South Carolina ranks very low in the education category of U.S. News & World Report’s first ranking of all 50 states.
The publication ranked the state overall as the worst in the nation for education, coming in behind Alabama, New Mexico and Nevada.
U.S. News ranked each state using 68 metrics in seven categories of publicly-available data. The education ranking was based on 11 metrics, including college and high school graduation rates and standardized test scores.
The report found South Carolina has a high four-year college graduation rate and a good state-run pre-kindergarten program. However, the state suffered in the ranking due to low reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exams, high tuition and fees at public colleges, low preschool enrollment and low two-year college graduation rates.
South Carolina was ranked at 44th in higher education and at 48th for pre-K-12, the lowest combined score for any state. Massachusetts was ranked in first place overall, followed by New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maryland. North Carolina was ranked at 21, while Georgia was given the 37th slot.
The reports did have some good news for South Carolina. The report finds it has the 16th-best economy in the nation, helped by its growing population and positive rate of net migration. The report noted more people are rapidly moving into South Carolina than are moving out.