By Rob Shimshock
Washington, D.C. has nearly the worst education system in the country despite getting the most per-student funding, according to a Monday study.
The District ranked 49 out of 51 in a study done by finance website Wallet Hub. Only Louisiana and New Mexico obtained lower scores.
Wallet Hub ranked the District and the 50 states by two main metrics, education quality and school security, each of which comprised a variety of other factors. D.C. ranked 49th for school quality and 48th for safety. The District achieved the highest dropout rate, lowest reading test scores, and second-lowest math test scores. While D.C. scored the lowest bullying-incidence rate, it also ranked higher than almost every state when it came to percentage of injured or threatened high school students.
Northeastern schools dominated the rankings, with Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont taking the top five spots. Massachusetts obtained a 74.16 score on Wallet Hub’s 100-point scale, while the latter four states achieved scores in the mid-60s.
While D.C. spent $25,038 per student for the 2011-2012 school year, Massachusetts only spent $16,273, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
University of Arkansas professor Sandra Stotsky made recommendations for states and districts to improve their education systems without increasing taxes.
“Eliminate all federal/state mandated tests for K-12,” Stotsky told Wallet Hub. “Use district-based teacher-made tests by subject area in high school for high school diploma.”
Another scholar, Hoover Institution fellow Paul T. Hill, criticized the Trump administration’s treatment of private schools.
“Private school choice is more polarizing that effective,” Hill said. “It will prove a dead end because good new schools will, not emerge to serve the majority of students. In the meantime, Trump and DeVos will divide the charter school movement on ideological grounds and increase its political liabilities.”
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