13 Best States For Black Schooling; Let Your Child Thrive

Best States For Black Schooling

Providing a sound education for children is a priority for many parents.

The only difficult thing about it is choosing the right school.

While you might feel like your options are limited to where you live now, you might have a move in your future.

And more so, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect place to send your children to school.

There are states that consistently rank in the top 5 and those that… don’t.

In this list, we’ve scoured the internet to bring you the best states for Black schooling.

We’ve evaluated U.S. News education rankings [1] and how well states are educating their students.

We used the latest 2020 Best High School Rankings [2].

WalletHub’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems [3] was broken down into metrics for quality, safety, lowest dropout rate, highest test scores, and more.

And last, but not least, our final evaluation was on the states and their population [4].

With some states having a Black percentage of less than 1%, it’s hard for me to believe that they would be comprehensively beneficial to Black students no matter how well the education system is.

Therefore, we kept this list to states that have at least a 5% Black population.

With education and diversity in mind, here are the thirteen best states for Black schooling.

13. Missouri

Missouri has a Pre-K to 12 education ranking of 21.

At the top of this list, we have Missouri.

Now some of these states might seem a little questionable, but they each have their place for a reason.

Starting with the top 25 states in the country, Missouri still makes the cut.

For full transparency, WalletHub ranks the state at 32 in terms of quality.

While it has a higher education ranking of 26, it is ranked 21 for primary and secondary education.

When it comes to the national rankings of the high schools, 10.7% of their schools fall into the top 25% of schools in the country.

The reason Missouri was still able to make the cut is because the state is relatively diverse with a Black population of 11.57%.

12. Ohio

Ohio is ranked 18th in primary and secondary education in the country.

While Ohio’s higher education ranking is lacking at 38, they slightly make up for it with a ranking of 18 in primary and secondary education.

WalletHub gives the state a quality ranking of 33 and a safety ranking of 38.

23% of its high schools are ranked in the country’s top 25%.

The state also has a decent diversity ratio with a 12.3 percentage of Black residents.

11. Wisconsin

Wisconsin is ranked at 16 for primary and secondary school education.

Wisconsin has one of the lower Black population percentages on this list with 6.38%, but we can’t deny that there are amazing aspects about their school system.

While higher education is ranked at 11, Pre-K to 12 is ranked at 16.

The state does well in high school national rankings as well.

Wisconsin has 32.2% of their schools ranked in the top 25%, 11.9% of schools in the top 10%, and 4.9% in the top 5%.

The state is also tied with Minnesota as having the highest median SAT score in the country.

10. Kansas

Kansas has a ranking of 15 for Pre-K to 12 public school education.

Similarly to some of the states on this list, Kansas was one of those states that knocked higher ranking states because their Black population was so low.

Even so, the state has a good education system.

Right in the middle of the country, Kansas has a higher education ranking of 13 and a primary/secondary school ranking of 15.

WalletHub ranks the state as 27th in overall quality and 25th for safety.

10.7% of the high schools in the country are ranked in the top 25%.

Kansas just skims by over this list’s diversity quota with a Black population percentage of 5.84.

9. Minnesota

Minnesota ranks at 12 for primary/secondary school education.

Minnesota is another state that fairs relatively well when looking at it as a whole.

The state has a higher education rank of 20 with a primary/secondary school rank of 12.

18.4% of its high schools are ranked in the top 25% within the country.

While WalletHub gives the state a ranking of 22 in safety, their quality ranking sits at a high 6, and there are reasons for that.

Minnesota has the second highest math scores in the country.

The state is also tied with Wisconsin for the highest median SAT scores as well.

One thing to be aware of is that Minnesota just makes the list’s diversity quota with a 6.19% Black population.

8. Maryland

Maryland is the 11th ranked state in the country in primary and secondary education.

While some might like to think that Washington, D.C. is a part of Maryland, it is not.

So don’t associate any of this information with the country’s capital.

When it comes to higher education, Maryland falls at 17 and it’s Pre-K to 12 ranking is 11.

39.6% of the state’s high schools fall in the country’s top 25%.

