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Issue Date: July 2011

How We Rate: Education

Edited by Jim Vickers; reporting by Steve Gleydura, Kim Schneider, Beth Stallings, Carly Toyzan and Erick Trickey

17th (out of 55)

No, it's not a real IQ test of every man, woman and child, but the Daily Beast's 2010 "Smartest Cities — From First to Worst" has two parts: education (those over age 25 with bachelor's and master's degrees compared to the overall metro population) and intellectual environment (libraries, higher education institutions and nonfiction book sales). The addition of a "civic engagement quotient" in 2010 — a city's willingness and ability to invest in intellectual culture — helped lift Cleveland from its 2009 finish of 31st.

Intelligence Test

176.78 Boston 1st
119.99 Cleveland 17th
116.65 Columbus 19th
114.97 Pittsburgh 21st
88.30 Cincinnati 36th
78.33 Detroit 43rd
61.65* Miami 47th
*Even Forrest Gump had an IQ of 75.

High School Graduates

If this were a test, we'd be near the middle of the grading curve with 87.7 percent of us finishing high school. Sure we're right with Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Sacramento, but a C+ isn't going to cut it, not when other Midwestern cities such as Minneapolis (No. 1) and Pittsburgh (No. 3) are at the head of the class. Grade deflation: Los Angeles and Riverside, Calif., are the only two major cities with a high school graduation rate below 80 percent.

College Attainment

Blame our manufacturing past, when factory jobs didn't require a bachelor's. But if we're going to thrive in the new economy, we have to get more than 26.9 percent of Greater Clevelanders through college. By degrees: More than 40 percent of people in Washington, D.C.; Boston; Raleigh, N.C.; and the Bay Area have bachelor's degrees, and even Midwestern cities such as St. Louis and Cincinnati are doing better than we are.

Click here for information about the sourcing for this story.

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