The best and worst school systems by state: Report

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If you’re thinking of moving to a state with a good educational system, the Northeast region might be your best bet, according to a new study.

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The study, published Monday by WalletHub, found that Massachusetts is the state with the best educational system, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia and Vermont, respectively, rounding out the top 5.

As opposed to looking only at academic outcomes or finance, WalletHub analyzed the quality and safety of all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.

The study evaluated each state along 29 metrics in those two key dimensions including blue ribbon schools per capita, high school graduation rate among low-income students, reading test scores, the share of high school students with access to illegal drugs and youth incarceration rate.

After evaluating each state on those metrics, WalletHub calculated each state’s score and ranked them in order.


Aside from its overall findings, WalletHub found that Iowa had the lowest dropout rate, while New Mexico had the highest.

It also found that Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont tied for the lowest percentage of threatened or injured high school students, while Louisiana had the highest percentage.


As families are gearing up for back-to-school shopping and preparation, here are the states — plus Washington, D.C. – with the best and worst school systems according to WalletHub.

10 states with the best school systems

1. Massachusetts

2. New Jersey

3. Connecticut

4. Virginia

5. Vermont

6. Minnesota

7. New Hampshire

8. Nebraska

9. North Dakota

10. Wyoming

10 states with the worst school systems

42. Alaska

43. Nevada

44. Oregon

45. Washington, D.C.

46. Alabama

47. West Virginia

48. Mississippi

49. Arizona

50. Louisiana

51. New Mexico

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