(The Center Square) – Washington state has the 21st worst school system in America, according to a new report from WalletHub.
The personal finance website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 32 key metrics to determine its ranking.
Among the metrics examined by WalletHub: performance, funding, security, class size, and instructor credentials.
With a total score of 47.46, Washington ranked 31st out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.
WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez weighed in on Evergreen State’s placement on the list.
“Washington’s public school system ranks in the bottom half, despite high spending,” she pointed out in an email to The Center Square. “The state has a small number of blue ribbon schools per capita, a low high school graduation rate among low-income students, just above 72 percent, and a high dropout rate. high, almost 19%.
Gonzalez went on to say, “It also has the second-lowest proportion of high school graduates who have completed ACT and/or SAT at 35% and a high student-teacher ratio.”
That compares to the national average of $14,418 per student to fund K-12 education, according to statistics from the Education Data Initiative last year.
Critics say the increased spending isn’t producing the desired return on investment. Last year’s student tests showed large drops in English and maths compared to the last pre-COVID-19 tests taken in 2019.
Statewide assessments administered last fall and released earlier this year by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction showed that 70% of students did not meet the standard in math, while 52% of students did not reach the standard in English.
It wasn’t all bad news on the basic education front for Washington.
“On the other hand, Washington ranked high for the projected increase in the high school graduation rate between the 2021-2022 and 2032-2033 school years of nearly 8 percent,” Gonzalez said.
In fact, Washington State has done very well in one particular area.
“School safety is where Washington ranks in the top five,” Gonzalez noted. “That’s because it has a digital learning plan, provides accessible technology guidance for educational content, has mandatory school resource officer laws and a school safety audit requirement.”
Washingtonians can also take comfort in the fact that their state has done better than its neighbors in the Pacific Northwest.
WalletHub ranked Idaho 37th. Oregon did even worse, ranking 44th – eighth worst in the nation.
The 10 states with the best school systems:
3. New Jersey
8. North Dakota
The 10 States with the Worst School Systems:
51. New Mexico
47. West Virginia
46. South Carolina