January 17th, 2018
/ Economy / US: States with the best and worst school systems ranked

US: States with the best and worst school systems ranked

The 51st-worst ranked locale was Washington, D.C., which ranked 50th for school system quality, and 31st in educational output and safety.
EdChron Desk on September 19, 2014 - 4:13 pm in Economy, EdNews, MAIN, U.S., World


WORLD / U.S. – Education is the key to economic success, not only for individuals, but also at state level. An August 2013 Economic Policy Institute report found that states with high wages have well-educated workers. Investing in education not only attracts workers to a state, but it also contributes to the tax base in that well-educated workers tend to earn more money than those with less education.

A 2014 Wallet Hub study ranked the best states for education. The report analyzes 12 metrics, including dropout rates, test scores, bullying incident occurrences, and student-teacher ratios. States were given rankings for school system quality and educational output / safety. The study examined how states spend money on education and how schools solve safety problems, like bullying.


New Jersey tops the table

New Jersey ranked top overall, first in school system quality and second in educational output and safety. Massachusetts ranked second, with a second place in school system quality, but a 12th-place slot for educational output and safety. The third-overall-ranked state was Vermont, which held third place for school system quality and 11th for educational output and safety.

New Hampshire was ranked fourth overall, followed by Kansas, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania came in at number 10.

Washington, D.C. worst ranked

Fortieth on the overall list was Michigan, followed by Kentucky, South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. The 51st-worst ranked locale was Washington, D.C., which ranked 50th for school system quality, and 31st in educational output and safety.

Colorado ranked first in educational output and safety, and Washington State came in 50th place. Mississippi ranked 51st for school system quality.

The lowest dropout rates were in

  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin.

The highest dropout rates were in

  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • Washington, D.C.

States with the lowest percentage of children who repeated grades were Iowa, Minnesota, Utah, and Wisconsin. Arkansas, Florida, Washington, D.C., Mississippi, and Louisiana had the highest percentage of students to repeated one or more grades.

The top reading scores were in

  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey.

The worst reading scores were in

  • Alaska
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Washington, D.C.

Massachusetts ranked first for highest math scores, followed by New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont. Math scores were lowest in New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C.

State spending on education crucial?

Although there are many states for which there are mixed results on the correlation between rankings and how much money states spend on education, there is a clear relationship between the schools that spend higher than others and the quality of their schools. Likewise, states that spend little tend to have low rankings.

According to Wallethub, “states that invest more dollars in education benefit not only their residents but also their economies. The Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, reported that income is higher in states where the workforce is well educated and hence more productive. With higher incomes, workers in turn can contribute more in taxes to beef up state budgets over the long run.”

What do you think of the findings and ranking?


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