U.S. States Ranked: Smart to Dumb

The smartest state is Vermont. The dumbest is Arizona.

These are the 2006-2007 findings of the Education State Rankings, a survey by Morgan Quitno Press of hundreds of public school systems in all 50 states. States were graded on 21 factors, including student achievement and attendance, positive outcomes, strong student-teacher relationships and school district efficiency. The 2006 award measures states based on factors including expenditures for instruction, pupil-teacher ratios, high school graduation and dropout rates, and reading, writing and math proficiency.

"Any encyclopedia will tell you that Vermont produces more maple syrup, marble and monument granite than any other state," said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. "But the state also produces stellar students, thanks to its commitment to high quality elementary and secondary education."

Rounding out the top five states with Vermont are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maine. They're doing something right in New England with four states from this region dominating the top five slots this year.

The losers are Arizona in last place, preceded by Nevada, Mississippi, California and Alaska.

How does YOUR state rank?

  1. Vermont
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. Maine
  6. Virginia
  7. Montana
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Iowa
  10. Pennsylvania


  11. Nebraska
  12. New Hampshire
  13. Minnesota
  14. Rhode Island
  15. Kansas
  16. New York
  17. South Dakota
  18. Maryland
  19. Wyoming
  20. Idaho


  21. North Dakota
  22. Missouri
  23. North Carolina
  24. Indiana
  25. Texas
  26. South Carolina
  27. Colorado
  28. Delaware
  29. Florida
  30. Tennessee


  31. Kentucky
  32. Arkansas
  33. Washington
  34. Ohio
  35. Illinois
  36. Oklahoma
  37. West Virginia
  38. Utah
  39. Michigan
  40. Oregon


  41. Georgia
  42. Hawaii
  43. New Mexico
  44. Louisiana
  45. Alabama
  46. Alaska
  47. California
  48. Mississippi
  49. Nevada
  50. Arizona

--From the Editors at Netscape

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