The Arkansas Education Department trumpets a ranking putting Arkansas No. 5 in the nation in the Quality Counts education survey and state Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell, a candidate for 1st District Congress, coincidentally weighs in moments later with a news release trumpeting the good work, no thanks to those no-goodniks in Washington that he seeks to join.

Shoot this old cynical head. But if we’re so good in education, how come we’re so far behind in so many categories?

PS — Dig into the full report and you’ll find such nuggets as this: On K-12 student achievement, Arkansas gets a D. I probably don’t need to remind you of the state’s low score on the NAEP tests.

The news releases follow: