Massachusetts can boast the top students in the nation, at least according to the Daily Beast. Each year, the National Assessment of Education Progress tests all the fourth and eighth graders in America in reading and math. The Daily Beast measured the percentage of kids who performed at or above the advanced level. States with the smartest kids? Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Minnesota. The, uh, not-so-great test scores: Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, West Virginia, and, in last place, Mississippi.
Generally, better test results come from the states that have lower levels of child poverty. For what it's worth, President Obama's home state of Hawaii landed in 43rd, compared with, say, Alaska, at 37th. Mitt Romney was born in 33rd-ranked Michigan, and even Mike Huckabee's Arkansas came in 42nd.