Like it or not it’s almost time for the kids to head back to school. And one of the most important decisions a parent can make is how to educate their child. Whether that is choosing where to live based on school districts or choosing between public, private, or home school. It’s a choice that can define a child’s entire life. So how does North Carolina fair in terms of education? Well, a study by WalletHub recently ranked each state on this metric and North Carolina ranks in the bottom half of all school systems nationwide. Though it’s not all bad, we aren’t at the very bottom, just not in the top 50%.

This comes as education remains one of the hottest and most divisive topics in the country. Between the mask requirements, vaccine requirements, online schooling, critical race theory, school safety concerns, and more. It’s no wonder that parents are struggling with finding the option that works best for their families. It’s no wonder people are rethinking what they have always done. And this list doesn’t bode well for the public school argument. There is no one size fits all solution, but as a parent, it’s important to weigh the options and feel confident in the decision you have made.

View the full study here or read on for the full rankings of states by school systems.

North Carolina Ranks In The Bottom Half Of School Systems Nationwide

  • 1. Massachusetts

    Boston

    Boston, Massachusetts, USA skyline over Boston Common.

    Total Score: 72.79

    Quality: 1

    Safety: 1

     

  • 2. Connecticut

    Connecticut

    Total Score: 66.22

    Quality: 2

    Safety: 9

  • 3. New Jersey

    New Jersey

    Steel Pier – Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Total Score: 64.05

    Quality: 3

    Safety: 4

  • 4. Virginia

    Virginia

    Total Score: 61.79

    Quality: 4

    Safety: 4

  • 5. Maryland

    Maryland

    Total Score: 60.67

    Quality: 7

    Safety: 6

  • 6. Delaware

    Delaware

    Total Score: 60.05

    Quality: 10

    Safety: 2

  • 7. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire

    Total Score: 59.19

    Quality: 8

    Safety: 11

  • 8. North Dakota

    North Dakota

    Total Score: 58.42

    Quality: 6

    Safety: 28

  • 9. Nebraska

    Nebraska

    Total Score: 58.12

    Quality: 9

    Safety: 8

  • 10. Wisconsin

    Wisconsin

    Total Score: 58.03

    Quality: 5

    Safety: 31

  • 11. Vermont

    Vermont

    Total Score: 56.71

    Quality: 16

    Safety: 7

  • 12. Maine

    Maine

    Total Score: 56.09

    Quality: 25

    Safety: 3

  • 13. Utah

    Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City. Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons

    Total Score: 55.53

    Quality: 12

    Safety: 16

  • 14. Florida

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 55.35

    Quality: 15

    Safety: 15

  • 15. Minnesota

    Minnesota

    Total Score: 55.21

    Quality: 11

    Safety: 36

  • 16. Rhode Island

    Rhode Island

    Total Score: 55.17

    Quality: 20

    Safety: 10

  • 17. New York

    New York

    The New York State Capitol Building in Albany, home of the New York State Assembly. Monument of General Sherman on horseback.

    Total Score: 54.86

    Quality: 13

    Safety: 20

  • 18. Pennsylvania

    Pittsburgh

    Spring in Pittsburgh city, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh skyline with cherry blossoms.

    Total Score: 54.32

    Quality: 14

    Safety: 26

  • 19. Iowa

    Iowa

    Total Score: 54.25

    Quality: 19

    Safety: 19

  • 20. Wyoming

    The 10 Most Beautiful Places in the US to Vacation in the Winter

    Total Score: 54.23

    Quality: 17

    Safety: 22

  • 21. Kentucky

    Lexington

    Aerial view of Jacobson Park Lake and Richmond Road in Lexington, Kentucky

    Total: 53.94

    Quality: 22

    Safety: 17

  • 22. Indiana

    Indiana

    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA downtown cityscape on the White River at dusk.

    Total Score: 53.52

    Quality: 26

    Safety: 13

  • 23. Illinois

    Illinois

    Total Score: 53.23

    Quality: 18

    Safety: 29

  • 24. Colorado

    Colorado Springs

    Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

    Total Score: 52.62

    Quality: 23

    Safety: 24

  • 25. Montana

    Montana

    Total Score: 51.55

    Quality: 21

    Safety: 38

  • 26. South Dakota

    South Dakota

    Total Score: 51.19

    Quality: 24

    Safety: 37

  • 27. Texas

    Texas

    Total Score: 49.36

    Quality: 33

    Safety: 14

  • 28. Tennessee

    Tennessee

    Total Score: 49.18

    Quality: 27

    Safety: 46

  • 29. North Carolina

    Beach in NC

    Aerial view of Outer Banks North Carolina

    Total Score: 49.02

    Quality: 30

    Safety: 32

  • 30. District of Columbia

    DC

    Washington DC aerial view with Thomas Jefferson Memorial building

    Total Score: 47.65

    Quality: 28

    Safety: 49

  • 31. Washington

    Seattle

    Panoramic view of Seattle cityscape and Space Needle at sunset, Washington, USA

    Total Score: 47.56

    Quality: 36

    Safety: 5

  • 32. Arkansas

    Arkansas

    Total Score: 47.22

    Quality: 32

    Safety: 35

  • 33. Kansas

    Liberty Memorial and Union Station aerial views, downtown Kansas City

    Total Score: 47.20

    Quality: 31

    Safety: 41

  • 34. Ohio

    Ohio

    State of Ohio flags waving in front of the Statehouse in Columbus, OG.

    Total Score: 47.10

    Quality: 40

    Safety: 12

  • 35. Missouri

    Missouri

    Columbia, Missouri, USA at The University of Missouri.

    Total Score: 46.32

    Quality: 29

    Safety: 50

  • 36. Georgia

    Georgia

    Total Score: 46.07

    Quality: 38

    Safety: 27

  • 37. Idaho

    Idaho

    Total Score: 45.22

    Quality: 34

    Safety: 44

  • 38. Michigan

    Michigan

    Michigan Welcome Sign – summer time.

    Total Score: 44.12

    Quality: 39

    Safety: 42

  • 39. Nevada

    Nevada

    Total Score: 44.01

    Quality: 35

    Safety: 47

  • 40. California

    California

    California state – road sign map’

    Total Score: 43.17

    Quality: 37

    Safety: 48

  • 41. Hawaii

    Honolulu

    Beautiful rainbow over the Hawaii skyline

    Total Score: 42.42

    Quality: 41

    Safety: 33

  • 42. Alabama

    Montogomery

    Total Score: 39.81

    Quality: 45

    Safety: 23

  • 43. Mississippi

    Mississippi

    Total Score: 38.65

    Quality: 43

    Safety: 45

  • 44. Oregon

    Oregon

    Travelers will be welcomed to Oregon by this sign on I-5

    Total Score: 44

    Safety: 39

  • 45. Oklahoma

    Oklahoma

    Total Score: 38.01

    Quality: 46

    Safety: 25

  • 46. South Carolina

    Charleston

    Total Score: 37.31

    Quality: 42

    Safety: 51

  • 47. West Virginia

    West Virginia

    West Virginia flag on a flagpole waving in the wind, blue sky background. 3d rendering.

    Total Score: 37.18

    Quality: 47

    Safety: 18

  • 48. Arizona

    Chandler AZ

    Total Score: 35.11

    Quality: 48

    Safety: 34

  • 49. Louisiana

    New Orleans

    Total Score: 34.09

    Quality: 49

    Safety: 40

  • 50. Alaska

    Alaska

    Total Score: 33.05

    Quality: 50

    Safety: 30

  • 51. New Mexico

    Albuquerque, NM

    Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande river in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Total Score: 26.07

    Quality: 54

    Safety: 43

  • Methodology (Per WalletHub)

    In order to determine the best and worst states for public-school education, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “Quality” and “Safety.”

    We evaluated those dimensions using 32 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest quality of public K–12 education.

    Finally, we determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.