Special Report

The School District Where Students Are Most Likely to Succeed in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Falls Church City Public Schools via Facebook

46. Virginia: Falls Church City Schools
> Location: Falls Church City
> Annual per student spending: $17,592
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 78.5%

The Falls Church City School District lies within the independent city of Falls Church in northern Virginia. The district has an effectively perfect high school graduation rate, and area students benefit from a relatively large budget and small class sizes. THe district spends $17,592 per student a year, far more than the state average spending of $11,886. Additionally, there are only 14.3 students per teacher in the district, below the state average student-to-teacher ratio of 15.0 to 1 and the national average ratio of 16.1 to 1.

Source: Courtesy of Mercer Island School District via Facebook

47. Washington: Mercer Island School District
> Location: King County
> Annual per student spending: $12,145
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 79.0%

Mercer Island School District is located in the southern end of Lake Washington, just outside of Seattle. While per student school spending and the average student-to-teacher ratio in the district are closely in line with the statewide averages, advantages for children in the district are largely outside of the classroom. For example, children of college-educated parents are more likely than average to be successful academically, and in the Mercer Island district, 79.0% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the largest share of any district in the state and well above the 35.3% bachelor’s degree attainment rate across Washington.

Source: Courtesy of Morgantown High School

48. West Virginia: Monongalia County Schools
> Location: Monongalia County
> Annual per student spending: $11,357
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.3%

West Virignia’s Monongalia County School District is relatively large, encompassing 19 operational schools that enroll about 11,500 students. Children of college-educated parents are more likely than most to succeed academically, and in the district, 41.3% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the largest share of any district in the state and more than double the 20.3% of adults across West Virginia.

Students in the district are also more likely than students across the state to take college level courses while still in high school and master the material. Some 28.2% of district high schoolers are enrolled in an AP class, and 67.6% of those who took one or more AP exam passed at least one of them — each well above the corresponding 14.0% and 49.2% statewide rates.

Source: Courtesy of Whitefish Bay School District via Facebook

49. Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay School District
> Location: Milwaukee County
> Annual per student spending: $10,222
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 75.4%

Wisconsin’s Whitefish Bay School District, located just north of Milwaukee, has a near perfect high school graduation rate. High school students in the district are also more likely to take college level courses and understand the material than the typical high schooler in Wisconsin. Some 31.3% of high schoolers in the district are enrolled in an AP class, and 89.4% of them pass their AP exams — each well above the corresponding 23.1% and 67.4% statewide rates.

Source: Courtesy of Teton County School District via Facebook

50. Wyoming: Teton County School District
> Location: Teton County
> Annual per student spending: $17,780
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 57.4%

Wyoming’s Teton County School District covers nine schools that enroll nearly 3,000 students in the northwestern section of the state. Smaller class sizes have been shown to have a positive impact on academic performance, and in Teton County, there are an average of 12.5 students per teacher, below both the average student-to-teacher ratios of 12.9 to 1 statewide and 16.1 to 1 nationwide.

The Teton County district also has a higher than average graduation rate. Over 85% of ninth graders graduate high school within four years, compared to about eight in every 10 across Wyoming.