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Massachusetts Named the Best U.S. State School System

Massachusetts earns the #1 ranking for Best U.S. State School System

WalletHub recently published another study, States with the Best & Worst School Systems in 2018. 

Massachusetts topped the list as the Best U.S. State School system (74.16 points). In addition to the highest average, the Bay State excelled in specific state rankings:

  • #1 Highest Math Test Score
  • #1 Highest Reading Test Score
  • #1 Highest Median ACT Score (tied with Connecticut)
  • #1 Lowest % of Threatened/Injured Students High School Students (tied with Oklahoma and Vermont)
  • #5 Lowest Bullying-Incidence Rate 

Other New England states who made the Top 10 Best State School Systems include Connecticut (#3), New Hampshire (#4), and Vermont (#5).

The methodology of the rankings was based on several factors categorized under Quality and Safety:

Quality (80 points)

  • Presence of Public Schools in “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools”: Full Weight (~3.64 Points)
  • Blue Ribbon Schools per Capita: Full Weight (~3.64 Points)
  • High School Graduation Rate Among Low-Income Students: Full Weight (~3.64 Points)
  • Projected High School Graduation Rate Increase Between 2017-2018 and 2031-2032 School Years: Full Weight (~3.64 Points)
  • Dropout Rate: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Math Test Scores: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Reading Test Scores: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Share of 2017 High School Class Scoring “3” or Higher on Advanced Placement Exams: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Median SAT Score: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Median ACT Score: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)
  • Share of High School Graduates Who Completed ACT and/or SAT: Double Weight (~7.27 Points)

Safety (20 points)

  • Share of Threatened/Injured High School Students: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Share of High School Students Not Attending School Due to Safety Concerns: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of High School Students with Access to Illegal Drugs: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of High School Students Participating in Violence: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Share of Armed High School Students: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Number of School Shootings (1990-present (May 30, 2018)): Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Presence of Adopted and Enacted Laws Regulating Mandatory School Resource Officers: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Bullying Incidence Rate: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Disciplinary Incidence Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Youth Incarceration Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)

All rankings, sources, and notes on criteria may be found in the complete study.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report announced the top-ranking high schools in the United States. For Massachusetts, 20 high schools were awarded gold medals, 71 earned silver medals and 22 received bronze medals. The report also named the Top 10 High Schools in Massachusetts.


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