The topic of education is a hot one for us living in Wyoming.  The past several years have sparked heated debate for the best path to educate the young people in Wyoming.  Especially during our last state election, where education was a hot button campaign topic.
 How can Wyoming citizens give our young people the best opportunity to get a leg up in life?  We need to give them the best education and provide them the resources they need to succeed! just published it's annual rankings of states and their public education system. The usual states top the list like Massachusetts and Maryland, but there is one state that is a big surprise making it in to the top 10 this year - Wyoming.

Wyoming ranked 23rd last year and vaulted to 7th this year.  But before you go letting out a sigh of relief for our Wyoming students, their academic performance is still only slightly above average.

Wyoming jumps up the list mostly due to the way the criteria for the survey was evaluated.  Instead of grading our state's education policies (a weak area for Wyoming), the study gave more credit to school funding and socioeconomic factors like parent incomes and state employment rates.  With recent increases in energy production and employment in Wyoming, state education coffers have remained full.  That allows our state to spend the third highest amount on education per student than any other state.  Wyoming spends about $17,750 per student as compared to the national average of over $11,700 per student according to Ed Week's analysis.

Massachusetts was the top-ranked state this year, unseating Maryland, which hadheld that spot since 2009.

Here are the top 10 states in Ed Week’s rankings, followed by the state's overall score. The U.S. average was a score of 74.3:

1. Massachusetts (86.2)

2. New Jersey (85.5)

3. Maryland (85.2)

4. Vermont (83.0)

5. New Hampshire (82.4)

6. Connecticut (82.3)

7. Wyoming (80.6)

8. Pennsylvania (80.1)

9. New York (80.0)

10. Minnesota (79.9)

Source: Ed Week