It’s probably not coincidence that the states with the strongest assortment of private schools also tend to have the weakest state schools. It’s also probably not coincidence that we are talking about the oldest part of the country where most of the private schools existed long before the growth in public universities in the later half of the 19th Century.
For example, the UC System in California and the SUNY system in New York aren’t even in the same universe or conversation. The top SUNY campuses are Binghamton, Albany, Buffalo, and Stonybrook. The top UC campuses are Berkeley, UCLA, UC-San Diego, UC-Santa Barbara, and UC-Irvine. SUNY-Binghamton is a respectable school, but it’s no Berkeley or UCLA.
The public universities in MA, CT, NJ, and NH are not any more impressive but that’s where most of the Ivies are as well as most of the top private LACs.
It feels like a lot of the conversation and obsessions here on this forum are really being driven by parents from the Northeast where the situation is basically different from everywhere else in the country where local state schools and local privates have much greater regional reputations than the might have nationally.