WISCONSIN — Wisconsin has the 4th best school system in the U.S., according to a recent WalletHub study.

The study based rankings on performance, funding, safety, class size and instructor credentials.

When broken down, the Badger State ranked 4th for quality and 17th for safety. Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey were in the top three above Wisconsin.

For math test scores, Wisconsin rounded out the top five. In reading test scores, however, Wisconsin fell to 15th place. A 2022 National Assessment of Education Progress found that 67% of fourth-graders aren’t proficient in reading in the state.

Wisconsin also ranked lower for pupil-teacher ratio (20th place), median ACT score (29th place) and the percent of licensed/certified public K-12 teachers (25th place)

The state did take 1st place for several categories, including median SAT score and the existence of a digital learning plan.

“As the location where 4-18-year-olds spend a great deal of their time, school quality, broadly defined, is essential to setting up a child for success. Certainly, the home environment (family, neighborhood, etc.) is more fundamentally important, but schools serve as a ‘home away from home’ for many students,” said Assistant Professor at Illinois State University and Executive Director of Illinois Council for the Social Studies Benjamin R. Wellenreiter in a statement. “High-quality schools that provide the services needed to facilitate meaningful academic, social, emotional, and civic development are essential to long-term success.”

Wellenreiter added that to improve school systems, policymakers might consider focusing on early-career teacher mentorship programs.