How sweet it is. For the first time, New Jersey has made it to the top of the Education Week Research Center’s annual report card on school systems nationwide. Given that this is the 23rd such report, it’s been a long time coming.
New Jersey squeezed past Massachusetts by a few hundredths of a point on the combined scores. Both states had overall scores of 87.8 (B+). For the past four years, Massachusetts has had the top berth to itself, with the Garden State finishing second. Connecticut (83.6), Maryland (83.1), and New Hampshire (82.5) took third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. New Mexico finished last with a score of 66.4 (D).
Getting a bit more granular, New Jersey ranks third in the nation for school finance with a score of 89.3 (B-plus) and outpaces Massachusetts, which ranks 11th at 83.4 (B). New Jersey has an advantage over Massachusetts in both spending and equity. It ranks sixth for per-pupil expenditures at $16,543, while Massachusetts is 13th at $14,529, once figures are adjusted for regional cost differences.