Not Gooder: Study Says Dallas Is Less Literate This Year Than We Were Last Year

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A Friend of Unfair Park reminds me: It's that time of the year again -- time for Dr. John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, to rank 75 major metros' literacy levels using a handful of criteria ("newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources") to make sweeping generalizations about the state of big cities' "social health." And after seeing an uptick in our ranking last year -- all the way up to 44, nothing to brag about -- Dallas now sits at No. 51. That's the lowest Dallas has ever scored since Miller began keeping score. Back in '08, matter of fact, we were all the way up to 38.5. But now? Austin and Plano rank ahead of us. But look out below, Fort Worth (No. 54) and Houston (No. 60!).

Below, where Dallas ranks in those individual categories mentioned above. Spoiler alert: It's the "Educational Attainment" score that really dragged us down.
Booksellers
Bookstores (per 10,000 population)
These three variables were used to determine a total score and consequent ranking:
1. Number of retail bookstores per 10,000 population
2. Number of rare and used bookstores per 10,000 population
3. Number of members of the American Booksellers Association per 10,000 population
Dallas ranking: 53.5

Education
Education Level
Education Attainment was indexed with two variables:
1. Percentage of the adult population with a high school diploma or higher
2. Percentage of the adult population with a bachelor's degree or higher
Dallas ranking: 60

Internet
Internet Resources
Internet resources were indexed as three variables. These numbers were then divided by the city population in order to calculate ratios of internet resources available to the population.
1. Number of Internet book orders per capita
2. Number of unique visitors per capita to a city's internet version newspaper
3. Number of webpage views per capita to a city's internet version newspaper
Dallas ranking: 27.5

Libraries
Library Support, Holdings, and Utilization
These four variables were indexed to determine a total score and consequent ranking:
1. Number of branch libraries per 10,000 library service population
2. Volumes held in the library per capita of library service population
3. Number of circulations per capita of library service population
4. Number of library professional staff per 10,000 library service population
These numbers were then divided by the city population in order to calculate ratios of library services and resources available to the population.
Dallas ranking: 32.5

Newspaper
Newspaper Circulation
Newspaper circulation was indexed as two variables. All figures divided by total city population
1. Weekday total circulation
2. Sunday total circulation
These numbers were then divided by the city population in order to calculate ratios of library services and resources available to the population.
Dallas ranking: 47

Publications
Periodical Publishers
These two factors were used to derive a total score and consequent ranking:
1. Number of magazine publishers with circulation over 2,500 per 100,000 population
2. Number of journals published with circulation over 500 per 100,000 population.
Dallas ranking: 38.5
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17 comments
RTGolden
RTGolden

I see that number of unique visitors to city's local online newspaper is one of the criteria.  Is that really a reliable stat?  What with pay-walls, abysmal editing, an astounding lack of fact checking, and obvious bias, I'd say the lower the percentage of residents visiting the city's newspaper website, the smarter said citizens are.

Real Deal
Real Deal

The author of the study gets a credential to put on his resume so he can charge top dollar for consulting. The list is bogus. What are we in the Ben Franklin days of printing presses and strictly brick and mortars? I got a 90 dollar 27 ppm printer and cheap ink refill. I can print off plenty to read that doesn't rate on this guys criteria.

Denver is 10th and Aurora is 67th when the adjacent cities are similar in ethnicity and income?

This report should be placed where someone's semi literate parrots can read it at the bottom of their cage.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

If you've ever been to Denver you wouldn't claim that it and Aurora are anything alike. It'd be like saying Dallas and Mesquite are similar.

40oztoCheezdom
40oztoCheezdom

Who needs to be literate? There are plenty of In-N-Outs(Whataburgers, for you Texans that abhor California transplants) to work at and more being built everyday. Seems like a non-issue.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Bookstores? Lost 'em, mostly. DMN--too expensive for no reason. Print resources? Going the way of the dinosaur. Idiot migration and council representation? Way up. Are these numbers really that surprising?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Dallas: Us wurld clas!

Paul
Paul

that's "klas" you maroon .... 8-D

Gabe
Gabe

"Clas" is a perfectly cromulent spelling. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Either spelling is acceptable.

Paul
Paul

eye wuz gonna aks yu dat ...

CV Gilkeson
CV Gilkeson

Hard to much on these criteria when half your school district comes from a culture which does not value education. Dropout stats are horrifying for this rapidly growing group. Aye carumba!

Nunya
Nunya

Broad generalization, no?

Lemmie guess... You're talking about black people, right?

Paul
Paul

and the other half is from a foreign country ...

lorlee
lorlee

Amazing that the library is the second best of the categories.  The way we keep defunding it year after year -- we won't be able to count on that to bring our ranking up.

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