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Minnesota ranks 10th for student success during COVID-19

(The Center Square) – Minnesota ranks fourth nationally in student success, but it ranked 43rd in student safety, according to a report Scholaroo released this week.

The scholarship database start-up analyzed weighted averages across 42 metrics to develop its 2022 Student Success Rankings report of which states have adjusted best to the COVID-19 pandemic to help students thrive. The metrics were organized into student success (50 points), school quality (30 points) and student physical and mental safety (20 points). Student success measured performance in school and prediction of “success in life” following primary and secondary education. School quality measured resources and support materials students can access.

Data gathered for 100-point scales came from the partial 2022 school year or the most recently completed academic year available, the report said.

Minnesota ranked 10th overall. Other rankings include:

  • 16th for school quality.
  • Minnesota students ranked first in SAT scores, second-best in math and fifth in sports participation (16%).
  • The North Star state was above average in limited high school dropout rate (12th), graduates getting into college (67%, 13th), and percentage of students in gifted programs (14th).
  • Minnesota students’ reading rates (17th in national standardized test scores), graduates’ scores of at least a three (out of five) on an AP exam during high school (19th), and ACT scores (22nd) were above average as well.
  • However, high school graduation rate (33rd) was below average.

The North Star state’s rankings were toward the bottom nationally for percentage of physical attacks or fights with a weapon (48th) or physical attack without a weapon (37th), as well as possession of firearm or explosive device (43rd). Threats of physical attack with a weapon (5th) or firearm or explosive device (6th) were low. The state ranked about average for high schools with practices in place for prevention of bullying and sexual harassment (21st).

Annual per-pupil spending in Minnesota in elementary and secondary schools is 20th-highest in the nation, the report found. Minnesota high schools are above average nationally in having school health councils (16th) and a full-time registered nurse (20th).

According to Scholaroo, Minnesota places 23rd in sexual health curriculum, based on percentage of high schools in which teachers taught 20 sexual health topics, including HIV and STD transmission, contraception methods, sexual orientation and gender expression.

The state’s pupil to teacher ratio is 30th lowest in nation. Cost of living adjusted to average teacher salary was 32nd best in the nation. The state placed 32nd for percentage of teachers with at least three years of experience.

In the report’s overall ranking, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut placed highest. Arizona, Louisiana and Alaska ranked lowest.

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