Letter: Without public investment, we lose intellectual acclaimAs a school psychologist, I have more than a passing interest in Jillian Dexheimer’s story in last week’s Journal on ‘Brainpower.’
By: Jeff Horner, town of River Falls, River Falls Journal
As a school psychologist, I have more than a passing interest in Jillian Dexheimer’s story in last week’s Journal on ‘Brainpower.’
Business Journals has rated cities throughout the country on the brainpower of residents age 25 and older.
River Falls (8.531) scored well in the mid-size category. How they determine ‘Brainpower,’ however, is quite interesting.
Business Journals consider brainpower a function of educational attainment.
They created a five-level scale: High school dropout, high school degree, some college, college degree and graduate/professional degree.
Each level is weighted, based upon the earning power at that educational level, based upon U.S. Census Bureau data.
Mayor Don Richards was accurate with his analysis of River Falls’ high score, stating that we are a ‘college town.’
School Board member Alan Tuchtenhagen added that River Falls is an ‘education friendly’ community.
Nationally the highest scores were achieved by Ann Arbor, Mich.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Berkley, Calif.
Madison was the highest scoring community in Wisconsin with a score of 17.332, and ranked 13th nationally.
William Rubin, executive director of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation, states, “….determining a site for a new factory…is about brainpower and technology, as measured by educational attainment.”
Unfortunately, in Wisconsin, our current governor has decided to balance the budget on the backs of public education, cutting funds to K-12 and University of Wisconsin systems by $3 billion.
River Falls public schools are looking at another $1 million in cuts next year.
These massive cuts to Wisconsin’s ‘Brainpower Creators’ is short-sighted and wrong-headed.
The state must establish budgets that balance future growth with current needs — else we may find ourselves with a brain index score closer to that community scoring lowest in the state: Waupun (-6.845).