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Education State Rankings Names Massachusetts as the Nation's Smartest State

New Mexico Once Again Ranks Last

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These Links for More Information:

2003 Rankings |Factors | MQ Home | Methodology | About Us

Last Year's Press Release | See Dave Barry's Take on Last Year's Award

Click Here for the Complete 2003 Smartest State Award Publication


LAWRENCE, KS. Massachusetts, home to many great universities, now is recognized for its excellence in elementary and secondary education. The Bay State is winner of the 2003 Smartest State Award, an honor announced annually in Education State Rankings, a reference book from Morgan Quitno Press, a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent research and publishing company. At the opposite end of the scale, New Mexico comes in as the lowest ranking state for the second straight year.

The Smartest State Award is based on 21 factors from Education State Rankings, an annual reference book that compares the 50 United States in more than 400 elementary and secondary education categories. The revised, second edition of Education State Rankings will be published next week. Factors considered include per pupil expenditures, public high school graduation rates, average class size, the percent of staff who are school district administrators, student reading, writing and math proficiency, pupil-teacher ratios and teacher salaries as a percent of average annual pay.

"The Smartest State Award measures the quality of state elementary and secondary education,” said Scott Morgan, President of Morgan Quitno Press. “The award recognizes those states with a strong commitment to its students and teachers, an emphasis on excellence in the classroom and support of safe, efficiently-run public schools.”

“Massachusetts has a winning combination,” said Morgan. “Its students are some of the nation’s most proficient in reading, writing and math. In addition, schools in Massachusetts spend a high percentage of funds for classrooms and teachers, and have a low percentage of staff who are school district administrators.”

Rounding out the top five states with Massachusetts were Vermont, last year’s winner Connecticut, Montana, and New Jersey. Bringing up the lower end of the rankings scale were New Mexico in last place, Nevada in 49th, Mississippi in 48th, Louisiana in 47th and Alabama in 46th.

The Smartest State Award is one of five designations announced annually by Morgan Quitno Press. The company's other annual announcements designate the nation’s Safest and Most Dangerous City and Metro Area, the Most Livable State, the Healthiest State and the Safest and Most Dangerous States. Each award or designation is based on data from annual Morgan Quitno reference publications.

Additional information about the second annual Smartest State Award, including rankings for all 50 states, a list of factors used to determine the results and an explanation of methodology, is available directly from Morgan Quitno Press at or by calling (785) 841-3534.

Morgan Quitno Press is an independent private research and publishing company located in Lawrence, Kansas. Founded in 1989, the company specializes in reference books and monthly reports that compare states and cities in several different subject areas. The corporation is not a subsidiary of any other company nor is it subsidized by any outside interest group. Its books are found in reference libraries throughout the United States and around the world.


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