Answer to Question #64721 in Macroeconomics for Joseph
In 2010 Wisconsin went from a closed shop state to a right to work state. Teachers' unions disliked the change and protested violently. Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, Princeton economic professor, wrote an article against the change and in support of the unions. He looked at a study from the federal department of education that showed that k-12 average test scores in Wisconsin were higher than in Texas, a right to work state with non-unionized teachers. Two economists from the University of Chicago which has on the top economic departments in the country, broke the same data down by race and found that Asians in Texas had higher avg test scores than in Wisconsin, Caucasians in Texas had higher average test scores than in Wisconsin, African-Americans in Texas had higher average test scores than in Wisconsin and Hispanics in Texas has higher average test scores than in Wisconsin. Both sides made correct statements. How can they be reconciled and what does it say about Krugman's argument?
The great thing about statements on education is that there is an abundance of fact checking data out there. After checking the facts, Krugman and other two economists earn an “F.” Texas did have the lowest percentage of adults with a high school degree back in 2009 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But, this oft-quoted and frequently misused statistic is driven by immigration—young adults moving to Texas from mainly south of the border. And, as the U.S. Census Bureau is wont to do, they updated this statistic, showing that in the most recent year, Texas has the lowest percentage of adults with a high school degree.