Three cheers for Massachusetts schools! According to a recent study by the personal finance website WalletHub, Massachusetts schools are ranked as the top-performing public school system in the country. The study compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 data points in two main categories: safety and quality. The study put weight on metrics like math, reading test scores, graduation rates, drop out rates, pupil to teacher ratio rate, class size ACT and SAT scores, as well as school injuries and bullying rates.
The metrics were graded on a 100 point scale with 100 being the highest quality of public K-12 education. Massachusetts schools ranked number one in four of the categories: reading test scores, math test scores, highest ACT test scores and the lowest percentage of threatened and injured high school students.
Rounding out the top five were Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire, while the top 10 also included Virginia, Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, and Wisconsin. Among the worst included District of Columbia, Alaska, New Mexico and Louisiana. The study did acknowledge school systems that receive more state and local funding than others, which may account for some differences. Researchers found that more resources or taxes paid by residents typically resulted in better school system performance. Meaning, the importance of public school funding depends on the ways a public school can improve.
Data from the study was compiled from numerous organizations including the U.S. News & World Report, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Education, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Centers for Disease Control Prevention, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.