Why would Minnesota want to be like Florida?


At the invitation of Republican legislative leaders, former Florida governor Jeb Bush came to Minnesota today to lecture the state on ways to be more like Florida, at least where education reforms are concerned.

Do you want to be more like Florida in anything? There’s virtually no measurement by which the grass looks greener there, except for the green of the grass, of course.

Courtesy of the Census Bureau (and others as indicated), here’s how the two states stack up in national rankings.

Category Florida Minnesota
Persons 25 Years Old and Over with
Bachelor’s Degree or More
27th 10th
Average ACT score 19.5 22.9
Average SAT reading score 496 594
Average SAT math score 498 607
Average SAT writing score 479 580
Infant mortality (high to low) 19th 45th
American Health Rankings 40th 1st
Violent crime rate (high to low) 5th 35th
Current unemployment rate 11.1% 6.6%
Persons living in poverty 22nd 42nd
Personal income 21st 11th
Foreclosure rate 13.68 2.9
National Driver’s Test 41st 4th
Traffic fatalities 18th 46th
Car insurance rates (lowest) 37th 6th
Business climate index 5th 43rd
Average temperature 1st 47th

What does Florida have to teach Minnesota? That Minnesota is a pretty great place to live.

By the way, the Palm Beach Post evaluated Bush’s claims that his education reforms have worked. Although fourth-grade test scores are higher than they were 10 years ago, it’s not sustained through high school, the paper says.

(Photo:Mark Zdechlik)