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Education Statistics > Best Educated Index (most recent) by state

DEFINITION: "This fourth Smartest State designation is awarded based on 21 factors chosen from Morgan Quitno’s annual reference book, Education State Rankings, 2005-2006. Featuring four new factors, this year’s award de-emphasizes spending for public schools and instead measures states based on student achievement, positive outcomes and personal attention from teachers." - Morgan Quitno Press
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Rank   States  Amount 
# 1     Vermont: 17.58 
# 2     Connecticut: 15.88 
# 3     Massachusetts: 14.48 
# 4     New Jersey: 12.55 
# 5     Maine: 9.33 
# 6     Minnesota: 8.97 
# 7     Virginia: 8.47 
# 8     Wisconsin: 8.45 
# 9     Montana: 8.3 
# 10     New York: 7.53 
# 11     Pennsylvania: 6.76 
# 12     Nebraska: 6.55 
# 13     Kansas: 4.79 
# 14     Iowa: 4.75 
# 15     New Hampshire: 4.59 
# 16     Rhode Island: 3.11 
# 17     Wyoming: 2.39 
# 18     South Dakota: 2.29 
# 19     Maryland: 2.23 
# 20     North Dakota: 2.06 
# 21     Missouri: 1.93 
# 22     North Carolina: 1.68 
# 23     Colorado: -0.32 
# 24     Texas: -0.44 
# 25     Delaware: -0.93 
# 26     Indiana: -1.34 
# 27     Michigan: -1.41 
# 28     Idaho: -1.46 
# 29     South Carolina: -2.15 
# 30     Washington: -2.17 
# 31     Ohio: -2.73 
# 32     Illinois: -3.07 
# 33     Utah: -3.69 
# 34     West Virginia: -3.77 
# 35     Kentucky: -4.28 
# 36     Florida: -4.41 
# 37     Arkansas: -5.19 
# 38     Oregon: -7.43 
# 39     Oklahoma: -7.74 
# 40     Georgia: -8.04 
# 41     Tennessee: -8.48 
# 42     Hawaii: -9.67 
# 43     Alabama: -11.11 
# 44     Alaska: -11.25 
# 45     Louisiana: -11.56 
# 46     California: -12.57 
# 47     Nevada: -13.11 
# 48     New Mexico: -13.37 
# 49     Mississippi: -14.31 
# 50     Arizona: -17.81 
Weighted average: -0.6  

SOURCE: Morgan Quitno Press, 2005

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"Best Educated Index by state", Morgan Quitno Press, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.StateMaster.com/graph/edu_bes_edu_ind-education-best-educated-index

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14th February 2013
According to http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0233.pdf

Wyoming (red states) tops the list of the highest percentage of high school graduates (objective metric, unlike the above study).

Colorado (purple state) tops the list of degree holders (not counting D.C. as it is not a state and its number is influenced too much by temporary residents; i.e. politicians).

But, Dems do get Massachusetts with regards to most advanced degrees.

However, since higher education is really nothing more than glorified career training (I speak as a degree holder), the only metric that really matters, with regards to average education level is percentage of population who haven't dropped out.

1. Wyoming
2. Minnesota
3. Alaska
4. New Hampshire
5. Vermont
6. Montana
7. Iowa
8. Utah/Hawaii
9. Maine
10. North Dakota

50. Texas
49. Mississippi
48. California
47. Kentucky (home state)
46. Alabama
45. Louisiana
44. New Mexico/West Virginia
43. Tennessee
42. South Carolina
41. Nevada

The only pattern I see is that lower educated states tend to be more urbanized than higher educated states, with the exception of very rural Kentucky and urbanized Hawaii, though even then Lexington and Louisville out-urban the population areas in Wyoming and New Hampshire.
21st January 2012
Yikes tons of typos on my previous post. I am not representing Kansas well lol. To my defence it is 2 am. Why am I up so late? Trying to find a good school for my kids :/ We may have to consider moving again.
18th January 2012
Makes total sense, I'm from Connecticut would love to speak to someone from Arizona.
you dont need to know
16th January 2012
Lol I'm mexican and i actually get good grades and I live in minnesota :D
21st November 2011
NJ is beast. We are smart up here in the north :)
30th October 2011

In that case, AZ would be doing much better thanks to their immigration law.
19th October 2011
Look everybody, Texas is Dumb!!
14th October 2011
California has a low rating because of the large illegal population from Mexico.
CO Educated Skeptic
12th October 2011
Hm, this report shows the source as being Morgan Quinto Press in 2005. The location of this press appears to be in Kansas. Compared to the statistics the US Chamber of Commerce released (http://icw.uschamber.com/reportcard), where Kansas received an F (2009), Kansas ranks high. Arizona is also ranked one of the top states on the US Chamber of Commerce site, but ranked last here.

Additionally, it's stated that the outcomes of Morgan Quinto Press' 2005 stats emphasized three factors: "student achievement (somewhat vague), positive outcomes(very vague) and personal attention from teachers."

Time Lord
5th October 2011
Wow, that's a pretty strong correlation: the above-average states are mostly Democratic-leaning, and the below-average states are mostly Republican-leaning. Vermont, the most liberal state, is #1. Arizona, the most racist state with the most stupid governor, is dead last.
15th September 2011
Go Kansas, screw Texas! :D
23rd August 2011
I live in Minnesota..people always complain about the taxes but I always say, "go live in a low tax state and see how you like it." Then I name the states and their standard of living versus their taxes. Minnesota..I love it here.
15th August 2011
Az dead last. Explains why I am unable to have an intelligent conversation with people here without hearing an f bomb every five second.
15th August 2011
Ma does have a good education system

20th July 2011
Of course Jersey is up there. It's full of wiseguys!
3rd July 2011
JA -

The listing you alude to ranks schools by a number of factors (financial support, test scores, etc.). This ranks states by the average education of its citizens (not its students). Totally different.
19th June 2011
This does not jive with this list.

