All 50 U.S. States and Where Their Education Ranks
Would you agree that the U.S.A. is quite large? 50 states make up this great body of land and although they are all part of the same red, white, and blue cloth, they have many differences. Their education system is no exception. In some states, people hold degrees by numbers while others have barely managed to earn a high school diploma.
Even though measuring education can be a challenge, several elements can be used to determine who has the best. Whether you’re just interested in seeing where your state ranks or where your next move should be here is the list you’re been looking for. 50 U.S. states as we know and love them, ranked based on their education system from lowest to highest.
50. West Virginia
To our surprise and maybe yours too, West Virginia ranks second worst in education. Teachers and students both face various challenges in this state. Educational professionals receive some of the worst salaries and can’t afford to make ends meet. Their struggle and stress make for some really struggling students as well.
Apparently, this news is nothing new as governments, both local and country, have been trying to find solutions to these challenges for a while but with little to no progress.
Beyond the state’s budget issues, Some of the challenges are due to social factors such as high rates of poverty and drug abuse. West Virginia ranks last in the number of both Bachelor’s Degree Holders and Associate’s Degree Holders or College-Experienced Adults. The scores of students in both reading and math also appear to be consistently dropping.
Although not all records they hold are bad, West Virginia has the highest number of towns named after cities in countries outside the US, such as Shanghai, Berlin, Cairo, and Athens. That’s a fun one.
If someone asked you to guess what state was ranked the least educated would you have guessed right? Mississippi may be most known as that one state where no one can remember how many of each letter it includes or in what order. If you spell it out loud, a challenge in itself, it almost sounds like a cheer.
Well, in addition to all this, they are also known for being the least educated out of all 50 states when looking at their education quality and school structure. The U.S.A. gives this state a letter “D” grade.
Despite Mississippi natives being proud of the state that they reside in, remembering all those letters is hard! The fact that they rank as the second highest state in teen pregnancies may have something to do with the lack of education in Mississippi.
Surprisingly, many people agree that funding isn’t necessarily the only way to fix this issue. The culprit seems to be the education system in the state and what they do with the money they’ve already procured.
Louisiana comes in at number 48th on this list. Not only is it ranked low in education but it is considered one of the most dangerous places to go to school. Not something you want to be top-ranked in, for sure.
It seems that the safety of the children within this school system is not prioritized. Do better Louisiana, for our children’s sake! This state has some of the most bullying and violence instances out of all the states as well as the weakest test scores.
Louisiana is also home to New Orleans, a notorious party town filled with drunks after the sun goes down. We’re not sure if that contributes to the danger, but it probably doesn’t set the best example for kids growing up in the state.
It seems that the safety of the children within this school system is not prioritized. Do better, Louisiana, for our children’s sake! This state has some of the most bullying and violence instances out of all the states as well as the weakest test scores.
There are several U.S. states that are ranked surprisingly low on this list and the reasons for this low education rankings are varied quite considerably. Some may be because of safety, some may be because teachers aren’t being paid enough, or something else entirely, like opportunities or low income.
Arkansas’s reasons for being low-ranked are exactly this. This state’s low education rank is considered a direct correlation to its high poverty rate and low average income. Arkansas is among the poorest states of the nation and it undisputedly affects the state’s education.
Arkansas’s most famous education-related event was the Little Rock Nine, which involved the first African American students to attend Little Rock’s Central High School.
Three years before, after the Supreme Court ruled against segregation in Brown v. The Board of Education, Little Rock’s school board volunteered to desegregate its schools.
The explosive decision caused rifts in the community and the night before they were set to attend, the Arkansas governor ordered the state’s National Guard not to allow them in.
It was the best and worst of times as the line goes. Education matters in Alabama have progressed for the worse. This state is ranked as of the present number 46th in the worst education.
Overall Alabama is considered one of the worst states to live in so when it comes to their education, it seems that they are also one theme. This state has low safety, reading scores, and more, you name it, they’ve got it. Not in a good way.
Despite its poor education stats, this state did make the good side of history at some point. Alabama was at the center of the Civil War and is a state with a complicated history. In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. marched thousands of activists approximately 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, after police continued to block them.
The march was historic for African-Americans and their struggles, and that same year, Congress decided to pass Voting Rights.
Oklahoma isn’t the best place if you’re looking to get a good education. This state lacks funding and an even lower graduation rate from both high school and university.
Continuous budget cuts and low teacher salaries aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Issues like a high dropout rate, a poor student-teacher ratio, and plummeting standardized test scores all affect the education system in Oklahoma. Many people believe that both the quality of educators and resources need to be improved.
The state’s economy is primarily due to the natural gas and oil industry, and while money-making resources are a top priority here, investing in public education and spending on students is not.
As the song goes, “started from the bottom now we’re here.” This is the first state that kicks off the bottom ten of this list. This state used to be among the last but although it is a slow journey to progress things seem to be looking up.
We are rooting for you Nevada! Partying and gambling seem to be a big focus here so if only they would shift their priorities towards education a little bit more.
As of 2023, The Nevada Department of Education has something to celebrate. They achieved the biggest education budget for grades K-12 in Nevada’s state history. Nevada’s youth might finally have a brighter future after the budget allocated nearly $12 billion in education spending.
Several other positive education-related bills were also passed. It looks like the Entertainment Capital of the World might have something else to brag about!
Unlike the other low-ranked states on our list, Kentucky does not have as big of a par in education in comparison to various societies within the state. Men and women and different ethnicities have an overall similar level of education.
The plus side? If they can raise their education level then most likely it would improve for all residence in the state equally. We are rooting for you Kentucky!
Kentucky recently experienced some new changes to education laws, but rather than improving the knowledge of students, it seems like we’re going backward in time.
The controversial State Bill 150 says that teachers aren’t required to use students’ requested pronounds and that trans students can no longer use locker rooms, restrooms, or shower rooms designed for students of a different biological sex. Fifth graders will also stop learning about STDs and sexuality, and sixth graders will need parental consent to learn these topics.
42. New Mexico
The state of New Mexico does not only rank low in the education department but also in many other areas as well, such as healthcare.
It is safe to say that the schools here may be some of the worst in the whole country.
In the “Land of Enchantment,” Bill 130 was recently passed, increasing public school learning time to 1,140 hours. The move was made in response to COVID-19 and the learning struggles of kids who can’t maintain focus.
However, it’s not guaranteed that simply more hours in class will be able to bridge all the learning gaps. Still, the extra time means that teachers get some time off to shadow other educators at work and improve their own classroom management capabilities.
When it comes to the quality of education, Texas is rather ranked fairly high, however they are ranked low on this list because in comparision to other states people just aren’t attending school.
Residents may just not have proper access to schools so they are hindered and less inclined to seek out their education.
While education access is an issue in this state with many rural locations, so is safety. In more recent times, new school safety laws are being prioritized, like House Bill 3, which requires public schools in Texas to have armed officers and mental health training services for staff members.
The law also allows for more involved active-shooter protocols. These moves come after criticism of parents who worry that Texas schools aren’t prioritizing safety of their children.
Although Tennessee has a high graduation rate, their education is ranked lower than many other states. It is the case for the simple and sad fact that many children drop out before high school.
Because countless students don’t make it to high school and are less likely to pursue higher education, the ones who do are usually the ones motivated to excel.
Tennessee lawmakers have begun to reject huge amounts of money in federal education funds – almost $1.9 billion to be exact. Since the state isn’t exactly in dire states with finances, it really shows you where Tennessee’s priorities are.
Some people believe that this is because of the Republican majority being tyrants when it comes to K-12 education. They’re not giving disadvantaged students the support they need most, which needs to change.
39. South Carolina
South Carolina being ranked 39 may not seem like much but considering where they started, they should be proud of themselves. We sure are! They used to be ranked low all across the board, education included but they’ve made some positive changes to their systems.
If they keep up these strides, they’ll be moving up in ranks in no time at all, not just in education. They are a prime example of how hard work pays off. Applause to you SC!
The tourism industry in South Carolina has blossomed into an East Coast vacation destination with hotspots such as Myrtle Beach and Charleston. But beyond the budget-friendly beaches, desirable golf courses, and warm weather, some uniquely positive changes to education have been made.
Law H4122 makes Narcan an addition to life-saving meds allowed in school, while H3908 gives teachers six weeks of paid family time, and schools are banned from meal debt-shaming.
Apparently, Indiana offers a pretty good education overall, high school included although their early childhood education is lacking. This state is not ranked as the worst, they are comfortably in the middle but we don’t think they should get too comfortable.
A good foundation is the building blocks to success, and education is no exception. No is the time to invest in early childhood education development or they will suffer the consequences of this in the long term. They are notoriously known as having the worst early education system, not something we’d be too keen on being famous for.
Indiana has come under fire for unfair labor practice allegations and anger toward school board members. When the teachers union attempted to bargain over pay, they decided to ban the president from the classroom and disinvite reps from back-to-school events.
The state has a long history of bargaining rights regarding teachers, as well as a continuous shortage of educators in various subjects and fields.
Arizona may be ranked somewhere in the middle but looks can be deceiving. This state actually has some of the lowest graduation rates in the country. At the end of the day, this issue comes down to something as simple as language or lack there of. We condone Arizona for being very diverse, one of the most in the U.S. but with this amazing feat comes different challenges. These challenges are indeed language barriers. Children who don’t have strong English at home make it harder for them to communicate and learn.
Children who don’t have the ability or the opportunity to have strong English right off the bat have a staggered progression when it comes to education. especially when the systems in place are not adaptable for them to advance.
Arizona is the only state that has actually has an English-only education law in place. This racist, decades-old law prevents bilingual education, which is especially problematic given the state’s diverse population and the fact that students already deal with language barrier issues.
Although voters have attempted to repeal parts of this destructive law established in 2000, which goes by Proposition 203, it is unfortunately still being practiced.
Budget cuts are a real struggle. Where a State cuts its budget can set the tone for its entire trajectory and Idaho is no exception. Idaho cut its education budget and it definitely shows in this state negatively. If you’re thinking of getting a good education, you may have second thoughts about Idaho and you’d be right.
Out of any other state, Idaho shockingly has the least amount of money set aside for education out of all 50 states.
Despite putting aside barely any funding, Governor Brad Little is attempting to make a $115 million K-12 budget cut. Educators across Iowa are concerned about this funding shortfall and not getting the money they were initially promised.
This is completely understandable, given that thousands of administrators, teachers, and support staff wouldn’t be getting the help and money they so desperately need.
35. South Dakota
This may get confusing, so we’ll break it down. In South Dakota, there is a considerably large amount of residents with a college degree perhaps more than a lot of States. How are they still ranked 35 you ask? Great question!
The answer is simple a lot of South Dakota natives once they get their good ole’ education look to transfer out and reside elsewhere. Plus their high drop-out rate doesn’t help. It’s safe to say they are all over the place, figuratively and literally speaking. It’s safe to say you may have a South Dakota native in your state sooner rather than later.
The South Dakota public school system (k-12) operates within 169 school districts. There is approximately one teacher to every 14 students and the state had an on-time graduate rate of 84% from 2018-2019.
But what about a college education? Part of the reason that enrollment figures have begun declining even more (beyond the pandemic) is factors like college costs and student debts.
We love progress, don’t you? Ohio although not the strongest educated State has progressed two places up in rank than where they were previously. Moving your way up the education system is no easy feat. Every bit of progress counts!
Their education accessibility isn’t the friendliest but we hope their progression works in the direction to improve it. We are rooting for you Ohio!
Despite Ohio being the underdog of education in the US, they still have a long way to go. In Ohio, the 1970 Kent State University shootings took place, where multiple students were killed and wounded by the Ohio National Guard during anti-Vietnam War protests.
The state is undergoing a Republican-backed overhaul of how Ohio handles and oversees K-12 education, including verdicts on curriculums and academic standards. According to a lawsuit filed in 2023, this violates the state’s constitution.
