The list puts AL schools just ahead of Mississippi, Idaho and New Mexico, and slightly behind Delaware, Hawaii and neighboring Georgia.
Yellowhammer State schools were mostly given “C-” grades throughout the study’s methodology. For instance, the study rated Alabama 42nd in the nation on state spending on schools, which they said largely accounts for achievement gaps.
Teacher-pupil ratios, average scores on the SAT and ACT college admissions tests, and the presence of local schools on the “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools” list were all according significant weight in measuring state school systems against one another.
Massachusetts took home top honors at No. 1 in the nation, while Colorado, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Kentucky rounded out the top few.
Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, the District of Columbia and Alaska made up the bottom rungs of the national ladder according to WalletHub’s methodology.
A recent post by Mississippi bloggers noted with surprise that the Magnolia State wasn’t pulling up the very rear in this year’s list: It shares a reputation along with other Deep South states as having low-performing schools on average.
The new rankings come following another year of good news for Alabama’s voluntary pre-K system: A study listed it as the country’s best.
Gov. Robert Bentley lauded that news but also noted that limited access to poor students prevents many from accessing them.
The new study in full can be found here.