger teachers’ pay.