Ranking of the Georgian school system in the United States

Determine the best (and worst) school systems in the countryresearchers of personal finance website WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia on two key dimensions: quality and safety.

Analysts assessed both dimensions using 21 relevant metrics, including funding, high school graduation rate among low-income students, presence of public schools in US annual rankings News & World Report, test scores, bullying rates, youth incarceration rates and more.

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Massachusetts took top honors as the state with the best school system, ranking first in quality and safety.

It also ranked first for the highest scores in math, reading and median ACT and has the lowest percentage of high school students threatened or injured.

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The state with the worst school system? Louisiana.

Louisiana ranked dead last in safety and came in 44th in quality, despite heavy funding.

Georgia came in at 38th on the list and ranked 36th and 38th respectively in quality and safety, dropping three spots from 35th place overall last year.

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While the state has improved its quality ranking (39th in 2016), it has fallen a huge 15 places in complete safety from its No. 23 rank last year.

In 2015, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that nearly one in six Georgia public schools had work to do to ensure a safe classroom environment.

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And in May, an investigation by the AJC and Channel 2 Action News found that about 12% of the 656 officers working in Georgia’s 31 school police departments were fired or resigned in investigations related to poor performance, sexual misconduct, inappropriate use of force , among others.

The rate is double the rate of local police departments.

There have also been incidents of attacks between students, including 92 fights at a single high school in Gwinnett County in 2016.

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But Georgia schools have seen some improvement this year.

In fact, 74 of the 243 schools were removed from the Georgia Department of Education’s “targeted” and “priority” school lists, the AJC reported in April.

From AJC’s Ty Tagami:

Priority schools represent the bottom 5% of schools with the highest levels of poverty (Title 1 schools) based on outcome data, as well as schools with a graduation rate below 60% for two consecutive years. Targeted schools represent the bottom 10% of high-poverty schools based on “Achievement Gap” data, which shows the difference between a school’s lowest-performing students and the state average , and the degree of gap reduction.

The 10 states with the best school systems, according to WalletHub:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Jersey
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Virginia
  6. Minnesota
  7. Connecticut
  8. Iowa
  9. Maine
  10. Illinois

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And the 10 states with the worst:

  1. Louisiana
  2. New Mexico
  3. West Virginia
  4. District of Colombia
  5. Mississippi
  6. Arkansas
  7. Alaska
  8. Alabama
  9. Oregon
  10. Tennessee

More information about the study and its methodology on WalletHub.com.

Jeremy S. McLain