A product of thePennsylvania Chamber Foundation

Education and Workforce

Pennsylvania does well overall in the education and workforce category, with good schools and a well-educated workforce. Out of ten measures included in the education and workforce category, three measures are in the top 10 of all 50 states.

The Commonwealth excels in K-12 education as well as advanced education. In K-12 education, Pennsylvania ranks 7th in 8th grade reading and 8th in 4th grade reading.  Pennsylvania is ranked 11th in 4th grade math and 17th in 8th grade math scores. The Commonwealth has declined relative to other states in high school graduation rates, moving from 14th in 2009 to 26nd in 2015. Pennsylvania’s performance is average for bachelor’s degree attainment, ranking 24th, but above average (ranking 18th) for advanced degree attainment. The commonwealth’s cost for public higher education is relatively high, ranking 47th for college affordability for public four-year institutions in the 2014-15 academic year. Pennsylvania has remained relatively constant, and currently ranks 6th in the national rankings of students taking the Advanced Placement exams. In terms of patents per capita, Pennsylvania is about average, with a ranking of 26th.

  2009 to Most Recent Change Most Recent PA Score Most Recent Median Score Most Recent PA Rank 2009 to Most Recent Change in Rank
School Quality: 4th Grade Reading Proficiency 4.55% 41.17% 36.41% 8 +2
School Quality: 4th Grade Math Proficiency 0.53% 44.98% 40.33% 11 -3
School Quality: 8th Grade Reading Proficiency 1.00% 39.10% 34.97% 7 -2
School Quality: 8th Grade Math Proficiency 3.83% 36.02% 33.43% 17 -7
High School Graduation Rate, Including GED Equivalency 3.80% 84.80% 84.85% 26 -12
Bachelors Degree Attainment 3.30% 29.70% 29.55% 24 +2
Advanced Degree Attainment 1.40% 11.60% 10.60% 18 No change
College Affordability $6,089.00 $24,236.00 $18,587.00 47 -1
Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Scores 0.80% 66.90% 59.85% 6 +1
Patents per Capita 8.68 33.00 33.69 26 -2