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10 States With Best and Worst Schools
The public school system is arguably the bedrock of the United States of America. We value education in this country, proudly boasting about the quality of our neighborhood schools and lamenting loudly when they are not up to standards.

''What did you do at school today?'' ''Nothing.'' THIS is how to get a better answer and get your kids to talk about school.

Using data from Education Week's Quality Counts 2017 report, 24/7 Wall St. did the hard work and figured out the states with the best and worst schools using three criteria, which were weighted equally:

  • School Finances: metrics on cost-adjusted per-pupil spending and how equitably spending was distributed across districts in the state.

  • Student Achievement: kindergarten through 12th grade achievement, which includes test score data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

  • Chances for Success: data on family income, parent education and employment, child schooling and employment opportunities after college.

It's interesting to note that even the six states with the highest-performing schools achieved a grade of no higher than "B."

Top 10 states with the best schools and their overall grade:
1. Massachusetts: B
Per pupil spending: $14,081 (11th highest)
High school graduation rate: 87.3 percent (13th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 57.8 percent (3rd highest)

2. New Jersey: B
Per pupil spending: $15,946 (6th highest)
High school graduation rate: 89.7 percent (2nd highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 63.7 percent (2nd highest)

3. Vermont: B
Per pupil spending: $19,654 (the highest)
High school graduation rate: 87.7 percent (11th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 54.2 percent (5th highest)

4. New Hampshire: B
Per pupil spending: $15,386 (7th highest)
High school graduation rate: 88.1 percent (7th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 53.1 percent (7th highest)

5. Maryland: B
Per pupil spending: $12,922 (18th highest)
High school graduation rate: 87.0 percent (16th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 50.5 percent (10th highest)

6. Connecticut: B
Per pupil spending: $16,637 (5th highest)
High school graduation rate: 87.2 percent (14th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 63.9 percent (the highest)

7. Wyoming: B-
Per pupil spending: $17,490 (4th highest)
High school graduation rate: 79.3 percent (14th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 40.3 percent (12th lowest)

8. Pennsylvania: B-
Per pupil spending: $14,394 (10th highest)
High school graduation rate: 84.8 percent (25th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 45.0 percent (25th highest)

9. New York: B-
Per pupil spending: $18,191 (3rd highest)
High school graduation rate: 79.2 percent (13th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 57.3 percent (4th highest)

10. Rhode Island: C+
Per pupil spending: $14,601 (9th highest)
High school graduation rate: 83.2 percent (22nd lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 45.6 percent (22nd highest)

Top 10 states with the worst schools and their overall grade:
1. Nevada: D
Per pupil spending: $8,441 (5th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 71.3 percent (2nd lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 33.5 percent (2nd lowest)

2. Mississippi: D
Per pupil spending: $9,656 (13th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 75.4 percent (4th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 49.0 percent (15th highest)

3. New Mexico: D
Per pupil spending: $10,714 (18th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 68.6 percent (the lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 40.7 percent (15th lowest)

4. Idaho: D+
Per pupil spending: $8,066 (2nd lowest)
High school graduation rate: 78.9 percent (12th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 29.6 percent (the lowest)

5. Oklahoma: D+
Per pupil spending: $8,929 (7th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 82.5 percent (21st lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 43.2 percent (22nd lowest)

6. Louisiana: D+
Per pupil spending: $11,774 (25th highest)
High school graduation rate: 77.5 percent (8th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 50.1 percent (11th highest)

7. Alabama: D+
Per pupil spending: $10,038 (15th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 89.3 percent (3rd highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 42.4 percent (18th lowest)

8. Arizona: D+
Per pupil spending: $8,125 (3rd lowest)
High school graduation rate: 77.4 percent (7th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 37.1 percent (6th lowest)

9. Arkansas: C-
Per pupil spending: $11,587 (24th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 84.9 percent (25th highest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 49.1 percent (14th highest)

10. California: C-
Per pupil spending: $8,694 (6th lowest)
High school graduation rate: 82.0 percent (20th lowest)
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool: 48.3 percent (17th highest)

Twenty dollars for an A? Ten dollars for a B? Is paying kids for good grades an incentive or a bribe?

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