Unless one is destined to assume the ranks of wildly successful college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, education remains the traditional route to financial success for many Americans. Consider the median incomes for workers aged 25 and older in 2013. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned 59 percent more than those with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure grows — and chances of unemployment shrink — as a worker’s educational attainment improves.
And with school resuming session, many parents will seek the best school districts in order to secure the greatest chance for their children’s academic success — and higher future earning potential. In comparing schools, it’s important to recognize that though the amount of state funding a school receives can be helpful, it is by no means a determinant of quality.
In addition, states that invest more dollars in education benefit not only their residents but also their economies. The Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, reported that income is higher in states where the workforce is well educated and hence more productive. With higher incomes, workers in turn can contribute more in taxes to beef up state budgets over the long run.
In light of back-to-school season, WalletHub studied the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to identify those with the best and worst school systems. We did so by analyzing 12 key metrics — from student-teacher ratios and dropout rates to test scores and bullying incident rates. By shining the spotlight on top-performing states in terms of education, WalletHub can encourage parents to help their children realize their maximum potential.
School System Quality Rank
Education Output & Safety Rank
|51||District of Columbia||50||31|