Ask almost any American if the nation’s schools are in bad shape and they’ll likely say yes. But ask those same Americans how their local public schools are doing and you might get a different story.

A new Gallup poll asked the latter question and found that some states have quite a positive view of public education in their area. North Dakota’s residents had the most positive view, with 89% rating the quality of public education as excellent or good.

But would those positive ratings change if residents knew what kind of outcomes the public schools in their state actually had? Quite possibly.

Using the 2015 Nation’s Report Card, I checked out the 8th grade reading scores for the states with the most positive opinion of their public education system. Not one of those states had more than 50% of their students achieve proficiency in this area.

It’s understandable that Americans would have a fond affection and loyalty for the education systems in their home states. But does that loyalty need to be given the boot if students aren’t learning, as these statistics may imply?

Image Credit: