Which States Have the Highest Ranked School Systems?


Quick Answer

States with the best public school systems in 2015 include Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland. Finance website 24/7 Wall St. compiled the results using data from a national study in “Education Week.”

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Massachusetts ranks as the best state in the country for public schooling, receiving a letter grade of B. Massachusetts students rank highly in academic achievement, with a greater percentage of fourth graders achieving math and reading proficiency than in any other state. Over 18 percent of the state’s eighth graders also achieved an advanced performance on national math exams, which is twice the national average.

New Jersey also scores highly, ranking fifth in country for per pupil spending and second in eighth grade math and reading proficiency. A significant portion of students in New Jersey also benefit from early education, with 63 percent of eligible children attending preschool in 2013. The state also has a high school graduation rate of 87 percent, which is ninth in the country.

Maryland is the only state in the country where the majority of high school students perform better than average on Advanced Placement exams, with 51 percent of 11th and 12th graders achieving high marks. Although the state isn’t even in the top 10 for per pupil spending, fourth grade students in Maryland had a reading proficiency rate of 45 percent, which is well above the national average.

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