Andrew Parker

25 States Where Public Education Is Failing

Across America, several states have been suffering from falling education standards because of many issues, like student performance. But in some states, the issues are worse than others. Here are 25 states that are struggling with a decline in public education and the reasons behind this. 


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In California, teachers are juggling huge classes, and it means that kids aren’t getting the one-on-one time they really need. Many schools have reported that their classes are just too big for the teachers to manage them efficiently, which is negatively affecting students’ learning and performance.


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Over the last few years, educational funding has dropped massively in Texas. These budget cuts mean there are fewer resources for schools, which means there aren’t enough textbook supplies or even extracurricular activities. Students aren’t able to engage in lessons, and this is causing problems with their learning outcomes. 

New York

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In New York, especially in the rural areas and big cities, there are nowhere near enough teachers. Some classes end up with substitute teachers all year, while others have to combine classes, which isn’t good for anyone. Their lessons are lacking that personal touch, and kids just aren’t getting the support they need.


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For Floridian students, the problem’s a little bit different. Many schools are stuck with old computers and slow internet, which isn’t great when so much of today’s learning is online. Kids are missing out on how to use the latest technology that they’ll need for future jobs, and this digital divide is setting them back before they’ve even started.


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Illinois has a big problem with having too many rules and paperwork, which means that the important stuff takes way too long to get done. Teachers spend more time filling out forms than actually teaching their students and pushing them to reach their learning. It’s a bureaucratic slowdown that’s frustrating everyone that’s involved.


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Some schools in Pennsylvania need a serious makeover because they’ve got major structural problems. After all, you can’t exactly focus on a math problem when the roof’s leaking into the classroom. These issues are a major safety hazard that could be potentially dangerous for the students and staff.


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In Ohio, the problem isn’t money but the fact that not all schools are getting the same amount of it. Some schools have lots of new tech and books, while others have to make do with the old stuff. This creates a gap in educational quality that’s setting some students up for failure, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.


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Michigan’s biggest problem? It’s struggling to keep its teachers around. When teachers come and go so frequently, students have to keep adjusting to new faces all the time, which can mess with their quality of learning. Continuity is key in education, and without it, students can’t keep learning year after year.


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For Georgians, the educational problems come from teachers being unable to learn new skills. Sounds strange, right? But if teachers aren’t learning, they can’t keep their classes engaging and up-to-date, which means their students start falling behind. The students are missing out on some important teaching methods that could improve their learning experience.


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Arizonian students are struggling with a curriculum that feels like a blast from the past. Lots of them aren’t getting the skills they need for today’s world, and this is putting them at a disadvantage compared to their peers. But it’s not just that, as new changes in the law mean that many Arizonian teachers aren’t qualified for their positions.

New Jersey

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New Jersey has a lot of people speaking a bunch of different languages, but this is a huge problem in the classroom, where English might not be many students’ first language. There aren’t enough bilingual teachers or resources, and it’s causing problems for non-native speakers. Schools are trying to fix this issue, but it’s too little, too late.


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In Washington, people are worried that schools aren’t giving students enough emotional support or social learning. They’re focusing pretty heavily on academic results but not helping students with their emotional and social development. Schools need to balance things a little better if they want their students to have a good overall educational experience. 


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Virginian schools have been focused on standardized testing, and some people are unhappy with this because they think it’s narrowing the curriculum. They’re worried schools are “teaching to the test” instead of giving them a well-rounded education. But it’s not the teachers’ fault, as they’re being forced to prioritize test scores over actual learning.


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Where you live can affect what your school is like, and this is a pretty big issue in Massachusetts. While the wealthier areas have some well-equipped schools, the poorer areas don’t have the same facilities. To nobody’s surprise, this difference is causing different education outcomes, which isn’t fair to the students who end up on the short end.


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Oregon is struggling to provide for its special education students, who need more personalized resources and experts. Sadly, there’s not enough to around, and some students don’t get the help they need. They need more support to succeed, but the lack of resources is holding back their potential.


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Parents should be involved in their kids’ education, right? Tell that to Colorado schools, where it’s hard for them to make a difference because the kids’ families aren’t interested. More family involvement usually means better student performance, but it’s hard to do that when some of them just don’t care.


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Utah has some rural schools that are feeling isolated, literally. After all, 77% of the state is rural, and 12% of the state’s population lives there. They’re struggling to get good teachers, which means they’re missing out on some good talent. It’s also limiting the resources and opportunities that the students have, which is putting them at a huge disadvantage.


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Like in Pennsylvania, a lot of Iowa’s school buildings are old, and they desperately need repairing. When kids are in buildings that are falling apart, it causes problems for their health and ability to focus on what they’re learning. Plus, older buildings aren’t exactly preparing their students to use modern-day technology.

North Carolina

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In North Carolina, not everyone can get online at home, which is important when they need the internet for their homework and research. When kids don’t have the internet, they’re at a huge disadvantage. It’s a technological gap, but not being able to do homework or participate means that these students are also struggling with a learning gap.


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The biggest problem for Wisconsin’s schools comes from the state’s politics. When politicians argue over education, it’s the students who end up losing out from the sudden changes to education policies and standards. Schools can’t maintain a consistent teaching strategy, and students never know what to expect.


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In Minnesota, the real issue comes from the students, as there aren’t enough of them in the schools. This means less money, so schools can’t offer as many activities for their students. Less student enrollment can also force some schools to close, and it’s a particularly serious issue in smaller communities.

South Carolina

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South Carolina isn’t investing enough in preschools, and it’s causing some kids to start kindergarten already behind. Research shows that early education is important to help give kids a good foundation, and without this strong start, kids can’t catch up with their peers. It’s an issue that’ll affect students for the rest of their lives.


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In Nevada, schools are hammering on grades and performance, but that’s not exactly a good thing. It’s making education into a race for scores, and it means that students aren’t feeling the fun of learning. Students might be breezing through quizzes, but they’re not able to deal with real-life problems that might need a bit more than textbook answers.


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The issue in Idaho comes from not having enough supplies, like books and desks. Research shows that the state has some of the worst-funded schools in the country. How can you expect anyone to learn somewhere like this? Teachers are trying to make things better, but creativity only goes so far when you don’t have the right materials. 


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In Kentucky, they’re scaling back on extracurricular activities like sports and art. These are skills that kids can’t just learn from textbooks alone, meaning students don’t have the opportunities to explore their new interests. If they don’t have this balance, school life becomes pretty boring for students, which doesn’t help anyone.

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