Louisiana’s public school system is the third worst in the United States

WalletHub crunched the numbers to rank America’s best and worst school systems, and Louisiana came in third in the personal finance website’s analysis of test scores, teacher certification, school attendance rates, bullying and more.

This analysis not only focused on academic achievement or school funding, but also looked at performance, funding, safety, class sizes, and instructor credentials to determine which school systems perform best. in America, according to the company.

WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 32 metrics. Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest quality of K-12 public education.

Overall, Louisiana came in at 49 out of 51, ranking higher than Alaska (50) and New Mexico (51) with a total score of 34.09. Louisiana’s ranking for “quality” was the same at 49th place, but it fared better in “safety”, ranking 40th in that category.

The Bayou State public school system also tied with West Virginia for 48th in math test scores and 47th in reading test scores, according to the website’s report released Monday.

According to data from the state Department of Education, less than 40 percent of Louisiana students achieved the state-set benchmark (a proficiency score or higher) in the English section of the highest LEAP test. recent.

This figure is lower for economically disadvantaged students (31%), minority students (28%), students with disabilities (13%) and English language learners (9%).

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In WalletHub analysis, Louisiana also ranked 47th nationally in median ACT score, dropout rate, and percentage of public licensed/certified K-12 teachers.

Seven percent of teachers in Louisiana classrooms in 2019-20 were not certified at all — in addition to the 16% (7,278 teachers) who taught outside of the areas for which they were certified, according to the annual report on the workforce of LDOE educators.

In the student-teacher ratio category, Louisiana came 46th and then 43rd for the percentage of “threatened/injured high school students.” It’s a separate category in the bullying incidence rate report, in which Louisiana ranked 22nd out of 51.

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The highest place in any of the report’s rankings for Louisiana was 16th for median SAT score. In 2020, Louisiana’s SAT turnout was 5%. The ACT is the preferred college entrance exam in the southern state.

Contact Leigh Guidry, Children’s Issues Reporter, at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeighGGuidry.

Jeremy S. McLain