I'm a recent graduate of Iowa State (2006) and was part of some of his idiotic studies (Psych classes offered extra credit for participation). The studies I was a part of basically had you play a cutesy-kiddie game and then fill out a survey about how numb and bored you were, then play a mind game and fill out the survey saying how engaged you were, and then finally play a fighting game like MK and take the survey saying how ready to kill someone you were.
All of the questions were worded differently for each part of the survey to elicit the results he was looking for. One specifically I remember was regarding your emotional state. On the first game it ranged from bored to entertained, on the mind game it was engaged to unengaged, and on the last it was bored to engaged... so basically just from the descriptions you knew exactly what you were supposed to pick. The whole time I was thinking, "these results were set in stone before the experiment even began, how is he going to spin this?" Well I think we can see he spun it into a beautiful pile of crap.
I'm a "recent" High School grad of a Nebraska public school (2001) and I have to say that my education in that "backwards" state more than adequately prepared me for my B.S. in Construction Engineering (ABET accredited) from Iowa State, a well-respected engineering university: http://www.ccee.iastate.edu/academics/undergrad-construction.html
In no way would I say that the state of NE is lacking in it's education system. I would also say that the officials at my schools put a very high emphasis on going to college... therefore a high emphasis was placed on the ACT/SAT exams. And, as it was previously mentioned, since NE is in the middle of the country, most students have to find out the specific requirements of the schools they are interested in before signing up for the exams. Different schools want to see different test scores.I personally took the ACT and scored in the top 95% nationally. My peers were also consistently above the 80% mark.
All I wanted to say with this is:
#1 - Nebraska has electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. I'm sure they've had it just as long as the rest of the country.
#2 - Although you might see one every once in a while, not everyone rides a horse and buggy. Some of the cars are old and rusty, but the state isn't one big set for Bonanza.
#3 - Education is a big factor to the state of Nebraska, and if you look at only statistics, you're inevitably going to miss out on the human factor of information (like my personal account).