According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, there are 132,853 K-12 schools in the U.S. Out of these, 98,158 are public schools, 34,576 are private schools, and 7,011 are public charter schools.

Based on federal projections for the fall of 2019, there are close to 50.8 million students in America's public schools.

Public education encompasses the bulk of the education system in the U.S. It is controlled and funded at three levels — local, state, and federal. Funding, school curricula, educational standards, teaching, standardized testing decisions, and other policies differ from one state to the other. Naturally, their performances vary as well.

U.S. News & World Report and World Population Review recently released their separate state education rankings. We can see a lot of overlap between the lists. Even though their methodologies differed, the scores of the states were quite close.

Massachusetts and New Jersey ranked first and second, respectively, on both lists. Massachusetts has the best public schools in the country, scored highest in math and reading scores, and among the top 10 for college readiness and preschool enrollment.

Graduation rates, however, were not as impressive. New Jersey scored big in this regard, and ranked second for high school graduation rate, for reading performance. It too ranked among the top 10 for college readiness and math scores.

Florida toppled Vermont and New Hampshire in the U.S. News list to attain the No. 3 spot.

Vermont and New Hampshire ranked among the top 10 in both lists. Both have impressive high school graduation rates, 87.7%, and 88.2%, respectively. These numbers are much higher than the national average. Their NAEP Math Scores are higher than the national average as well.

Two other states that make both lists in the top 10 are Virginia and Nebraska. The former has an impressive high school graduation rate at 86.7% and NAEP Math Scores at 290. The latter has a high school graduation rate at 89.3% and NAEP Math Scores at 288.

Students in all the top states are exceptionally well-prepared for college and higher education, which is a significant boost to their careers.

The other states in the U.S. News top 10 list include Washington, Utah, Iowa, and Colorado. With so many students attending public schools, families need to determine which state offers the best benefits for their students. For residents of states that did not fare well, this is a great opportunity to evaluate and assess where their K-12 education is falling short.

The states, other than the ones listed above, that ranked among the top 10 in the World Population Review are Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Despite the impressive performance of the top states, American education still lags in international rankings. Currently, the U.S. ranks 14th, even though the country spends more per student than others on education.