Financial analysis website Wallethub.com has released data for their list of most educated states in the U.S. Louisiana ranked near the bottom of the list, being named as the 3rd least educated state in the country.
Key metrics used in making the list were educational attainment, school quality and achievement gaps between genders and races.
Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke to the Beauregard Daily News and Leesville Daily Leader and explained why Louisiana performed so poorly on the list.
"Louisiana ranked poorly in educational attainment, having some of the lowest shares of adults with any kind of diploma, high school or higher. This is directly correlated of the state's low graduation rates both for public high school and college,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez noted that the immediate future doesn’t show signs of improvement. She noted that test scores and the college graduation rate also spell disaster for Louisiana position on the list.
“The future doesn't look too bright for the state either, as the projected college graduation rate for 2020 is just 52 percent, the fourth lowest percentage in the country. Low math and reading test scores, as well as a low share of high school students who were able to achieve scores qualifying them for college credit, also contributed to Louisiana's poor overall ranking,” Gonzalez said.
Although Wallethub’s list sounds grim, Gonzalez offered a silver lining to Louisiana’s education situation.
"One of the things Louisiana could do to improve its ranking is introducing summer learning legislation. A good education usually results in a better future, and the state should encourage high school students to go to college,” Gonzalez said.
“There could be orientation programs where students would be taught that a college education means better career opportunities and higher earnings, among other benefits."
Although school funding was not taken into consideration for this list. Gonzalez also mentioned that more funding in Louisiana schools could help make higher education more accessible. "Though we did not look into the amount of funding for each state's education system, it is possible that more funding could lead to higher quality schools and better results,” she said.
“For example, Louisiana is one of the states that don't provide free community college education under any conditions."
To see the full list and individual metrics those interested can log on to www.wallethub.com.