September 7, 2010

Comparing States Public School Test Scores

Are the schools in your state any good?   Some people seem to think that any and all public schools anywhere in America are horrible.   There are many schools that are not doing a good job educating student but there are also many schools that are doing a very good job.   The quality of education varies greatly across the nation from state to state and city to city.    One starting point for comparison is to look st the average test scores for schools in each state.   Some states score well above average and some are below average.  

The Dept. of Education's National Report card has data on test scores students at the state level.   Below are the average test scores for math and reading plus their sum.


2009 test scores for 4th graders:



math read sum
National Public 239 220 459
Massachusetts 252 234 486
New Hampshire 251 229 480
Vermont 248 229 477
New Jersey 247 229 476
Connecticut 245 229 474
Minnesota 249 223 473
North Dakota 245 226 471
Maryland 244 226 470
Virginia 243 227 470
Kansas 245 224 469
Montana 244 225 469
Colorado 243 226 469
DoDEA 240 228 469
Maine 244 224 468
Ohio 244 225 468
Florida 242 226 468
Pennsylvania 244 224 467
Indiana 243 223 465
New York 241 224 465
Delaware 239 226 465
Wyoming 242 223 465
Missouri 241 224 465
Kentucky 239 226 464
South Dakota 242 222 464
Iowa 243 221 464
Wisconsin 244 220 464
Washington 242 221 464
North Carolina 244 219 463
Idaho 241 221 462
Rhode Island 239 223 461
Nebraska 239 223 461
Utah 240 219 460
National Public 239 220 459
Texas 240 219 459
Illinois 238 219 457
Oregon 238 218 456
Michigan 236 218 455
Oklahoma 237 217 454
Georgia 236 218 454
Arkansas 238 216 454
South Carolina 236 216 452
Tennessee 232 217 449
Alaska 237 211 448
West Virginia 233 215 448
Hawaii 236 211 446
Nevada 235 211 446
Alabama 228 216 444
California 232 210 441
Arizona 230 210 440
Mississippi 227 211 438
New Mexico 230 208 438
Louisiana 229 207 437
District of Columbia 219 202 421




2009 scores for 8th graders:




math read sum
National Public 282 262 544
Massachusetts 299 274 572
New Jersey 293 273 565
Vermont 293 272 565
Minnesota 294 270 564
New Hampshire 292 271 563
North Dakota 293 269 562
Montana 292 270 562
South Dakota 291 270 561
Connecticut 289 272 560
DoDEA 287 272 560
Pennsylvania 288 271 559
Washington 289 267 556
Maryland 288 267 556
Kansas 289 267 555
Wyoming 286 268 554
Ohio 286 269 554
Maine 286 268 554
Wisconsin 288 266 554
Colorado 287 266 553
Missouri 286 267 553
Indiana 287 266 553
Idaho 287 265 552
Virginia 286 266 552
Nebraska 284 267 551
Oregon 285 265 550
Utah 284 266 550
Iowa 284 265 549
Delaware 284 265 549
Texas 287 260 547
Illinois 282 265 547
New York 283 264 547
Kentucky 279 267 546
North Carolina 284 260 544
Florida 279 264 544
National Public 282 262 544
Alaska 283 259 542
Michigan 278 262 540
Rhode Island 278 260 538
Georgia 278 260 538
South Carolina 280 257 538
Tennessee 275 261 536
Oklahoma 276 259 535
Arizona 277 258 535
Arkansas 276 258 534
Hawaii 274 255 528
Nevada 274 254 528
Louisiana 272 253 526
West Virginia 270 255 525
New Mexico 270 254 524
Alabama 269 255 523
California 270 253 523
Mississippi 265 251 516
District of Columbia 254 242 496


Keep in mind that these are just average test scores and that every state will have variations.   Each state has a large variation in school quality from city to city and between school districts.   The very best school in a state with low average scores may be a very good school even compared to most schools in a state with very high averages, and vice versa.

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