14th June 2011
Im from New York and I just realized that almost all of the Northeastern states seem to be in the top ten...really proud to live up north!
Concerned AZ Student
7th June 2011
Wow! I must be really dumb compared to other kids in vermont The Straights A's that I get would probably be straight F's In Vermont! I feel so ludicrous and simple-minded!
6th June 2011
Hello I was born in New York And they rank 10 in educational standards that is great but now I live in SOuth Florida and they rank # 36 in education that is a shame.
steven sanchez
6th June 2011
Hello my name is Steven I was born in New York City and they rank number ten that is great but now I live in South Florida and it's a shame that they rank number 36 in education that its a big shame.
26th May 2011
Yay NJ :D
23rd May 2011
Five of the ten worst are Confederate Southern states. It appears that the states with the highest number of black Americans are ranking the worst. Stereotypes are born of truths.
14th May 2011
Colorado is in the red?! Are you kidding me? This thing must be a joke.
12th May 2011
North Carolina is in the blue! *Fistpumps*
5th May 2011
Six people live in Vermont and they all have MBA's.
4th May 2011
I work for an educational company and am not surprised by the outcome for the majority of states. Connecticut always sets the standards due to its high income #1, low divorce rate #49, low child poverty rate #49, and high educational attainment of its adult population #2.
Some of you are saying that states with higher white populations did better, but Connecticut's minority rate is 25% which is high. Also, look at NY and NJ both of which have very high minority rates of over 35%, and Massachusetts with about a 21% minority rate.
15th April 2011
Minnesota Reppin!
14th April 2011
WA state #1 in rain fall, Well thats something we can brag on.
12th April 2011
It's sad to see Texas at number 24 but at the same time we are kind of disadvantaged from northern states due to the fact that almost 350,000 hispanics dropped out. I'm pretty sure there isn't that many hispanics in North Dakota and South Dakota combined.
8th April 2011
Progressive states know where their priorites should be. As for immigration skewering the stats... how many of the bottom 15-20 consistently vote Republican?
2nd April 2011
Go Democrats!
21st March 2011
Go Minnesota!
17th March 2011
Okay... but why CA is at the bottom? maybe not counting the smart Indian brains?
H. Ford
17th March 2011
Okay, but why CA is also in the bottom? Maybe all those smart Indian brains are not counted in?
Proud MA Resident
11th March 2011
Massachusetts...this is pretty amazing. We have an excellent cross section of races and cultures here, and we still rank #3. Other states say they value education, but we prove it. Way to GO!!!!

-Proud MA resident

5th March 2011
Of course I feel ashamed. Even I feel that our education systems isn't so hot...
Ryan Lyk
21st February 2011
If Walkers plan goes through, WI will probably remain by the state closest to it without collective bargaining: Virginia.
21st February 2011
States with high immigration rates skew these stats... how can you do well in school if you can't understand English?
Bob DR
21st February 2011
The real issue is our standing against our international competitors. The situation seems to be that the more money we throw at education and the more control the federal government takes the lower our students achievements. As an impartial observer (well I am a taxpayer) I think it is time to REALLY rethink our education system; the current one isn't working. The taxpayers are voting with their dollars as well as their ballots, and you're FIRED!
21st February 2011
The rankings just relfect those states that have the highest %'age of minority populations.

So all you smart 'white' states have something to be proud of
19th February 2011
I am sure Walker can add Wisconsin to the likes of Texas, Arizona and Mississippi.
17th February 2011
I'm pretty sure after walker's thing goes through, wisconsin is gonna take a pretty deep dive down this list here to match the education level to that of mississippi or arizona...tisk tisk...
3rd February 2011
Go KS (grad)! You are within the top 25! You might be higher if you taught the English language well enough to understand humor though.
2nd February 2011
Have you seen the dummies running around California? They are all over the place. I am not surprised at all. LOL
20th January 2011
Who would have thought California was one of the dumbest states out there? I'm so ashamed. Lets step up our game Cali!
20th December 2010
18th December 2010
Reason's why I'm leaving the state. Sick and tired of the legislature saying we need to bring in more industry and technology business to the state... then turn around and slash funding for education repeatedly... for many many years and then wonder why they can't get more educated people to move to the state or create them... yup that's my state consistantly dead last :P
3rd December 2010
Actually, I believe AZ_Grad was being sarcastic, and is furthering the joke by calling his or herself 'AZ_Grad' while doing so.

I'm from the Eastern seaboard, so I haven't heard a lot about Arizona's education systems one way or another. Interesting info, nonetheless.
ks grad
28th November 2010
No wonder AZ is listed at 50th, look at previous posts, lol, there are only 50 states in the nation! So what they are saying is not only are they ranked 50th in the nation but dead last!
my name
11th October 2010
Yeahh pennsylvania!!!!
7th October 2010
Arizona managed to make the top 50, I am shocked they scored so high! Go AZ!
5th October 2010
Illinois: We're NOT last!!!!!!!!!!!!
29th August 2010
Arizona 50th...yeah, I believe it.
12th July 2010
I had a dream to make my own company, but I did not have got enough of money to do that. Thank goodness my close dude said to utilize the home loans . So I used the bank loan and realized my dream.
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