CASPER — A WalletHub data analysis has ranked Wyoming’s education system the 10th best in the nation for 2019, the group said in a press release Monday morning.
The Equality State came in behind a slew of East Coasters who dominated the top five. Nebraska was eighth, and North Dakota ranked ninth. The study — conducted by the rankings-happy website WalletHub — used 29 metrics across two broad areas, safety and quality, to measure the school systems.
Wyoming’s scores on the various metrics were mixed. It was best in the nation in some categories, including Blue Ribbon schools per capita, number of school shootings and for requiring school safety plans. It was in the top five and top 10 elsewhere, like for math test scores (fifth), reading test scores (eighth), median SAT score (fifth), projected high school graduation rate by 2032 (fourth) and pupil teacher ratio (sixth), to name a few.
It was also ranked 10th for funding, which was an unsurprising, given the state’s high per-pupil spending.
There were also low points. Wyoming came in dead last for high school graduation rate among low-income kids (a mere 65 percent).
It was 43rd for its share of armed high school students (10.7 percent), 50th for youth incarceration rate and 42nd for the share of high schoolers who score at least a three on AP exams (just under 13 percent). Wyoming also had just 1.6 percent of its schools on U.S. News & World Report’s top public schools in the U.S.
Across the two main categories, Wyoming was eighth for quality and 29th for safety. In 2018, WalletHub ranked Wyoming 12th overall, with quality and safety scores of eighth and 37th, respectively.
In June, the annual Kids Count report ranked Wyoming 14th for education. In the four categories used to measure that score, Wyoming beat the national average on all four.
Atop the overall rankings was Massachusetts, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia and Vermont. Rounding out the top 10 were Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming.
By Seth Klamann
Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange