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Washington state is a lot like Massachusetts, but they wonder why our schools are so much better

The Seattle Times concludes it's not just that we spend more on education, but it helps.

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Comments

That doesn't help, either. Eastern Washington is a red state that doesn't much value education.

Comparing Western Washington to MA would be a closer comparison.

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I think you forgot what Western Mass is like.

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Because the one I know voted heavily for Sanders and has places like Amherst and Northampton.

Or perhaps you're like many Bostonians and things "western MA" starts at 495? Because Worcester County has overtaken the Cape as our Republican stronghold.

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Savoy, Great Barrington, and North Adams are Western Mass.

Not that it matters -- once you go West of the CT river the state is solidly Blue.

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Eh once you get close to NY, it starts turning red again.

Also Adam, Western MA has Ahmerst and Noho, but don't forget Springfield and Holyoke. Hillary won both handily.

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I lived in Amherst for 4 years. Everyone called it Western Massachusetts. No one called in Central Massachusetts.

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Western MA starts when you get even with the Quabbin and start dropping down into the Valley.

Central MA is basically from the Quabbin to I-495

YMMV but is wrong if different than mine.

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Bingo

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Ma_towns_area_code_413.png/250px-Ma_towns_area_code_413.png)

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I'd argue that Wendell is a Western MA / Valley town. Belchertown and Athol/Orange are border towns. Not sure Warick really exists, probably just woods and cellar holes.

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Because I am from Western Mass, I have to correct you on this one. Amherst and Northampton are Western Mass. They are part of the Pioneer Valley, which is in Western Mass. The Berkshires are also Western Mass, but just part of it. Pretty much anything past Palmer is Western Mass.

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Wrong. Worcester and its surrounds are Central Mass. Quabbin, Amherst, Pelham, NoHo, and so forth are in Western Mass. The geographical Western Mass you're thinking about is called Berkshires.

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Or at least my friends that are from there consider themselves in "Central MA"

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that's our water in the reservoir, not theirs...

instate imperialism is fun.

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Although most of MA did, but wealthy educated towns did not for the most part. (They voted for Kasich)

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To me, Western Mass starts when you cross the Alewife Brook Parkway.

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...is a figment of your fevered imaginations.

(Disclaimer: I grew up just outside Springfield. I stand by my original statement)

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Exactly the attitude I'd expect from someone out of Longmeadow.

(Unless you're not from Longmeadow)

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It happens, I swear!

Anyway, before I saw this here I had a back-and-forth with a friend who is proudly from the 206 (as he calls it) about how Mass was kicking their ass. One of the things to point out is how different the rural parts of Mass (especially Western Mass: Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties) versus rural almost-anywhere-else (except Vermont and maybe adjacent parts of New Hampshire):

Look at an election results map for 2012 for Washington State: Obama didn't win anything east of the Cascades, and lost a lot of those counties 60-40 or more. The similar part of Massachusetts—rural, white, relatively sparsely populated—went 70-30 Obama or better. And guess what: people there value things like education, and don't balk at funding things like schools. Anecdotally, I knew a lot of people at [small midwest college we went to] from both metro Boston and metro Seattle. I also knew a bunch of people from Western Mass. I didn't meet many people from Eastern Washington.

His response:

Yep, so perhaps the difference is that WA has a sizeable swath of true red America, whereas MA does not.

Me, in re Trump:

Yes. Although Massachusetts did go heavily for Trump on the Republican side, there are so few Republicans they sort of get lost in the shuffle. Clinton and Sanders each got twice as many votes as Trump. In other words, of the ~1.8m people who voted:

Clinton: 33%
Sanders: 33%
Trump: 16%
Other Republicans: 16%

The NYT did a piece on "Trump Country" and included Fall River. He did win Fall River with 62% of the vote. However, here are the vote totals for Fall River:

Clinton 5878 (43%)
Sanders 4300 (31%)
Trump 2229 (16%)
Other R 1354 (10%)

Not sure how that correlates with Trump Country, compared with other places they cite like Buchanan County in Virginia (53% Trump, 23% other R, 18% Clinton, 7% Sanders), Atkinson Georgia (52, 27, 17, 4) and Macon Tennessee (49,37,10,5). In other words, three of their "Trump Country" jurisdictions went Trump-other R-Clinton-Sanders. The fourth went Clinton-Sanders-Trump-Other R. In two of those three he won an outright majority, in the third, 49% of all votes cast. In the other, he won 1/6th. One of these things is not like the other …

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Coastal Washington has the bulk of the state's population. And since they lack an income tax, I would wager that property taxes cover the bulk of educational costs. Putting that together, the likes of Bellevue and Edmonds should vastly outweigh Moses Lake or Yakima, making the state look better than it is.

I think the threat of the state taking over a school is a big driver for schools to deliver in Massachusetts. And I love that the MCAS was tougher than what the feds want for their assessment, meaning we challenge our kids more.

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Spokane has about 250,000 people in its metro area.

That ain't small.

But, yes, their lack of income tax (but ENORMOUS sales tax) does mean more contrast in school funding - especially when state aid is on a pupil/teacher basis (and not outright community need basis).

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And Tacoma is not even the second largest city in its metro area.

And mind you I love Tacoma. I love Spokane, too, but I love the urbanness of Tacoma versus the laid back vibe of Spokane. My wife used to hate them both, but I got her to see the light. Waquiot Jr. has yet to visit Spokane, but he loved his visit to Tacoma last summer.

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Microsoft and Starbucks -- each a leading cause of mental impairment. Combined, the effects are multiplied.

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Per capita dope consumption.

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makes the most difference. Massachusetts is #1 in the country for percentage of residents for both college and advanced degrees.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_educational_attainment

We are freakin' smaht so our children are freakin' smaht too.

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You're not from around here, are ya? It's "wicked smaht"!

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is agricultural and heavily populated by migrant farm workers. A friend of mine grew up there.

Massachusetts has its fair share of low-income folks and immigrants, but not that many migrant or itinerant workers. That is a unique challenge to education, because kids are coming and going every six weeks between Washington, Oregon, California, and Mexico.

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I suspect it's because Massachusetts has more competition among schools, arising from much smaller school districts (typically only covering a city/town). In contrast, most of the rest of the country sees schools organized by county or by very large subdivisions of a county, resulting in near-monopoly (from the perspective of parents) and near-monopsony (from the perspective of teachers). Large districts prevent parents from holding districts accountable by moving and thus reduce the potential for better schools to influence property values, while the monopsony holds down teacher wages.

Example: King County (the populated portion of which is comparable in area and population to Rhode Island) only has 19 public school districts.

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We laugh at and ignore our gay haters, book burners, anti science anti vaccination lunatics and creationists.

They indulge them, particularly east of the mountains

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