2015’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems

by Richie Bernardo

2014-Back-to-School-States-with-the-Best-and-Worst-School-Systems-BadgesUnless one is destined for the ranks of wildly successful college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, education remains the traditional route to professional and financial success for many Americans. Consider the median incomes for workers aged 25 and older in 2014. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned 65 percent more than those with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data reveal that income potential grows — and chances of unemployment shrink — as one’s educational attainment improves.

And with school resuming session, many parents will be seeking the best school districts to secure their children’s academic success. When comparing their options, however, parents should recognize that the amount of available public funding is by no means a determinant of a school system’s quality, as our findings demonstrate, though money is certainly helpful.

In addition, states that invest more dollars in education benefit not only their residents but also their economies. The Economic Policy Institute reported that income is higher in states where the workforce is well educated and thus more productive. With better earnings, workers in turn can contribute more taxes to beef up state budgets over the long run.

In light of back-to-school season, WalletHub compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios to standardized-test scores to dropout rates. By shining the spotlight on top-performing school systems, we aim to encourage parents to help their children realize their maximum potential and to call the attention of lawmakers on the work that remains to be done to improve America’s schools.

Main Findings

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Overall Rank

State

“School-System Quality” Rank

“Safety” Rank

1 Massachusetts 2 1
2 Colorado 1 47
3 New Jersey 5 9
4 Wisconsin 4 14
5 Kentucky 10 4
6 Vermont 6 12
7 North Dakota 3 46
8 Minnesota 9 16
9 Connecticut 7 28
10 Illinois 8 32
11 Virginia 11 14
12 Kansas 14 22
13 Iowa 12 39
14 Utah 16 17
15 New Hampshire 15 29
16 Maryland 19 17
17 Nebraska 17 26
18 Wyoming 13 41
19 Maine 20 13
20 Montana 18 32
21 North Carolina 24 6
22 Ohio 23 29
23 Florida 26 20
24 Indiana 22 50
25 Arkansas 21 42
26 Tennessee 28 29
27 Texas 31 19
28 Missouri 27 38
29 Pennsylvania 29 43
30 South Dakota 25 47
31 Washington 32 11
32 Michigan 30 37
33 Oklahoma 34 2
34 New York 33 27
35 Rhode Island 38 10
36 Georgia 35 20
37 Hawaii 36 5
38 Delaware 40 7
39 Alabama 39 36
40 Mississippi 45 8
41 Idaho 42 34
42 New Mexico 44 3
43 California 37 49
44 West Virginia 46 22
45 South Carolina 47 24
46 Oregon 41 45
47 Louisiana 43 44
48 Arizona 48 40
49 Nevada 50 25
50 District of Columbia 49 51
51 Alaska 51 35

 

States-with-the-Best-and-Worst-School-Systems-Artwork3
Note: The metric “Safest schools” from the above image refers only to the percentage of public school students in grades 9–12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.

 

Note: Spendings Ranking refers to “Total Current Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Day Schools per Student” (Highest Amount = Rank 1)

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Ask the Experts

Back-to-school season isn’t just about shopping for school supplies. Many parents also must consider the quality of education their children receive in order to succeed. To expand the discussion, we’ve asked a panel of experts to share their advice and thoughts on important back-to-school-related issues. Click on the expert’s profiles to read their bios and responses to the following key questions:

  1. How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?
  2. How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?
  3. Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?
  4. What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?
  5. In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?
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  • Stacy Beebe Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Physical Education Teacher Education Program at Aurora University
  • Alan B. Krueger Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Marcus Winters Assistant Professor of Leadership, Research, & Foundations in the College of Education at University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, and Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
  • Michael Podgursky Chair and Middlebush Professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Truman School of Public Affairs
  • Kathy R. Fox Department Chair & Professor of Early Childhood, Elementary, Literacy, Middle and Special Education at University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Watson College of Education
  • Priva Fischweicher Assistant Professor of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Education/Higher Education Administration at Barry University, Adrian Dominican School of Education
  • Alice Sterling Honig Professor Emerita of Child Development at Syracuse University, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
  • Julie DellaMattera Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Higher Education, & Human Development and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Development & Education at University of Maine, College of Education and Human Development

Stacy Beebe

Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Physical Education Teacher Education Program at Aurora University
Stacy Beebe
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

Watch for back to school sale offers at local discount stores. Look through last year’s school supplies; children are often required to use the same items from the year before. Crayons may be broken, but rulers, protractors, scissors and other items can be used for more than one year. Many states also offer tax free school days and this will assist parents/guardians in saving additional money. Don't purchase all new school clothes at the beginning of the year, as young children often grow and then it is back to the store for more shoes and clothes.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

Use shopping ads to determine an approximate cost for school supplies. Then, give your child a budget and allow them to shop from the list of supplies and keep their purchase within the budget. For younger children, allow them to count out money for paying the bill or take along a calculator and allow children to add up the cost of items as you place them in the cart.

