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How Do Illinois’ School Systems Compare with the Rest of the Country?

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When matched up with school systems from all over the U.S., Illinois does surprisingly well, according to a new study, published today.

I say “surprisingly” because many of us have gotten used to our state bringing up the rear in so many of these “compared to other states” studies.

The personal finance site, WalletHub, did what they do so well–they crunched a whole lot of numbers–and ranked the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, for their study called “2017’s States With The Best and Worst School Systems.”

Here’s what WalletHub looked at:

Unlike other research that focuses primarily on academic outcomes or school finance, however, 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 America, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 21 key measures.

As usual, before we look at Illinois-specific numbers, let’s take a look at the top 5 place with the best school systems:

1) Massachusetts

2) New Jersey

3) New Hampshire

4) Wisconsin

5) Vermont

Now, the bottom 5, or worst school systems in America:

47) Mississippi

48) District of Columbia

49) West Virginia

50) New Mexico

51) Louisiana

As for our state of Illinois, we come in with an overall ranking of #11. As you saw earlier, our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, comes in at #4. Minnesota is #7, Iowa is #9, Indiana is #22, Missouri is #31, Michigan is #32.

Here’s a breakdown of some of Illinois’ numbers:

Quality & Safety of Schools in Illinois (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
27th – Reading Test Scores
1st – Median SAT Score
25th – Median ACT Score
24th – % of Licensed/Certified Public K–12 Teachers
22nd – Dropout Rate
21st – Bullying Incidence Rate
25th – % of Threatened/Injured High School Students

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