U.S. News & World Report has released their annual education rankings and Massachusetts has snagged the first-place spot in primary and secondary school education. With a high school graduation rate of more than 88% and high reading and math scores across the board, Massachusetts was judged the best state for students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
The top ranking is largely due to Massachusetts improving their graduation rates from 2016, when around 87% of high school students earned a high school diploma. Boston schools also saw a slight uptick in graduation rates. In 2016, 72.4% graduated from high school, but in 2017 this number rose to 72.7%.
In 2017, Massachuetts students also achieved the top scores in the nation on the standardized National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math tests. Students in the state also scored well on the reading assessment portion of the tests; only New Hampshire test takers scored higher.
However, Massachusetts did not achieve a high ranking for higher education. Due to low college graduation rates and sky-high tuition and fees, U.S. News & World Report ranked the state 29th in the country in terms of the quality of its higher education institutions. In contrast, Florida snagged the top spot on the list for its low-cost colleges and universities and high graduation rates at both two-year and four-year institutions.
While the state performed well in the U.S. News & World Report’s education category, overall it dropped from first place to eighth place. Replaced by Iowa, the New England state suffered due to a decrease in fiscal stability and poor access to adequate infrastructure like good roads and high-speed internet.