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

I think providing a sales tax holiday for back to school items is helpful to parents, especially when they are buying for multiple children and are on a tight monthly budget.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Using good fiscal responsibility is a start. There are new technologies and other educational programs available each year. Districts must research what is necessary and what might simply be a waste of taxpayer money. It is one thing to purchase high dollar educational resources, and they may look good sitting in the classrooms, but if they go unused by teachers and students it is simply a waste of money.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

A quality school and, more importantly, quality teachers are important to any child's success. However, a teacher needs the support of parents/guardians in the process of educating their child. Children who are raised in loving, supportive families with the necessary resources have the potential for greater success than those who are in abusive homes, unstable neighborhoods, and have limited resources. It is not to say a child cannot overcome their circumstances to be successful, it is only that the road may be more difficult. It is also important to note that just because a child has all the financial resources at their disposal they won't struggle in school. A child needs more than just resources; they need love, support, guidance, correction, and encouragement to truly be successful. All children, no matter their needs, with the appropriate love and support of parents/guardians and teachers are capable of being successful and accomplishing great things.

Alan B. Krueger

Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Alan B. Krueger
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

I think parents should use some of their children’s down time in the summer to review material that the children learned in school in the previous year. Studies find that a lot of the learning that students do in one year fades out over the summer. This is particularly the case for math.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

They can give them a budget to use to buy clothes and materials for school.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Although some schools are inefficient and can deploy their resources better, there is, frankly, no free lunch when it comes to education. Education is expensive. It is costly to reduce class size and have up-to-date textbooks. But these expenditures make a difference in how much children learn.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

School quality is very important, but other factors matter as well, such as family influences, neighborhood safety, and the amount of effort children put into their education and career.

Marcus Winters

Assistant Professor of Leadership, Research, & Foundations in the College of Education at University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, and Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Marcus Winters
What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Money does matter in education. But lack of resources is not the major factor holding schools back. The most promising reforms focus on getting schools to use their current resources more effectively.

Expanding school choice can improve educational quality in an area while actually reducing costs. Charter schools have expanded rapidly. The quality of charter schools varies both across and within localities. However, in some areas, charter schools are making an enormous difference for kids. These schools of choice typically receive significantly fewer public dollars than do the surrounding district schools.

Policies that hold schools accountable for low performance offer another low-cost way to improve public schools. Research suggests that such policies are often very effective at improving bad schools.

In addition, school systems can look for low-cost ways to improve teacher quality. Teachers are the most important resource for public schools. We know that there is wide variation in the effectiveness of teachers. And yet, most school systems treat all teachers as if they are interchangeable. School systems should look for ways to remove ineffective teachers, regardless of their longevity within the system. They can also seek ways to get the most effective teachers in front of the most challenging students.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

It is undeniable that environmental and family factors are tremendously important to a child’s chances for academic success. But there is ample evidence that schools can and do make an enormous difference as well.

Charter school networks such as KIPP and Uncommon have had enormous success educating their mostly low-income and minority students. These types of schools now serve as important proof-points showing that kids of all types are capable of learning when their school sets high standards and provides the high quality instruction needed to reach them.

Perhaps the most important evidence that schools make a difference is the research on teacher quality. There is wide variation in the quality of public school teachers. The difference between being assigned to a teacher at about the 25th percentile of quality and a teacher at about the 75th percentile of quality is about an additional year’s worth of learning for a student. That being assigned to Ms. Smith or Mr. Johnson down the hall makes such a large difference in educational outcomes suggests strongly that the quality of instruction that a student receives matters a great deal for educational outcomes.

Michael Podgursky

Chair and Middlebush Professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Truman School of Public Affairs
Michael Podgursky
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

The most important thing parents can do to get their kids ready for school is to keep them intellectually engaged during the summer. Go to the library, check out books, and encourage them to read. Visit museums. Play games that require thought or strategy. Chess is very cheap. None of this will “break the bank” and is way more important than back to school clothes or backpacks in terms of school success.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

Parents could set a fixed budget and require kids to stay within that budget in back-to-school purchases.

