• Massachusetts has the best public education system out of all US states, according to an annual ranking.
  • The US News and World Report rankings looked at how well states are educating their students in preschool, K-12 and higher education.
  • It examines performance in areas like preschool enrollment, math and reading scores, college readiness, graduation rates, tuition and fees, and debt at graduation.
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Massachusetts was ranked as having the best public education system out of all US states, according to an annual ranking.

The US News and World Report rankings looked at how well states are educating their students in preschool, K-12 and higher education after examining areas like preschool enrollment, math and reading scores, college readiness, graduation rates, tuition and fees, and debt at graduation.

While Massachusetts topped the list, Alabama and New Mexico ranked the lowest.

The rankings come as part of US News and World Report’s “Best States” ranking for 2019, which looks at the quality of health care, education, and infrastructure in every state, as well as their economies and quality of life.

Here are the states ranked in order of the quality of their public education systems:


50. Alabama

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Alabama was ranked 49th for pre-k to 12th grade and 47th for higher education.


49. New Mexico

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New Mexico was ranked 50th for pre-k to 12th grade and 29th for higher education.


48. Louisiana

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Louisiana was ranked 46th for pre-k to 12th grade and 49th for higher education.


47. Alaska

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Alaska was ranked 47th for pre-k to 12th grade and 36th for higher education.


46. Mississippi

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Mississippi was ranked 45th for pre-k to 12th grade and 33rd for higher education.


45. Nevada

Foto: Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.sourceJudith Lienert/Shutterstock

Nevada was ranked 48th for pre-k to 12th grade and 18th for higher education.


44. West Virginia

Foto: West Virginia State Capitol Building.sourceJerry Pennington/Shutterstock

West Virginia was ranked 42nd for pre-k to 12th grade and 45th for higher education.


43. South Carolina

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South Carolina was ranked 41st for pre-k to 12th grade and 46th for higher education.


42. Arkansas

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Arkansas was ranked 40th for pre-k to 12th grade and 40th for higher education.


41. Rhode Island

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Rhode Island was ranked 36th for pre-k to 12th grade and 48th for higher education.


40. Arizona

Foto: sourceJohnny Adolphson/Shutterstock

Arizona was ranked 44th for pre-k to 12th grade and 24th for higher education.


39. Oklahoma

Foto: sourceSean Pavone/Shutterstock

Oklahoma was ranked 43rd for pre-k to 12th grade and 28th for higher education.


38. Kentucky

Foto: sourceFlickr/Jeff Turner

Kentucky was ranked 32nd for pre-k to 12th grade and 43rd for higher education.


37. Michigan

Foto: sourceBrian Charles Watson/Wikimedia Commons

Michigan was ranked 29th for pre-k to 12th grade and 42nd for higher education.


36. Oregon

Foto: Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.sourceErin Crum/Shutterstock

Delaware was ranked 39th for pre-k to 12th grade and 22nd for higher education.


35. Tennessee

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Tennessee was ranked 38th for pre-k to 12th grade and 23rd for higher education.


34. Texas

Foto: sourceTim Warner/Getty Images

Texas was ranked 33rd for pre-k to 12th grade and 32nd for higher education.


33. Idaho

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Idaho was ranked 26th for pre-k to 12th grade and 35th for higher education.


32. Pennsylvania

Foto: sourceGetty/Alex Potemkin

Pennsylvania was ranked 10th for pre-k to 12th grade and 50th for higher education.


31. Ohio

Foto: sourceErik Drost/Flickr

Ohio was ranked 18th for pre-k to 12th grade and 38th for higher education.


30. Georgia

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Georgia was ranked 31st for pre-k to 12th grade and 25th for higher education.


29. Hawaii

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Hawaii was ranked 30th for pre-k to 12th grade and 21st for higher education.


28. Maine

Foto: sourceGetty/Alan Copson

Maine was ranked sixth for pre-k to 17th grade and 34th for higher education.


27. Missouri

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Missouri was ranked 21st for pre-k to 12th grade and 26th for higher education.


