New Mexico Received Lowest Score In "Quality" Based On Drop Out Rate
In a list of 2017’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems, New Mexico had the second worst school system in the U.S. The quality of public school systems varies widely from state to state and is often a question of funding. Some researchers have found that more resources — or taxes paid by residents — typically result in better school-system performance.
Unlike other research that focuses primarily on academic outcomes or school finance, WalletHub’s analysis takes a more comprehensive approach, accounting for performance, funding, safety, class size and instructor credentials. To determine the top-performing school systems in the U.S, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions — “Quality” and “Safety” — and 21 key measures.
Massachusetts received the best score in both categories. The state had the highest math and reading test scores, the highest median ACT score and the lowest percentage of threatened or injured high school students.
Louisiana scored the worst of any state in “Safety”, but New Mexico received the lowest score in “Quality”, based on the state’s drop out rate, of which New Mexico had the second highest. New Mexico also had the second lowest reading test scores and third lowest math test scores.
Quality is also determined by the share of licensed/certified public K-12 teachers, the state’s high school graduation rate among low-income students, SAT and ACT scores and the pupil-teacher ratio.
New Mexico scored 40 out of 51 in “Safety,” based on the share of threatened or injured high school students as well as armed high school students, high school students with access to illegal drugs, participating in violence and/or not attending school due to safety concerns. It was also determined by New Mexico’s youth incarceration rate and rate of disciplinary and bullying incidences.
Arkansas had the highest percentage of threatened or injured high school students while Idaho had the highest bullying incidence rate. The District of Columbia had the lowest bullying incidence rate, but the highest dropout rate, the lowest math and reading test scores and the lowest median SAT score.
Quality and Safety of Schools in New Mexico (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 49th – Math Test Scores
- 50th – Reading Test Scores
- 25th – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
- 23rd – Median SAT Score
- 39th – Median ACT Score
- 50th – Dropout Rate