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

There’s a tradeoff between the tax rate and tax base. The more exemptions there are to a tax (like back to school holidays), the higher the rate has to be in order to yield the same tax revenues. But these higher tax rates cause more distortions and tax avoidance behavior by consumers or producers. Economists call this these distortions the “deadweight loss” from a tax and they rise rapidly as the tax rate goes up. From an economic point of view, unless there’s a really good reason for an exemption, it’s better to have a low tax rate and a broad base.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

There’s a large and growing literature on ways that public schools can operate in a more efficient manner. Most of the money in public schools is for salaries and benefits, yet very few schools design compensation packages with an eye toward efficiency. Pensions provide a good example. On average, the typical public school is paying one thousand dollars per student in teacher pension costs, a rate that has doubled in the last decade. These retirement benefit costs are consuming a growing share of the K-12 education dollar, encouraging teachers to retire at an early age, and shifting a growing cost burden on to young teachers. We don’t observe private firms with these kinds of compensation policies.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

Decades of studies have shown that family and community factors explain more of the variation in student achievement than school factors. However, there is considerable evidence that some schools and teachers are much more effective than others. It’s really a question of what’s more malleable. From a policy point of view, you can’t give a kid new parents, but you can change teachers or schools.

Kathy R. Fox

Department Chair & Professor of Early Childhood, Elementary, Literacy, Middle and Special Education at University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Watson College of Education
Kathy R. Fox
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

The best school preparation is a well-rested child with a healthy attitude. Summer and other seasonal breaks can be spent with good old-fashioned fun, indoors and out. This does not imply that fun is only had at high-dollar summer camps, amusement parks or eating & playing at kid-themed restaurants. City and county parks regularly hold talks and adventure experiences for school age children. For urban kids these experiences often include low-cost field trips around the city park. Free play cannot be discounted for its opportunity to allow children to come up with their own play ideas...if children are not used to creating their own play this might take patience on the parents' part, but it's worth the time. These suggestions may seem old-fashioned for today's high-tech generation, but E.O. Wilson and Richard Louv, both popular writers on how to raise healthy kids, encourage free time and experience in nature as a way to" re-set a child's clock" in a sense.

As a practical response to the question regarding school shopping...parents and teachers can cooperate on school lists. When schools ask parents to purchase classroom supplies, it comes at the beginning of the school year...which may be the worst time in terms of other school shopping. A better solution is for the requests to be staggered with supplies being requested according to the month (markers in September, glue-sticks in October, pencils in November, etc.). Another suggestion is to hold an early fundraiser, introduced at back-to-school night, with the understanding that the proceeds be used to buy classroom supplies. One local school has a silent auction on Back to School Night that is so successful that the entire classroom supply list is purchased with enough left over purchase for a Title One school in the same district (indicated by a high poverty level of children who qualify for free and reduced lunch rate).

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

Parents can have children use online shopping (or store flyers) to compare prices for classroom materials. Have your child go through the list with the stipulation that a minimum of 3 store prices be compared. The list could be rewritten with 5 columns for each item...the child writes in the 5 sites visited and compares costs. This should include investigating whether store pickup and such stipulations as free shipping (or not) are included in the analysis. Once this comparison shopping is completed, the purchases can be made together but with the parent always making the final choice. This practice can become a normal activity for birthday and other holiday "wish lists".

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

I live in a state without tax free holidays and watch the school shopping flee to an adjacent state that does have this practice. With other organizations getting tax free status year-round I think parents making school purchases should have this same status at this time of the year.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

State and local policymakers can redirect funds to improve their school systems by:
  1. Encouraging carpooling to reduce busing and extended "dismissal times";
  2. Incentives to teachers for teaching in their local schools, thereby encouraging teacher retention;
  3. Incentives to teachers for graduate level pay, increasing their skills and longevity-better teaching results (NC has eliminated this pay);
  4. Redirecting funds to schools by de-emphasizing prison for low-level crimes, as California presently is doing;
  5. Using "green" measures to decentralize food services. Bring cafeteria food back to schools, where it is prepared at the school rather than using a centralized food service with subsidized corn products;
  6. Using "green" measures in the cafeterias that would include reinstalling dishwashers and doing away with paper and petroleum based Styrofoam products for children to eat from;
  7. Training parent volunteers to assist as tutors in schools. Asking for volunteers without a training program is inefficient;
  8. Emphasis on school-home-community connectedness as a part of the public relations media news on schools rather than sensationalized stories about teachers. There are many, many more success stories out there that do not get the attention they deserve. This discourages people from going into the profession.
In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

Of course the quality of the school is very important. The problem is the subjectivity of how to evaluate a school. I encourage parents to look at how a school welcomes them into the classroom. How comfortable does the teacher make you feel in the classroom? How communicative is the homework...does it let both the parent know about the classroom while informing the teacher about the family? Do the same parents run the PTA and School Site Council from year to year or is there a truly democratic practice in effect that encourages a diverse group of parents as decision makers? Schools, communities and families should have the best interest of the child-every child- as a central focus. When a school's sign indicates the pressure is on testing, this is a red flag. Likewise when a parent cares only about how high a child is ranked in the classroom this puts pressure on the child and the teacher. Rather, the family and the school should see each other as partners with the same goals in mind.

