It’s Official: Utah School Systems Rank Among the USA’s Very Best

Utah has not only been named the best state in the nation, but it also has some of the best schools in America. U.S. News and World Report placed Utah at the top of its list of best states for the second year, but residents already know that. They are familiar with its outstanding educational system, and the state ranks third in infrastructure and economy. This organization isn’t the only one to recognize all that Utah has to offer for its residents.

The Importance of School Quality

Urban Institute reports that school quality plays a role in parents’ choice to purchase a home. Parents are willing to pay more for a house if it means their child will go to a better utah school. In fact, it was found that parents are willing to stretch themselves financially to ensure their children get a good education. Moving to Utah, where schools are good across the board, is one way they can make the most of their money.

Measuring Success

WalletHub conducted a study a few years back and found that Utah ranks 12th in the country in terms of school quality. When ranking schools, the organization looked at several factors, including test scores, dropout rates, class sizes, and safety precautions. Why are these things important?

Overall Quality

This same study ranks Utah 12th in the nation regarding overall school quality. The state received a score of 56.80. Massachusetts came in number one, receiving a score of 73.02, while New Mexico landed at the bottom of the list, receiving a score of 25.47. The wide variation in scores demonstrates the disparity in educational opportunities across America.

Test Scores

Utah comes in second-best when looking at median SAT scores. Colleges use these scores when evaluating potential students; a high score helps a student stand out. In addition, the state comes in third in reading and math test scores, emphasizing the importance of teaching kids the basic skills they will need throughout life.

Dropout Rates

Utah’s school dropout rate has declined recently. According to the state Board of Education, the single-year dropout rate for high school students dropped from 4.7 percent in 2022 to 4.1 percent the following year. Single-year dropout rates for grades seven through twelve students also declined in 2023. Of those students leaving school before graduating, their senior year is when they are most likely to drop out.

School Safety

One area where Utah has made improvements is school safety. In 2022, the state ranked 16th in this area. The following year, it moved up to 14th on the list. This is partially because Utah doesn’t make it into the top five or bottom five states when looking at the number of high school students who have been threatened or injured and the incidence rate of bullying. School officials would like to improve in this area and appear to be on the right track when it comes to doing so.

Sadly, Utah’s student-to-teacher ratio is lacking. It ranks last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. On the other hand, Utah doesn’t spend much on education and continues to rank high in overall quality. If state officials can improve this area, Utah might soon overtake other states and move up to the top five, if not the top spot. Only time will tell if it can do so.