Back to Bramanti's comment:
This editorial is just a rehash of a two-week-old blog post from the Houston Press. It even uses the same statistical examples (Houston-Boston on education, Houston-LA on life expectancy.)So it comes to this....The editorial board for what used to be the newspaper of record in the 4th largest city in America (and currently America's worst big-city daily) has resorted to cribbing off of the (now mostly amateur) content of the free alt-weekly.
If you think Houston's numbers look bad, just be thankful the study didn't include editorial-board quality in its methodology.
And that doesn't even speak to the ridiculousness of the survey itself. When hard numbers aren't in your favor the preferred method is to start to make up metrics. Metrics that are hard to define, hard to quantify, and therefore difficult to argue against.
Yes, Houston (like any big city) has problems. It also does a LOT of things right. Unfortunately local news media and newspaper editorials aren't two of them.