The Chance-For-Success Index
If you haven't seen it already, the Research Center here at EdWeek has put together a thorough evaluation of states' individual education systems called Quality Counts. Of particular note to readers of this blog may be the Chance-For-Success Index (requires Adobe reader), which evaluates students' likelihood to succeed based on each state's figures on thirteen benchmarks--including family income, level of parents' education, parents' employment, preschool enrollment, high school graduation rates, and annual income, among others. Those factors play a major role in motivating students to do well in school, and can make a big difference in student achievement.
This issue of Quality Counts has a lot of interactive features like videos, state grade calculators, and roll-over maps to play around with online, and I highly recommend that you check it out. You can read more about the chance-for-success benchmarks and how states' grades were calculated here.