WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a new study by WalletHub, which ranks state with the best and worst school systems, Michigan ranked at number 31 in the United States. This puts more than half of the states in the county at higher rankings.
WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based personal finance website, compared public school systems by 25 different measures of quality and safety including pupil-to-teacher ratio, dropout rates and median standardized test scores.
Michigan’s score was rated at number 27 in quality, and number 44 in safety.
To analyze school safety, WalletHub looked at cyberbullying, class size and instructor credentials.
The WalletHub study found that states determine how student performance plays its role under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, so opportunities aren’t equal in every state. This comes down to the amount of money state and local governments decide to spend on public education.
The highest rated schools are concentrated in the Northeast, where the top five schools — Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont, respectively — are all located. The bottom rankings were in New Mexico, Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Arizona.
According to the authors of the study, the quality of public education often comes down to the level of funding from the federal, state and local governments. States contribute almost as much as local governments, and the federal government contributes the smallest share.
Additionally, the study found that Iowa has the lowest dropout rate, at 8.7 percent, which is 3.5 times lower than in the District of Columbia, where the dropout rate is 30.8 percent.
Vermont was found to have the lowest pupil-to-teacher ratio which is 2.2 times lower than in California.
Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin share the highest median SAT score, 613.33, which is 1.5 times higher than in the District of Columbia, whose median score is 396.67.
The District of Columbia has the lowest share of students who were bullied online, at 8.90 percent, which is 2.4 times lower than in Louisiana, where 21.20 students report cyberbullying.