Priva Fischweicher

Assistant Professor of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Education/Higher Education Administration at Barry University, Adrian Dominican School of Education
Priva Fischweicher
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

As we approach the beginning of the school year, many stores are running sales focused on school supplies. Make a list early in the summer of what you need to purchase for your child so you can take advantage of what is on sale each week. It is also a good idea to inventory what supplies (e.g., backpack) can be used again instead of buying a new one every year. Another possibility for the future is to buy additional school supplies when the stores are running clearance sales in late September or October. These can be used to replace supplies that are used up during the year or save them for the following school year.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

This is a good opportunity to help children create a budget for their back-to-school purchases. It would allow them to take responsibility for the choices they make when shopping for school supplies and clothes for the new school year. It may also help them understand the difference between “need and want” – necessary and discretionary purchases. One additional positive outcome is they may take better care of each purchase since they were cognizant of its cost and its impact on the budget they created.

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

Yes, states should implement a sales tax exemption for a specific period of time since it is an expensive proposition to buy back-to-school items for each child. It also sends a positive message that school is important and the state wants to partner with families to make sure children begin the new school year with all the necessary supplies.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Allow teachers, the experts in the classroom, greater flexibility in terms of the curriculum and assessing student achievement. Any additional cost incurred would be minimal. I recently conducted a study focused on why K-12 teachers were leaving that educational environment. One of the main reasons the study participants gave for leaving the K-12 system was the lack of academic freedom. This underscores the need to give academic decision-making back to teachers.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

A child is not educated in a vacuum. Educating a child is a team effort. The quality of the school is an important factor in a child’s academic success, but the school needs the support of family and the community to reach this goal.

Alice Sterling Honig

Professor Emerita of Child Development at Syracuse University, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Alice Sterling Honig
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

Don’t buy lots of new clothes unless kids have outgrown theirs. Go to Rescue Mission and Salvation Army stores, as they have marvelous stuff at low prices.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

Talk with kids about money. Most kids in research had no clue about how one must usually in this world do work for money. Some young children in British research thought money was what the grocery man gave mom (many coins) when she gave him green paper.

Explain how for the different parts of living (food, rent, heat, light, medical costs, repairs, lights, furniture, diapers, winter boots, insurance, loan payments etc.), one needs to set aside money to pay for.

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

Only if there are really big sales offered on that special day.

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Train more teachers in clinical skills to deal with angry, disturbed, children. Train more teachers in child development. Hire more workers to outreach with families and help fathers learn to partner with moms, even in divorced or single families in order to promote and enhance children’s love of books and learning. Include activities to promote pro-social and decrease bullying behaviors and snobbisms in every classroom. Meditation has helped, too.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

Family is supreme in setting models and reinforcements for kindness, thinking about others’ feelings, feeling deeply OK as a person, rather than feeling, as a child, rejected, or unwanted or forced to live up to impossible standards, or victim of put-downs or of attempts to mold child into a macho aggressive male.

Julie DellaMattera

Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Higher Education, & Human Development and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Development & Education at University of Maine, College of Education and Human Development
Julie DellaMattera
How can parents get their kids ready for back to school without breaking the bank?

Parents need to embrace the idea that everything is a learning opportunity. You don’t need workbooks, worksheets, or fancy materials to teach children. Have children use measuring cups to fill their cereal bowl predicting how much they will have before they fill their bowl. Have children count steps as they walk around the house – how far is it from the living room to the kitchen? Have children write a shopping list, estimate the price of items and then find them at the grocery store and subtract to find the difference between the estimated price and the real price.

How can parents effectively use back-to-school to teach their kids about financial responsibility?

Have children and parents make a list of school necessities and set a budget. Look through shopping flyers and online to create a table to show prices of school supply items at a variety of stores. Create a list, by store, of where to go to buy each item most cheaply. Use their budget to determine which items can be bought now and which ones might need to wait until later.

Do you think states should implement sales tax holidays or exemption for back to school items?