Missouri’s education system ranks pretty decently in the middle of this list. It’s like they say, not too cold but not too hot, just right. What they do have in their favor is it is the best State when it comes to education affordability and overall satisfaction among students.
Missouri struggles to keep its teachers satisfied which may contribute to the drop in teachers within the workforce
Missouri doesn’t have the best education in the country, but it doesn’t have the worst. As we mentioned, teachers aren’t the happiest in this state. More specifically, a lot of educators find that they feel both under-supported and undervalued.
As with many teachers, pay is a huge problem. As inflation costs continue to rise, many of them find it difficult to cover living expenses daily. The burnout is real, folks, and it’s all due to poor leadership.
Although Georgia doesn’t rank particularly high or low on this list we need to give them props for their school’s safety. On an even more positive note the gap between low-income areas when it comes to getting a quality education is closing.
Hopefully, it gets better before it gets worse.
Georgia has a rich history and musical scene, and things might also be looking up for their educational landscape. High schools in Georgia have begun to make marginal gains, except for the class of 2021.
These annual improvements give us hope that the state’s educational system is starting to become more student-centered.
Iowa is considered to have a quality curriculum when it comes to its education system. Their teachers are trained thoroughly and prepared to tackle the learning system.
It makes sense that these quality teachers impact the state’s education in such a way.
Although the state is certainly home to some of the best educators, something shocking has been going on. Iowa’s Republican-controlled Legislator has decided to remove hundreds of books nationwide from school libraries.
Done under Senate File 496, this law bans books without descriptions of sex acts. It also bans books on gender or sexual identity for readers younger than the seventh grade.
The state of Pennsylvania has an impressive high school graduation rate and many of these studious students go on to earn a BA, Masters or higher. The average 25-year-old plus has at least a high school diploma or above.
Public schooling options are accessible to households both traditional options as well as charter schools and technical schools to choose from. These options are also adaptable to students for both online and in-person preferences.
Pennsylvania’s future of education might shine even brighter as lawmakers in the state try to figure out a new funding formula.
Pennsylvania currently has approximately 1.7 million kids attending traditional charter (cyber included) and specialized public schools. The budget is 26% higher than it was three years ago. In 2022, Philadelphia’s School District launched its Safe Path gun violence prevention program to keep kids safer.
Even though Alaskan residents get a quality education, they are ranked 29 for the reason that this state has some of the biggest achievement gaps in the entire country.
When comparing this state to other states in America they have some of the lowest math and reading test scores.
To encourage more indigenous or Alaska Native teachers in the Anchorage School District, a new cultural program has been launched. This program aims to support Alaska Native high school students and guide them to different possible careers in education via workshops and trainings based on Indigenous practices and knowledge.
It’s called Gui Kima, which translates to “About Myself” and has been funded by a federal grant.
California is considered a leader in many matters. When it comes to economy and population it has most states beat. California has one of the strongest economies, perhaps of all the states. When it comes to education though their education isn’t as leading as it would like it to be.
California and Texas seem to be in slight rivalry and although they do have similarities they both differ in their own right. California seems to be investing heavily in education these last few years so there may be some new positive advancements for this state if things go according to plan.
Although California is one of the most liberal states in the US and one of the most financially stable, the home to Hollywood is still not as high up on this list as they would’ve hoped.
Despite positive moves like signing legislature such as “Melanie’s Law,” which mandates schools have better resources for fentanyl overdoses (both prevention and response), teachers in Sausalito have threatened to strike after a two-year wait for a contract from its teachers union.
The Michigan Department of Education has implemented a standard for English Language and Mathematics studies relevant to education from Kindergarten through high school grade twelve. This ensures that the core curriculum of students is at the same level across the state.
In the 2022-23 school year, state-wide attendance rates improved by nearly 2%. Still, Michigan needs to step up for their special needs students. There is a major shortage of special education teachers, and part of this is due to the immense amount of paperwork and data collection involved.
House Bill 4752 was signed into law, allowing retired educators to temporarily fill vacancies in their school district while still receiving retirement pensions and health care benefits.
26. North Carolina
This State gives its residents various opportunities to advance within the system and education is no different. They offer many growth opportunities when it comes to both professional and personal endeavors.
North Carolina has a thriving economy to match and attracts countless companies in the high-tech sector, such as IBM and Cisco Systems, among others.
North Carolina is significantly better ranked in education than their neighbor, South Carolina. A lot of their funds come from the North Carolina Education Lottery, which was started in 2005.
Here’s the logic: for each dollar someone spends on a lottery ticket in NC, around a quarter goes to a school in the state. Although the lottery doesn’t fully fund the educational system revamps and cover all the costs, it does help significantly for this state.
Kansas has a decently high graduation rate. The overall number of college attendees in Kansas has increased over the years and many students attend traditional public schools across the state.
It is relatively easy and cheap to live and thrive in Kansas and their education system is doing pretty great to match. What’s not to love?
Besides being cheap to live and a great place to raise your kids who are of school age, it’s also home to some of the best barbecue in the country.
The KEEP program (Kansas Education Enrichment Program) is also a great reason to head down south. KEEP provides parents or guardians with $1,000 for each eligable student. This amount can be spent on educational services or goods.
Wyoming may be one of the less talked about and memorable states among the 50 but when it comes to education, they should be put in the spotlight more.
They are constantly improving their education rank per year and their overall education system is even higher. One of the best facts about education in Wyoming is that it is considered one of the safest places to get an education and it is consistently moving up in all areas. Some would even say that they are a rising star.
Wyoming is a breathtaking place to get an education, with its gorgeous mountain sceneries and Western vistas. If you can handle the cold, that is.
Wyoming’s nickname is “The Equality State” because the state was the first one to give women voting rights. If that’s not an indicator of a bright future for Wyoming’s youth, we don’t know what is!
23. North Dakota
The state of North Dakota has the biggest proportion of people with a high school diploma, equivalent (GED) or higher. When examining this state’s high school test scores alone, more students took college entry examinations such as the SAT or the ACT than any other.
Graduation rates for North Dakota are ranked in the first quintile which is nationally considered in the top 20% out of all the country’s states.
North Dakota’s High School Grade rate is a whopping 93%, which is the second highest of states in that area. Their dropout rate is also the second lowest compared to neighboring states in the same geographic area.
Apart from high SAT scores, there are some other benefits to living in North Dakota. This includes budget-friendly homes, low crime rates, and a reasonable cost of living for residents.
The state of Nebraska has one of the strongest public education systems in the country. Most students earn a higher education and have competitive test scores overall in both mathematics and reading comprehension.
The high school graduation rate in Nebraska alone is about 90%. Additionally, this state is low in crime and high in community values. They are as close-knit as they come, making it one of the safest, not to mention one of the most welcoming.
The Cornhusker State is driven by livestock, ethanol, and of course, corn. As of 2022, students in Nebraska scored among the best in the United States in national reading and math assessments.
Both fourth and eights graders had scores that soared above the national average in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and no state scored more impressively than Nebraska in math for fourth-graders.
The state of Florida has 67 school districts, one for each county, independent from each respective county. The different districts claim property tax within their respective jurisdictions to support their set budgets. Additionally, this state has countless private schools by the hundreds.
This Sunshine State is said to have a sizable system when it comes to universities and colleges as well. They are considered a top-notch education state.
Although this beautiful state is controversial for a bevy of other reasons, there are plenty of opportunities for students and they consistently come out on top for education ratings.
The average graduation rate is almost 45 higher than the national average, and they have several scholarship programs available such as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program and the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program.
Wisconsin is an interesting bag of tricks. This state is reported to rank high in education systems when it comes to grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, but there are other factors that reveal that students in Wisconsin fall behind in other areas.
When it comes to funding, safety, teacher qualifications, and class sizes everything seems to round out.
Despite impressive numbers overall, charter and private school students appear to outperform their public school peers in the Badger State, so looking at demographics is key here.
As of 2019, the graduation rate was 90%, and their teacher-to-pupil ratio was slightly better than the national average, at one educator to fourteen students rather than one for every sixteen, which is the US median.
We hate to say it Montana, but it seems you’re simply average, especially in public education. Reading and Math levels are more or less at the 50% mark. They have several high-performing school districts that balance them out on this list.
What is nice about Montana is that they also have high achievement in extracurriculars such as challenging and beneficial athletic programs that make for some well-rounded students.
Montana spends less than the national average for what states spend on education per pupil. While they come in lower for local revenue per pupil, they scored fifth in the nation for federal revenue per pupil.
Along with having a world-class education for public school students, there are high-quality universities here such as Montana State University. It’s also a great place to live if you love winter sports, fishing or hunting.
When it comes to Maine, they have a 94% high school graduation rate or higher. This is considered as of current, the second-highest percentage of graduates at the high school level within the greater region that Maine is a part of.
I guess it’s safe to say that Maine is starring as a main character. Most average 25-year-olds and higher that reside in Maine have a high school diploma or better.
Stephen King’s hometown also scores quite high in school finance, earning a B average. They offer a ratio of 12 students per teacher, as opposed to the national average of 16 to one, which indicates more attention to students in the classroom.
Their score in the “change for success” category is a C+, which is higher than the national average. With areas like Acadia National Park and the Appalachian Trail, this is one of the most scenic places to reside.
When you think of Hawaii, your first thought might be beaches and volcanos and not education, but they are raising the tide here too. Their schooling will give you are run for your money. Yet another reason to travel to Hawaii and fantasize about staying.
Even though they are ranked as one of the poorer states in the country, their education is climbing to greater heights. That’s quite impressive if you ask us.
Despite the tragic Maui fires, Hawaii is still the champ in the most beautiful places to live and the best place to get an education. There is only one school district here to avoid bureaucracy and funding challenges.
It’s also one of the most diverse education districts, as the minority enrollment is 90% and the amount of economically disadvantaged students is 36.3%.
Illinois ranks fairly high on this list of educated states. The children residing in this country are put into early education and pre-kindergarten at a considerably young age so that may have something to do with it. This state catches them early and it impacts their level of success and studying, we have no doubts.
Most of these youngins also have parents that are well educated with higher degrees of education which also plays a factor. You know what they say, lead by example, because it is the most effective. Children like to mimic the adults closest to them most of the time.
This highly educated state has begun to reduce the number of suspensions and exclusionary discipline in schools, which will allow students to remain in the classroom.
Keeping misbehaving students in class can improve their academic standing and other long-term problems that have developed in recent years. Students exposed to these forms of discipline are more likely to drop out of school, repeat grades, and even participate in crime.
Oregon is ranked so high on this list because it truly has a strong education system and schools for the reason that countless big-name high-tech companies call this state home. These companies catch the eye of particularly educated people and the rest is history.
This means though that just because you’re native in the state you’re not necessarily the most educated but those Oregon transplants raise the numbers in Oregon’s favor. Oregon is home to the highest number of college degree holders but based on what we know this may be skewed due to people moving into the state for those fancy high-tech jobs.
Despite the college stats looking great, public school performance in elementary and middle school says something different. A lot of this has to do with setbacks that occurred during the pandemic.
Currently, the Oregon Department of Education is aiming to close the Achievement Gap, increase performance in early childhood years, and make their teachers and administrators more effective in schools across the state.
14. New York
New York residents are some of the most educated in the country but it is no surprise. They do have some of the highest-rated universities in the country so it makes sense.
This parallels their general education as well and these smart students live mainly in New York City.
Despite having some of the most intelligent students in the United States, kids certainly grow up fast in the Big Apple. They’re exposed to more than their suburban counterparts, so way more temptations exist to threaten their grades.
The fact that they still succeed and get stellar grades is quite inspiring. The top two high schools in NYC are the Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School.
Delaware has a surprisingly small budget when it comes to education, but they are still ranked rather high. They are in the top 20 states for highest education.
They are about 1% less in budget in comparison to the average of all the states and still, they are climbing the ranks and beating most all. Why you ask? We think it may have something to do with them being among the smallest of states. They may be small but they sure are mighty.
