Most and Least Educated States in the U.S.

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Most and Least Educated States in the U.S.

Brooke Papini, Sophomore Staff Writer

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Education in America is vital for the growth and future of the American society. Without education in schools, there wouldn’t be an environment for children to learn and develop the knowledge to make positive changes in the world. There are many factors that play into the level of education in each state, such as the income of families, the education policies within the state, the conditions of the school districts, and the amount of state funding the state gets. There has also been a correlation between the level of education and the household income. States that have higher education levels tend to have higher incomes. States like Massachusetts, Maryland and Connecticut rank as the most educated states, according to sources, while states like Louisiana, West Virginia, and Mississippi are trailing behind as the least educated states.

Massachusetts prioritizes education, making it the most educated state in the US. They have a high school graduation rate of 87.5% and the highest educational attainment. In addition, more than half of its residents have obtained an associate degree or higher. Massachusetts is home to many well known colleges, such as Harvard University, MIT, Smith and Williams Colleges. Children who attend school in Massachusetts have K-12 education programs that thoroughly prepare them for college and the career paths they choose after high school. Programs like these boost students to consider pursuing professional and higher education degrees.      Hubbard High School Sophomore Anna Pogacnik says, “I think Massachusetts has the highest level of education because they have some of the most prestigious colleges in the country, so education is likely valued throughout the state.”

Additionally, the education of the parents also plays a role in the students’ success. According to USA Today, “Of children in the state (Massachusetts), 63.4% have at least one parent with a college degree, the fourth highest such share of all states.” These children are looking up to their mothers and fathers, and want to follow their parents’ direction. They are motivated to challenge themselves at school, with a goal to provide for families of their own one day.

Unlike Massachusetts, Mississippi is trailing as the least educated state in the US. They have a high school graduation rate of 82.3% compared to Massachusetts 87.5%. Although this is only a 5% difference, it represents nearly hundreds of thousands of students without a high school diploma. As stated before, the school system is a key foundation for a child’s future. Having a good education in the state allows a child’s academic career to develop. The chances a child will thrive in his or her upbringing is heavily based on one’s education and family income. Mississippi has seen improvements on their math and reading tests between 2003 and 2015, yet they still have some of the least educated school populations in the country.  Mississippi has the lowest median household income and highest poverty rate in the nation. As reported by USA Today, “Of the children in the state, most live in families earning income less than twice the poverty level, and only 42.8% of children have at least one parent with a college degree, each among the lowest such percentages of all state.” These students don’t have the same guidance as the children in Massachusetts. They don’t know what it is like to have education programs that prepare them for the future. Hubbard High School sophomore Megan Toole states, “ Mississippi doesn’t have as many education programs as other states, like Massachusetts or Maryland, so there may not be multiple ways to prepare a child for their future.”

Education will always remain a priority on every state’s list, but only some states will be able to create programs and opportunities that will help make changes in the world. All states are different, and they all reflect different household incomes. No one specifically will ever be able to change this statistic and give everyone the same amount of pay. There will always be people in different states who have a higher and lower education, which leads them to have a high or low household income. The only thing we can try to change is how we educate the children of tomorrow, and how we prepare them for the future.




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