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24/7 Wall St.: States with the Best and Worst Schools

6 of 12

The Worst School Systems

1. South Dakota
State score: 69.3
Overall state grade: D+
High school graduation rate: 69.5% (13th lowest)
Per pupil expenditure: $11,859 (21st highest)

South Dakota is the state with the worst-run school system, according to Education Week. The policies in place in South Dakota would make it very difficult to recruit top teachers. Among other weaknesses, South Dakota doesn’t have pension portability across state lines, doesn’t have a plan to formally differentiate roles among teachers and doesn’t pay teachers to earn national board certification. The state’s governor in 2012 proposed plans to eliminate tenure and pay $15 million annually in bonuses to both high-performing and hard-to-find teachers, although residents voted against the idea in November. South Dakota also scored third from the bottom in transitions and alignments.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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