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Finance website ranks Maryland public schools 8th best in U.S.

Maryland came in eighth in a ranking of the best public school systems in the U.S., according to an analysis released Monday by personal finance website WalletHub.

The analysis focused on quality and safety of school systems in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Maryland ranked 10th in quality and 20th in safety, according to the analysis.

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Maryland also ranked as the state with the 13th highest spending for public elementary and secondary schools, according to WalletHub.

Baltimore City school officials broke ground on the next five schools that will undergo renovations or replacements as part of the 21st Century School Buildings Program.

The quality category made up 80 percent of the school’s overall ranking, with safety constituting 20 percent. In the quality category, WalletHub gave the most weight to school systems’ dropout rates, test scores, AP exam scores, SAT and ACT scores, and the percentage of high school graduates who had completed the ACT or SAT.

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The analysis also took into account how many of a system’s public schools had been named in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools” or had been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

In the safety category, the analysis gave the most weight to two categories: bullying rates of a school system and the percentage of high school students in a state’s public school system who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon while at school.

Teachers across Maryland targeted in email campaign urging them to leave unions.

The youth incarceration rates, disciplinary rates, percentage of high school students who reported carrying a weapon at school and the share of high school students with access to illegal drugs were among other categories that influenced the safety analysis.

Massachusetts came out on top in the analysis, with the No. 1 ranking in both quality and safety. New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont rounded out the top five for the analysis’ overall ranking of public school systems.

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WalletHub provides credit scores, reports, monitoring and other personal finance services.

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