Delaware’s #1 school district is the Appoquinimink School District in Odessa, Delaware. They have an overall grade of A+ and are the only public school system that offers six different languages and college credit.
Schools in Delaware (one in Appoquinimink) have also earned the Sapphire Award for Excellence in School Counseling. The Kent County Secondary Intensive Learning Center Bunker Hill Elementary School earned this accolade by using small group and individual counseling and lessons.
12. Rhode Island
Rhode Island historically has more teacher absences than any other state and yet they are still on the up and up. They continue to have proficient learning and literacy rates throughout.
This state has teamed up with both federal and state regulations and laws to ensure that every student has their education rights met. Having basic education rights for all students is a priority for this state regardless of their background and residence within the state.
Between 2002 and 2020, Rhode Island K-12 education funding was increased by 31%, which is a testament to its ongoing tradition of fantastic public education.
There are several award-winning schools in Rhode Island, including five-star schools, blue ribbon schools and green ribbon schools. Beyond its successful academic track record, RI is a cultural melting pot, making it a diverse place to raise a family.
Washington is considered one of the happiest states in the U.S.A. so it makes sense that they are also ranked high when it comes to education. They rank the highest in adults who have a degree and a high, high school graduation rate.
Another great achievement for Washington is that their educational attainment between genders is at one of the smallest gaps out of anywhere in the country.
Pupils in Washington State are provided for and prioritized regardless of sex, race, or color. Funding has expanded a lot in the past few years, and Washington remains at the top of its neighboring states when it comes to state spending.
Much of those funds go to state salaries, which are significantly higher than other states. That said, Washington had better math and reading numbers on national assessments a decade ago.
This Beehive State is one of the most educated states around. Although famous for its great hikes and views, another great thing to know about this state is that it ranks 3rd highest in university quality and 2nd highest in adults with degrees.
Utah has a pretty impressive story to tell when it comes to education and we hope this state keeps up this wonderful story for years to come.
Not only is Utah incredibly educated, but it comes out on top with health care, economy, infrastructure and more. Combined with the awe-inspiring natural beauty, this state truly gives people an exquisite quality of life.
Utah is also one of the top five states when it comes to college affordability. According to this state, knowledge shouldn’t come at such a high price, and we tend to agree.
Although Minnesota is considered one of the poorer states, they are on top when it comes to their education. How, you ask? They prioritize it! As a result of this prioritization, they are highly ranked and aren’t letting their finances get in the way of their education system.
Public schools have high budgets and are funded really well despite state struggles.
Although it has room to improve in its disappointing structural racism and racial disparities, Minnesota’s rep for a solid public education is solid. They consistently come out on top of national rankings for factors like education quality and school safety.
Beyond good schooling, Minnesota is one of the best states to live in for all kinds of folks, from sports lovers to art and music fans.
8. New Hampshire
Great education and the smallest educational attainment gaps, should be New Hampshire’s new slogan. It’s true, through and through although their education quality can use a bit of work. Not everyone is perfect but as long as they are willing to work on it they are headed for great things.
They most certainly have bragging rights when it comes to being the second-highest percentage of high school graduates.
While New Hampshire education is stellar for those educated, there are questions about whether it’s the most teacher-friendly state. Sadly, it has work to do in this area.
Teaching is one of the most noble jobs out there, and though they deserve to get paid higher amounts, the wages are often low. Post-pandemic, teachers are stretched even thinner than usual, and there’s an immense lack of opportunity and prioritizing of educators.
Virginia is on the up and up when it comes to education. This state is taking matters into its own hands and it seems to be working. Virginia has some of the highest test scores and the wealthiest. We think it’s safe to say there is a correlation between them.
Extra funding in the education system always helps for successful results and this state has plenty to spare.
Virginia consistently outperforms the average regarding grade levels and subject areas, and they always score prominently in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.
The state ranks high in variables beyond student performance, such as safety, instructor credentials, class size, and funding. Beyond strong education, it’s a family-friendly place to live with lots of job opportunities.
