The State of Education
From Gallup, April 9, 2014 (excerpts)
...The results are based on a special 50-state Gallup poll conducted June-December 2013, including interviews with at least 600 residents in every state. This poll allows Gallup for the first time to report Americans' perceptions of schools at the state level.
North Dakota has topped several of Gallup's recent state-by-state measures, including well-being, trust in state government, and job creation, to name a few. The state's strong performance on these and other measures is largely fueled by its newfound oil wealth and resulting economic boom, which also helped to fund record school spending in 2013. Residents' positive perceptions about school quality may reflect this investment in education as well as a general sense of optimism about the state's overall direction.
More than 1,000 miles to the south and west, half as many residents in Nevada (42%) and New Mexico (41%) rate their public schools as excellent or good, the lowest scores in the U.S. However, residents in Illinois, Hawaii, and Louisiana took a similarly dim view of their own schools, with less than 50% ranking them as excellent or good.
Q: "Overall how would you rate the quality of public education provided in grades K through 12 in this state?"
A: Hawaii 46% good or excellent -- 4th lowest in USA
Respondents likely consider several factors when rating school quality in their states, including student outcomes. U.S. Department of Education data for 2010-2011 show that while eight of the top states in Gallup's measure had graduation rates of 80% or higher, four of the lowest-ranking schools in Gallup's measure -- New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, and Oregon -- fell into the bottom 20% of states with the lowest graduation rates in the U.S.
States With Top School Quality Ratings Also Highest in Preparing Pupils for Work
Residents in states that gave the highest rankings to the quality of their public schools were also the most likely to say these schools are preparing students for success in the workplace. Though in a slightly different order than they appeared in the quality rankings, each of the same top states received a 70% or higher rating on the student preparation question. The consistency in ratings of quality and student workforce preparedness suggests that residents may equate a quality education with one that prepares young people well for the workforce.
Q: "Do you believe your state public school system prepares students for success in the workplace?"
A: Hawaii 56% yes -- 6th lowest in USA
In five of the states dominating the top quality and student preparedness rankings, including both Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming, unemployment rates in 2013 were under 5% -- some of the lowest seen in the U.S. Residents in these states might be more likely to see students as prepared for success in the workplace because people in general have a relatively easier time finding employment in these job markets. By contrast, five of the bottom-ranking states had unemployment rates of 7% or higher.
read ... Gallup State of Education Report