If you're a Star Wars fan, you might remember that Obi Wan Kenobi once cautioned that the truth is often colored by point of view.
I was reminded of that last night when Gov. Mitt Romney told viewers of last night's debate with President Barack Obama that his state, Massachusetts, was ranked No.1 in the country in education.
That one caught the attention of Maryland residents—including those who attended the Patch debate viewing party in Owings Mills Wednesday night. We all know that for the last four years the Free State has been ranked first in education by Education Week. Gov. Martin O'Malley has never been shy about pointing it out.
In fact, Maryland's governor was quick to take to Twitter to remind Romney about it:
Enter Obi Wan.
O'Malley and Romney appear to be talking about the same Education Week rankings, so an apples to apples comparison should be possible.
The magazine this year used six key indicators to grade each state.
Maryland's number one ranking is an overall ranking with an 87.8—a solid B.
The magazine points out that Massachusetts is "tightly clustered" behind Maryland with a grade of 84.2.
So perhaps this is the hook Romney is hanging his statement on. We're kind of left to guess.
So, what does it all mean?
Maryland is first overall in the country in education, according to Education Week. Massachusetts leads in two of six categories within that same review.
And a reminder that politicians will parse the language and polls and studies to make the argument most favorable to their position.
Were you really surprised?