26. Montana

Foto: sourceZack Frank/Shutterstock

Montana was ranked 20th for pre-k to 12th grade and 19th for higher education.


25. North Carolina

Foto: The lake at Marshall Park in Charlotte.sourceJon Bilous/Shutterstock

North Carolina was ranked 28th for pre-k to 12th grade and 12th for higher education.


24. Indiana

Foto: sourceJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Indiana was ranked 6th for pre-k to 12th grade and 39th for higher education.


23. Delaware

Foto: sourceCity of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware/ Facebook

Delaware was ranked 24th for pre-k to 12th grade and 16th for higher education.


22. New York

Foto: sourceShutterstock/turtix

New York was ranked 25th for pre-k to 12th grade and 15th for higher education.


21. California

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California was ranked 37th for pre-k to 12th grade and 4th for higher education.


20. North Dakota

Foto: sourceWhite Butte/ColoradoGuy

North Dakota was ranked 35th for pre-k to 12th grade and 5th for higher education.


19. Illinois

Foto: sourceTanupong Wittayanukullak/Shutterstock

Illinois was ranked 7th for pre-k to 12th grade and 31st for higher education.


18. South Dakota

Foto: sourceScott Olson/Getty Images

South Dakota was ranked 23rd for pre-k to 12th grade and 10th for higher education.


17. Minnesota

Foto: sourceNic Lehoux

Minnesota was ranked 12th for pre-k to 12th grade and 20th for higher education.


16. Wyoming

Foto: sourceKrishna.Wu/Shutterstock

Wyoming was ranked 34th for pre-k to 12th grade and 3rd for higher education.


15. Kansas

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Kansas was ranked 15th for pre-k to 12th grade and 13th for higher education.


14. Wisconsin

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Wisconsin was ranked 16th for pre-k to 12th grade and 11th for higher education.


13. Maryland

Foto: Fall foliage in Columbia.sourceKhanIM/Shutterstock

Maryland was ranked 11th for pre-k to 12th grade and 17th for higher education.


12. Connecticut

Foto: sourceJon Bilous/Shutterstock

Connecticut was ranked 5th for pre-k to 12th grade and 44th for higher education.


11. Colorado

Foto: Pearl Street Mall is located in downtown Boulder.sourcerandy andy/Shutterstock

Colorado was ranked 14th for pre-k to 12th grade and 9th for higher education.


10. Utah

Foto: sourceArlene Treiber Waller/Shutterstock

Utah was ranked 22nd for pre-k to 12th grade and 6th for higher education.


9. Iowa

Foto: sourceJonathannsegal/Shutterstock

Iowa was ranked 13th for pre-k to 12th grade and 8th for higher education.


8. Vermont

Foto: sourceGetty/DenisTagneyJr.

Vermont was ranked 4th for pre-k to 12th grade and 41st for higher education.


7. Virginia

Foto: Richmond, Virginia, CapitolsourceFlickr Doug Francis

Virginia was ranked 8th for pre-k to 12th grade and 14th for higher education.


6. Nebraska

Foto: sourceKatherine Welles/Shutterstock

Nebraska was ranked 9th for pre-k to 12th grade and 7th for higher education.


5. New Hampshire

Foto: sourceJo Ann Snover

New Hampshire was ranked 3rd for pre-k to 12th grade and 37th for higher education.


4. Washington

Foto: A view of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier in the background.sourceemperorcosar/Shutterstock

Washington was ranked 19th for pre-k to 12th grade and 2nd for higher education.


3. Florida

Foto: sourcebartuchna@yahoo.pl/Shutterstock

Florida was ranked 27th for pre-k to 12th grade and 1st for higher education.


2. New Jersey

Foto: sourceWalter Hickey / BI

New Jersey was ranked 2nd for pre-k to 12th grade and 30th for higher education.


1. Massachusetts

Foto: sourceSean Pavone/Shutterstock

Massachusetts was ranked 1st for pre-k to 12th grade and 29th for higher education.

87.5% of children in the state graduate from high school, well above the national average, while National Assessment of Educational Progress math test scores are 5% higher than the national average.