6. New Jersey
New Jersey, also known as the Garden State, has crept its way to the top, becoming the cream of the crop. Although they have some extreme education gaps when it comes to different races, they have some strong things to offer.
This state is a great place to live when it comes to children’s education but their higher education could use some improvement.
Despite not being as famous as NYC, The Big Apple’s neighbor, The Garden State, ranks even higher in education. Despite the fact that issues exist with racial disparity, the commitment, creativity, and experience of public school employees are why this state is flourishing.
In 2021, Education Week named NJ’s public schools the best in the nation due to chance for success, K-12 performance and finance. NJ is a foodie haven with tons of opportunity – plus, it’s much more affordable than New York City!
Colorado is ranked in the top 5 for a reason. They have some of the most wonderful school systems, not to mention beautiful scenery encapsulated in mountains and nature.
It’s a great time for the whole family, kids’ education included, and childhood development.
Beyond the stunning natural landscape, Colorado boasts some impressive college stats. Colorado residents have the second-best college attainment rate in the U.S., and they keep improving. Over 60% of residents carry a bachelor’s, with the city of Boulder coming out on top.
The state contains many top-tier colleges, programs, and universities, which may be its secret. It’s a leader in engineering, federal science, and research facilities.
Vermont is also considered one of the wealthiest states in the country, so it’s no wonder that it ranks so high. Where there is wealth there is usually a strong level of education because there is more money to invest.
Vermont has some of the highest spending budgets per student of any state in the country. This state additionally offers various opportunities in education for a variety of incomes.
Vermont’s graduation rate from 2012-2013 was 86.6%, which was the second highest among its peers nearby. They’re consistently on Top Ten education lists, but there are still concerns in other areas.
What exactly is the elephant in the room for this top-rated state? The biggest issue in the state is the opportunity and achievement gap, which requires a closer look at the economic and geographic divides separating different residents of Vermont.
Connecticut has a high percentage of kids who are enrolled in school early on, this contributes largely to their highly rated ranking.
In Connecticut about 66% of kids are enrolled in preschool, making this state’s average 16% higher than the average at a national level. Because preschool enrollment is so high, Kindergarten attendance is also high. It makes sense because if you’re already in the school system at such a young age, you’re most likely to continue and excel.
Connecticut’s education ranking has slipped slightly since COVID-19, but they’re still going strong in terms of quality of education. The 2018-2019 school year’s graduation rate was 89%.
Based on reports, the best school districts in Connecticut are the Westport School District and New Canaan district, which perform impressively and earn A+ ratings in categories like administration, clubs and activities, college prep, and teachers.
Maryland, the land of the free, is known as “the free state” by many. They are ranked very high in most educational categories. Many people hold degrees and have attended higher education beyond high school. They are also considerably wealthy, like most states that excel and hold top spots on this list.
When it comes to the average family income in the state of Maryland they have the highest in the country, which is almost directly correlated to more opportunities, both in and out of the school system.
Coming in at #2, Maryland excels at everything from Math and Reading performance and proficiency to Graduation Rate and College Readiness, according to some prestigious education publications. They also provide students with the STEM skills that are becoming increasingly necessary in the working world.
The Maryland State Department of Education was recently awarded $1 million for a U.S. Department of Education program that promotes diverse and inclusive educational opportunities.
Massachusetts ends this list, having the highest education out of all 50 states. With top universities that are highly coveted and highly regarded such as MIT and Harvard, how can you even be surprised? It makes perfect sense that these state natives take their education to the next level.
These residents don’t play around when dealing with their education. They outrank all states by a landslide in all areas of education and they don’t have any signs of slowing down. They are the state to beat.
In the 70s and 80s, the state’s education wasn’t that impressive. But what changed, exactly? In the 90s, Massachusetts started to use a significant amount of state money towards districts where many low-income kids were being educated.
The difference in the result was visible right away, and from then on, MA always prioritized hiring talented teachers and focusing on training them better. The safety at Massachusetts schools is also unparalleled, with the state having the lowest percentage of pupils who feel threatened or have been injured in their schools.