(The Center Square) – A new analysis of public school systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported that Massachusetts has the best public school system and New Mexico has the worst.
“For the majority of American families, public education is the only option,” a new WalletHub analysis states, and “the quality of public school systems varies widely from state to state.”
According to the analysis, the 10 states with the best public school systems are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. .
The 10 states with the worst public school systems are New Mexico, being the worst, followed by Alaska, Louisiana, Arizona, West Virginia, South Carolina, ‘Oklahoma, Oregon, Mississippi and Alabama.
To determine the best-performing school systems in the United States, the personal finance site compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 32 key indicators. They included categories in academic achievement, school finances, school safety, class size, and instructor qualifications.
Along with performance measures, the analysis assessed the ranking of public schools in the “Top 700 America’s Best Schools”, the number of existing Blue-Ribbon schools per capita, the high school graduation rate among low-income students, dropout rates, math and reading test scores, median ACT scores, and student-teacher ratio.
Other factors included which schools had digital learning plans in place, the proportion of high school students who were not in school, those who had access to illegal drugs or participated in violence, the number of school shootings and rates of bullying, disciplinary and other incidents, among others.
The states with the lowest dropout rates were Alabama, Iowa, West Virginia, Kentucky and New Jersey, according to the report. Those with the highest were Louisiana, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and the District of Columbia.
The states with the highest math test scores were Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia and Wyoming. Those with the lowest were the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Louisiana, New Mexico and Alabama.
The states with the highest reading test scores were Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Utah and Colorado. Those with the lowest were Louisiana, Alabama, the District of Columbia, New Mexico and Alaska.
The states with the highest median SAT scores were Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Those with the lowest were New Mexico, Idaho, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.
Those with the highest median ACT scores were Connecticut, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, New Hampshire and California. The lowest states were Nevada, Hawaii, South Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi.
When it comes to the three largest states by population, California, which traditionally ranks at or near the bottom, ranks 40th.
Texas, which has traditionally ranked in the bottom third of previous WalletHub rankings, ranked slightly higher at 27th.
Florida, which traditionally ranks in the top three in other national rankings, ranked 14th in the WalletHub analysis.