Editorial: Values-based analysis trumps statistical study on best places to raise family
It’s one thing to do a spec-analysis comparison when shopping for a new car, but it’s quite another to take the salesman up on his offer to give it a test drive.
That’s the problem as it relates to the new WalletHub study about the best and worst places in Arizona to raise a family. The study is a thorough and comprehensive statistical analysis of individual community strengths and weaknesses, but if you really want to measure a community’s heart and its family values you need to jump in a give it a test drive.
To give credit where due, WalletHub studies are good measuring sticks of the socio-economic barometers of a community’s health. This particular one most certainly includes information that local communities should take to heart. The report includes valuable guiding points on how individual communities can improve the quality of life for their residents.
But as it applies to the family values of communities in Yavapai County, the Verde Valley and especially Camp Verde, this comparative analysis does not pass the smell test.
Remember, this is a measuring stick of the best, and worst, places in Arizona to raise a family. Camp Verde ranks third from last, and is placed below several 55-and-older communities where children are as desirable as sewer rats. They don’t want them in the first place, and they’ll do everything in their legal power to keep them out.
Such senior-only communities may pass muster from a purely statistical comparison, but they hardly measure up when it comes to family values. They are anything but family oriented.
It is especially ironic that Camp Verde would rank so poorly in this study when at the same time the community just opened its doors to the newest, and finest, library in the Verde Valley; one that puts particular emphasis on youth and family programs.
The WalletHub study measures things such as median family income, school-system quality and housing affordability. It puts value on playgrounds per capita but ignores churches per capita. It puts value on weather and climate, but ignores how the community responds to neighbors afflicted by tragedy. It measures such things as wealth gap and foreclosure rates, but ignores the number of community fundraisers Camp Verde, or Cottonwood for that matter, stages each year to help families who are down and out.
Yes, there is value to be found in this WalletHub statistical analysis.
But there would be more value if they actually gave the community a test drive.
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