Website Ranks California’s Public Schools 38th in the Nation

Personal finance website WalletHub has released its list of the best and worst public school systems in America.

The researchers compared public schools in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Considerations included the following:

  • Presence of public schools in “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools”
  • Blue ribbon schools per capita
  • High school graduation rates and projected high school graduation rate increases
  • Math test scores
  • ACT, SAT, and advanced placement exam scores
  • Pupil-to-teacher ratios
  • Share of licensed/certified teachers
  • School safety issues, including number of school shootings; share of armed high school students; bullying rates; discipline rates; school safety plans; and share of high school students with access to illegal drugs. 

Each of the criteria were given a weight toward a total possible score of 100. California came in at #38 out of 51 with a score of 42.43. It was dead last for student-to-teacher ratios but fourth best for the percentage of high school students who have experienced threats or injuries.

The states with the top 5 best public school systems and their respective scores were as follows:

1. Massachusetts (67.85)

2. New Jersey (64.78)

3. Connecticut (62.36)

4. Virginia (61.42)

5. Vermont (60.71)

The states with the 5 worst public school systems were:

51. New Mexico (28.81)

50. Louisiana (29.93)

49. Arizona (34.61)

48. Mississippi (37.40)

47. West Virginia (37.86)


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