The state is also ranked ninth in safety and eleventh in quality by WalletHub.

Maryland is also one of the most diverse states in the country with a 29.78% population of Black residents.

7. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania rounds out the top 10 of Pre-K to 12 education in the country.

No state is perfect, and Pennsylvania has a few flaws.

Let’s start with those.

Pennsylvania’s higher education system is ranked last, which could be inconsequential if you’re kid dreams to attend an out of state college.

WalletHub also ranks Pennsylvania relatively low in both quality and safety, with a 22 and 30 ranking, respectively.

Even with a ranking of 30, the state comes in fifth place for the lowest % of threatened/injured high school students.

There are upsides to this state which earned it the number 7 ranking on this list.

26.5% of the state’s schools are ranked in the top 25% of the country’s schools.

Pennsylvania also meets this list’s diversity requirement with 11.13% of its population being Black.

Lastly, the state’s primary and secondary education systems are ranked tenth which makes this state ideal for young children.

6. Virginia, A Top State For Black Schooling

Virginia falls within the Top 10 of primary and secondary education school in the country with a position at 8.

Virginia is another state that often fairs well when it’s education system is evaluated.

Primary, secondary, and higher education are all ranked within the top 15.

While higher education sits at 14, Pre-K to 12 is ranked eighth in the country.

The state is also one of the most diverse in the country with just under 20% of the population being Black.

31.3% of their schools are within the top 25% nationally ranked schools in the country.

The state also ranks well in quality and safety from WalletHub.

Virginia is ranked third in safety and fourth in overall quality.

5. Illinois

Illinois has a public school ranking of 7.

According to US News, Illinois has an overall ranking of 19.

Their score is brought down by their higher education ranking of 31, which affects their primary/secondary rank of 7.

Illinois is a relatively diverse state with a Black population of 14.23%.

21.2% of its schools are within the top 25% of the nationally ranked schools.

While the safety rank of the state is at 28, WalletHub’s quality rank of the state is significantly higher at 10.

4. Indiana

Indiana is ranked 6th in the country in terms of public primary and secondary school education.

Indiana doesn’t have a great higher education ranking (#39), but their Pre-K to 12 program is great with a ranking of 6.

Nestled in the Midwest, WalletHub rates the state as having a 23 quality ranking while sitting in twelfth place for safety.

22.2% of the state’s schools are ranked within the top 25% nationally ranked schools. 

Black people are the state’s second highest racial group with 9.33%.

3. Connecticut

Connecticut has a primary/secondary  school education ranking of 5.

Connecticut is another state that often falls high on the list of best primary and secondary school education.

While their higher education is ranked low at 44, the state makes up for it with their Pre-K to 12 ranking of five.

When evaluated for quality by Wallethub, they’re ranked at 2 while their safety ranking sits lower at 19.

Connecticut is the third highest state in reading test scores and ranks first in highest median ACT scores.

The state also meets this list’s requirement of at least a 5% Black population with 10.56%.

2. New Jersey

New Jersey is ranked second for primary and secondary education in the country.

While the Garden State often falls at number two, you’ll rarely see it ranked out of the top 5.

New Jersey has a primary/secondary school program that ranks second within the country while it’s higher education system is ranked 30th.

That’s no problem, especially if your kids are traveling out of state.

While New Jersey is ranked fifteenth in safety by WalletHub, they are ranked third in quality.

The state has the second lowest dropout rate in the country, falling behind Iowa.

Jersey also ranks second in the highest reading test scores and third in the highest math test scores.

New Jersey ties Colorado and Illinois at fourth with the highest median ACT scores as well.

The school system in New Jersey allows for a more one-on-one experience between teachers and students with its rank in fourth place for the lowest pupil to teacher ratio.

You’ll also find that they have a Black population percentage of 13.47%.

1. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is consistently ranked first for Pre-K to 12 education in the United States.

When it comes to primary and secondary education within the United States, Massachusetts is usually always in first place.

There are a few reasons for that.

While the state ranks at 27 for higher education, its Pre-K to 12 program is ranked first.

Although not as high as other states, Massachusetts has a Black population percentage of 7.48%.

Not only that, but the Massachusetts public school ranking is first, beating all other states and territories in quality and safety.

When evaluating the highest math scores and the highest reading scores, the state also comes first.

The state even has 49.6% of its schools ranked in the top 25% of schools nationally.

They are tied for first with Oklahoma as the state with the lowest percentage of threatened or injured high school students.

They also rank fifth for the lowest bullying incidence rate.

Which States Didn’t Make the Cut?

While Vermont and New Hampshire rank fourth and fifth place in primary and secondary education, their Black population is less than 2% in each state.

This list originally started out with the top 25 states in the country.

Then, after some research, the list started getting smaller and smaller.

Why?

Some of the metrics used to determine these states were primary school ranking, higher education ranking, and diversity.

While some states were kicked to the curb because #25 ranking wasn’t good enough, others were downgraded because the entire state’s Black population sits at less than 5%.

Here are the states that didn’t make the cut.

Nebraska

Nebraska was the hardest state to cut off of the list.

Why?

When it comes to education, the state ranks in the top ten for primary, secondary, and higher education.

Primary and secondary schools within the state are ranked at nine while higher education is even better at seven.

The state didn’t quite meet this list’s diversity quota with 4.77% of its population being Black.

New Hampshire

According to U.S. News, New Hampshire is ranked in fifth place.

The state’s higher education options are ranked at 37, but it’s primary and secondary schools give New Hampshire a ranking of third place.

One of the states on this list that is lacking in diversity, the Black population in New Hampshire is 1.53%.

Vermont

While the northeastern state has a #41 ranking in higher education, their school system for younger children is said to be fantastic. 

Vermont ranks fourth for Pre-K to high school education. 

The school system is great, but the diversity is severely lacking. 

Vermont ranks in the bottom five states in the country with its Black population with just 1.34%.

Diversity is what messed up the ranking for the above three states.

While their education systems are great, the next few states are more lacking.

Even so, these states rank within the Top 25 for primary and secondary school education, so they might be worth knowing.

Iowa: The midwestern state has a primary/secondary ranking of 13 with a 3.51% Black population.

Colorado: With a 4.12% Black population, Colorado primary and secondary schools rank at 14.

Maine: Beating Vermont by a hair, Maine has a state population that is 1.34% Black and ranks at 17 for primary and secondary school.

Washington: While the state is ranked second in higher education, their Pre-K to 12 rank is only 19. 

The state also has a Black population of 3.70%.

Montana: The state has back-to-back ranking with their higher education system being ranked at 19 and their primary/secondary education falling at 20. 

With decent rankings, it is made worse by the fact that the state has the least population percentage of Black residents at 0.44%.

Utah: The Salt Lake falls at 10 in its general ranking. 

While the Pre-K to 12 ranking is at 22, their higher education ranking of 6 gives the state a boost. 

The Black population within the state sits at 1.18%.

South Dakota: The state has a 1.88% Black population with a Pre-K to 12 ranking of 23.

Delaware: Although Delaware has one of the highest Black population percentages in the country at 22.11%, it’s primary/secondary ranking is only 24.

New York: The state might be known for universities like NYU and Columbia, but it has a higher education ranking of 15 and a Pre-K to 12 ranking of 25.

Best States For Black Schooling Conclusion

Quality, safety, and diversity are all important factors when considering schools for children.

And there you have it!

Finding the right school for your kids can be difficult.

The lists change every year.

While I might be a bit biased as someone who hails from the East Coast, but when in doubt, head over there.

With states like Massachusetts and New Jersey consistently at the top of the list, they’re often a guarantee.

For those living in any of the corners of this country, use this list and any of the resources we used to help you make a better decision.

And if you’d like to check out a new state before you move there, make a family vacation out of it. 

That’s one of the best ways to decide if your family will be happy, grow, and thrive.

References

  1. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education
  2. https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/articles/how-states-compare#:~:text=%20%20%20%20State%20rank%2A%20%20,%2019.3%2541%20Schools%20%2021%20more%20rows%20
  3. https://wallethub.com/edu/e/states-with-the-best-schools/5335/#methodology
  4. https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/states-by-race