Yes, schools are providing less and less school supplies and materials. Some schools are even requiring that students come with a long list of items to share in their classroom. School supplies are not, in many cases, optional and should be exempt from tax. Parents are being asked to provide supplies and materials that schools once provided…

What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

Support colleges and universities that train teachers. Encourage colleges and universities to increase graduation requirements for new teachers. Reward schools that hire, support, and retain quality teachers. Teaching is not a job that everyone can do well - great teachers will provide the best learning experiences and opportunities for the children in their classrooms.

In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

School quality is hugely important! Children spend over 6 hours per day at school, not including travel time to and from or after school activities. The thing to remember is that the quality of the school does not mean the actual quality of the building or desks or playground (although nice, clean facilities are a perk). Quality is about the people in the school: the teachers, custodians, coaches, parent and community volunteers… Children need to be surrounded by people who support them, encourage them, nurture them, teach them, and who are positive role models. Children need a place where they feel valued and understood, where they are challenged to think and grow, and where they know they can be the best version of themselves.

Methodology

As back-to-school season arrives, WalletHub compared the school systems among the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “School-System Quality” and “Safety.” We then compiled 13 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights.

School-System Quality – Total Weight: 20

  • Presence of State’s Public Schools Within the “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools”: Full Weight
    Note: The number of schools in top 700 was adjusted by the number of schools for each state in the US News sample.
  • Remote-Learning Opportunities from Online Public Schools: Half Weight
  • Dropout Rates: Double Weight
  • “Bookworms” Rank: Half Weight
  • Pupil-Teacher Ratio: Full Weight
  • Math Test Scores: Double Weight
  • Reading Test Scores: Double Weight
  • Percentage of Graduates Who Completed an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in High School: Double Weight
  • Average SAT Score: Double Weight
  • Percentage of High School Graduates Who Completed the ACT: Double Weight

Safety – Total Weight: 4

  • School Safety (percentage of public school students in grades 9–12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property): Double Weight
  • Bullying-Incidents Rate: Double Weight
  • Youth Incarceration Rate per 100,000: Full Weight

Sources: Data used to create these rankings were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Kids Count - Anney E. Casey Foundation, Stopbullying.gov, U.S. News & World Report, the College Board, ACT and K12.com.

Author

User
Richie Bernardo is a personal finance writer at WalletHub. He graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a minor in business from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Previously, he was a…
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Discussion

 
By: Michaell
Aug 24, 2015
This ranking is missing one major point. The before you decide to rank order anything and add them together you need to ensure they are all positively correlated to each other. I don't believe you will find, for example, and $/pupil correlates to better outcomes so ranking it is bad math. You have to have either a positive or negative correlation which exceeds +/- .49 for samples size of 50 and a 99.5% confidence for read more
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By: Colinm
Aug 21, 2015
The ranking seems bizarre to me, too.

We live in Colorado (supposedly #2) and were actually considering moving because school performance is in such decline. We can only find a handful of neighborhoods that have GreatSchools ratings above an 8 for the combination of elementary, middle and high school, and those neighborhoods tend to be extremely expensive to live in (a section of Boulder and Cherry Creek).

Where we live in Douglas Country, the good teachers are read more
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By: Channat
Aug 5, 2015
It is hard to believe that California at the nations 43 worst school system would produce students able to attend the top best public university system in the country. UCLA, UCBerkeley, UCSD, UCSB, UCDAVIS, CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO-are just a few of them. Obviously the ranking is not right. Otherwise how could such poor students manage to get into such amazing colleges.
 
By: Monica
Aug 7, 2015
@Channat: It's only because not everyone there comes from California, you have some that are from other states or countries! There's a huge diversity of people that are from other regions from the world & some from California that made the Universities a top best public University!
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By: Saram
Aug 4, 2015
Hi Richie,

Wisconsin is #1 under “safest schools” but ranks 14 under “safety” rank. What’s the difference?
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By: Kenf
Jul 29, 2015
Why does WalletHub and so many other organizations include SAT as such a weighted factor regarding quality of education? Rating North Dakota and South Dakota in the top 10 and assigning double weight seems to tilt the scores quite unfairly. How do you compare Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey and others who have 80+ percent of students take the SAT with North Dakota and South Dakota who together have only 4% of students taking SAT. read more
 
By: Robertb2
Jul 30, 2015
@Kenf: You are absolutely correct. Not only does the SAT carry double weight in states where only a few of the brightest students take the SAT, like North Dakota and South Dakota, but the percentage of students who take the ACT also carries a double weight in states where ACT is given to every grade 11 student. Such is the case in North Dakota. This will also tilt the scales.
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