North Dakota residents most positive about schools
They are followed closely by those living in Minnesota and Nebraska. In stark contrast, about half as many Nevada and New Mexico residents, 42% in each, rate their public education systems positively.
North Dakota also ranked at the top when Gallup first measured state residents' perceptions of public education quality in 2013, while Nevada and New Mexico were at the bottom.
These results are based on a Gallup poll conducted March 30-December 22, 2015, with approximately 500 interviews in every state. Full results for each state appear at the end of the article.
Residents in states where a large share of residents rate the quality of education as excellent or good are also more likely to believe their public school system prepares students for success in the workplace.
About nine in 10 North Dakota residents report their public school system prepares students for success in the workplace.
Nebraska and South Dakota residents follow closely behind at 81%. On the other end of the spectrum, less than half of Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii residents feel that their state education system prepares students for workplace success.
There is a moderate relationship between unemployment rates and residents' perceptions that their public education system prepares students for workplace success.
In December 2015, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota - states with positive perceptions of public education - had the three lowest unemployment rates among all states and the District of Columbia, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nevada and New Mexico - the two states with the least positive perceptions of schools - had significantly higher unemployment rates and ranked 46th and 48th in December 2015 among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ■