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WalletHub Study: 2015’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems

In light of back-to-school season and given the strong connection between educational attainment and income potential, the leading personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015's States with the Best & Worst School Systems.

To find the best school systems, WalletHub compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics. Our data set includes such metrics as the pupil-teacher ratio, dropout rates, standardized-test scores and bullying incidents rates.

  States with the Best School Systems   States with the Worst School Systems
  1 Massachusetts   42 New Mexico
  2 Colorado   43 California
  3 New Jersey   44 West Virginia
  4 Wisconsin   45 South Carolina
  5 Kentucky   46 Oregon
  6 Vermont   47 Louisiana
  7 North Dakota   48 Arizona
  8 Minnesota   49 Nevada
  9 Connecticut   50 District of Columbia
  10 Illinois   51 Alaska

Key Stats 

  • The District of Columbia’s dropout rate is four times higher than Iowa’s.
  • California’s pupil-to-teacher ratio is twice as high as Vermont’s.
  • The percentage of high school graduates who completed an AP exam in high school is four times higher in the District of Columbia than in Mississippi.
  • The percentage of public high school students who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property at least once during the previous 12 months is three times higher in Arkansas than in Wisconsin.
  • The percentage of high school students who were bullied online is twice as high in Maine than in Mississippi.
  • In North Dakota the average SAT test score is 40% higher than in District of Columbia.

For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit: