Portland

The Best & Worst Metros for Education

Sidney Christiansen, MD

For physicians with children, school quality is an important factor in choosing where you want to practice. If you are looking to be in a major metropolitan area, your options for quality education systems are going to much narrower than if you were doing a general nationwide search.

As you might guess, there are disparities in education quality from city to city. Parenting.com conducted two studies of the best and worst cities for education across America. Metrics such as math and reading scores, graduation rates, and class sizes were used to determine a city’s ranking.

Check out this list to get an idea of the cities where you can combine a successful practice life for yourself with an excellent education for your children (and possibly some cities to avoid).

The Best Metros for Education:

1. Portland, ME

Noted for a low student/teacher ratio and high graduation rate.

2. Boston, MA

High expenditures per student and satisfactory reviews from parents.

3. Arlington, VA

High expenditures per student, high graduation rate, and community engagement.

4. Pittsburgh, PA

Money invested per student and quality daycare programs.

5. Madison, WI

High scores for math and reading proficiency and high graduation rate.

6. Lincoln, NE

Quality daycare programs, focusing on low infant-to-staff ratio.

7. New York, NY

High expenditures per student, high graduation rate and PTA group investment in educational support staff.

8. Ann Arbor, MI

Diversity, high graduation rate, and quality of daycare centers.

 

The Worst Metros for Education:

1. Las Vegas, NV

Shortfalls in budget causing low expenditures per student and high student/teacher ratio.

2. Jackson, MS

High student/teacher ratio, low expenditures per student, and low proficiency scores for math and reading.

3. Mobile, AL

High student/teacher ratio, low expenditures per student, and low proficiency scores for math.

4. Oklahoma City, OK

Below average graduation rate, low expenditures per student and low proficiency scores for math and reading.

5. Phoenix, AZ

High student/teacher ratio and low number of accredited daycare centers per capita.

6. Tucson, AZ

High child/staff ratio and high cost for daycare services. Also has low expenditures per student and high student/teacher ratios.

7. Fresno, CA

Low expenditures per student, high student/teacher ratio, low proficiency in math and reading for eighth-graders.

8. San Antonio, TX

Low graduation rate and low expenditures per student.

9. Birmingham, AL

Low proficiency scores in math.

All cities included are in the top 160 Metropolitan Statistical Areas as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget. The smallest, Lincoln, NE, had a 2016 metro population of just over 326,000. Cities listed in the study that were not in the top 160 were excluded, but you can find the full lists here and here.

If you are a physician and a parent, school quality can be a substantial part of deciding where you want to practice. This is especially true if you plan on staying in the same location for a period of several years.

Resolve can help if you are struggling to narrow down your search and you have questions about the best fit for your employment situation. Whether it be trying to locate cities with the best school system or looking for areas that offer great compensation, we have seasoned staff that can take all of your needs into consideration. Reach out by clicking here or continue reading more about the best locations for physicians on our blog.