Special Report

The Best-Ranked School Districts in America

Courtesy of MVLA - Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District via Facebook

Though not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, all children living in the United States have the right to a free, public education – and across the country, there are nearly 50 million K-12 students enrolled in a public school. But while equal access to education is guaranteed, the quality of that education is not. 

Many school districts across the country are understaffed, underfunded, and underperforming. Meanwhile, there are also school districts that are notable for the opposite reasons. These districts offer students updated facilities, a range of extracurricular activity options, and a dedicated teaching staff, and they have a track record of high graduation rates. (Here is a look at the best private high schools in America.) 

Using data compiled by Niche, an education research platform, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 best public school districts in America for 2023. Niche ranked school districts based on a weighted index of seven measures, including self-reported standardized test scores, parent and student surveys, extracurricular activities, and indicators of teacher quality. A full description of each measure and its weighting is available here.

School districts in the United States are typically funded largely at the local level, and many of the districts on this list are in relatively wealthy areas, with a strong tax base to draw from. In many districts on this list, most households earn over $100,000 a year. (Here is a look at the richest school district in every state.) 

The majority of districts on this list are located in the Midwest and the Northeast, including 12 in Illinois and 10 in New York. That these districts are concentrated in a handful of states is no coincidence. State governments have considerable leverage over education policy – including levels of investment – and as a result, overall school quality can vary considerably from one state to the next. (Here is a look at how much each state spends on public schools.)

Click here to see the best-ranked school districts in America.

Source: Courtesy of San Ramon Valley Unified School District via Facebook

50. Acalanes Union High School District
> Location: Lafayette, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 89%
> Students proficient in math: 72%
> Total enrollment: 5,535

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Source: Courtesy of Solon Schools via Facebook

49. Solon City School District
> Location: Solon, OH
> Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 94%
> Students proficient in math: 96%
> Total enrollment: 4,521

48. Dover-Sherborn Regional School District
> Location: Dover, MA
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 92%
> Students proficient in reading: 80%
> Students proficient in math: 80%
> Total enrollment: 1,185

Source: Courtesy of Barrington 220 School District via Facebook

47. Barrington Community Unit School District No. 220
> Location: Barrington, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 60%
> Students proficient in math: 56%
> Total enrollment: 8,247

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Source: Courtesy of Wayzata Public School District via Facebook

46. Wayzata Public School District
> Location: Plymouth, MN
> Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 81%
> Students proficient in math: 79%
> Total enrollment: 12,013

Source: Courtesy of Elmbrook Schools via Facebook

45. Elmbrook School District
> Location: Brookfield, WI
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 61%
> Students proficient in math: 68%
> Total enrollment: 7,280

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Source: massdot / Flickr

44. Lexington Public Schools
> Location: Lexington, MA
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 80%
> Students proficient in math: 83%
> Total enrollment: 6,901

Source: Courtesy of Princeton Public Schools, New Jersey via Facebook

43. Princeton Public Schools
> Location: Princeton, NJ
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 78%
> Students proficient in math: 63%
> Total enrollment: 3,740

Source: William Thomas Cain / Getty Images News via Getty Images

42. Lower Merion School District
> Location: Ardmore, PA
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 88%
> Students proficient in math: 79%
> Total enrollment: 8,603

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Source: Courtesy of Wellesley High School via Facebook

41. Wellesley Public Schools
> Location: Wellesley, MA
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 80%
> Students proficient in math: 77%
> Total enrollment: 4,432

Source: Not Found

40. San Dieguito Union High School District
> Location: Encinitas, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 25:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 79%
> Students proficient in math: 72%
> Total enrollment: 13,001

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Source: Courtesy of North Allegheny School District via Facebook

39. North Allegheny School District
> Location: McCandless Township, PA
> Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 94%
> Students proficient in reading: 86%
> Students proficient in math: 71%
> Total enrollment: 8,499

Source: Courtesy of South Texas ISD via Facebook

38. South Texas Independent School District
> Location: Mercedes, TX
> Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 80%
> Students proficient in math: 84%
> Total enrollment: 4,194

37. East Williston Union Free School District
> Location: Old Westbury, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 9:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 83%
> Students proficient in math: 89%
> Total enrollment: 1,666

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Source: Courtesy of Neuqua Valley High School via Facebook

36. Indian Prairie Community Unit School District No. 204
> Location: Aurora, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 59%
> Students proficient in math: 57%
> Total enrollment: 26,091

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

35. Manhasset Union Free School District
> Location: Manhasset, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 82%
> Students proficient in math: 86%
> Total enrollment: 3,051

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Source: Courtesy of Hopkinton Public Schools via Facebook

34. Hopkinton Public Schools
> Location: Hopkinton, MA
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 81%
> Students proficient in math: 80%
> Total enrollment: 3,932

Source: Courtesy of Northern Valley Regional High School District via Facebook

33. Northern Valley Regional High School District
> Location: Demarest, NJ
> Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 87%
> Students proficient in math: 72%
> Total enrollment: 2,101

Source: Courtesy of La Canada High School - Spartans via Facebook

32. La Canada Unified School District
> Location: La Cañada Flintridge, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 24:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 89%
> Students proficient in math: 85%
> Total enrollment: 3,988

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31. Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
> Location: Los Gatos, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 86%
> Students proficient in math: 78%
> Total enrollment: 3,470

Source: Courtesy of Half Hollow Hills Central School District via Facebook

30. Half Hollow Hills Central School District
> Location: Dix Hills, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 70%
> Students proficient in math: 78%
> Total enrollment: 7,604

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

29. Millburn Township School District
> Location: Millburn Township, NJ
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 88%
> Students proficient in math: 83%
> Total enrollment: 4,697

Source: Courtesy of Township High School District 211 via Facebook

28. Township High School District No. 211
> Location: Palatine, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 47%
> Students proficient in math: 53%
> Total enrollment: 11,968

Source: Courtesy of Tredyffrin/Easttown School District via Facebook

27. Tredyffrin-Easttown School District
> Location: Tredyffrin Township, PA
> Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 88%
> Students proficient in math: 74%
> Total enrollment: 6,957

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Source: Courtesy of Niles Township Community High School District 219 via Facebook

26. Niles Township Community High School District No. 219
> Location: Skokie, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 93%
> Students proficient in reading: 47%
> Students proficient in math: 46%
> Total enrollment: 4,659

Source: Courtesy of Naperville Community Unit School District No 203 via Facebook

25. Naperville Community Unit School District No. 203
> Location: Naperville, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 72%
> Students proficient in math: 64%
> Total enrollment: 16,289

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Source: Courtesy of Hinsdale Township High School District 86 via Facebook

24. Hinsdale Township High School District No. 86
> Location: Hinsdale, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 92%
> Students proficient in reading: 64%
> Students proficient in math: 67%
> Total enrollment: 3,976

23. Weston Public Schools
> Location: Weston, MA
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 83%
> Students proficient in math: 82%
> Total enrollment: 1,906

Source: Courtesy of MVLA - Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District via Facebook

22. Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District
> Location: Mountain View, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 92%
> Students proficient in reading: 82%
> Students proficient in math: 68%
> Total enrollment: 4,563

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

21. New Canaan Public Schools
> Location: New Canaan, CT
> Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 90%
> Students proficient in math: 87%
> Total enrollment: 4,155

Source: Courtesy of Herricks Public Schools via Facebook

20. Herricks Union Free School District
> Location: Herricks, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 83%
> Students proficient in math: 86%
> Total enrollment: 4,039

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Source: Courtesy of GW Hewlett High School Class of 1986 30th Reunion via Facebook

19. Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District
> Location: Woodmere, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 82%
> Students proficient in math: 79%
> Total enrollment: 2,938

Source: Courtesy of Evanston Township High School via Facebook

18. Evanston Township High School District No. 202
> Location: Evanston, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 92%
> Students proficient in reading: 52%
> Students proficient in math: 50%
> Total enrollment: 3,731

Source: Courtesy of Westport Public Schools via Facebook

17. Westport School District
> Location: Westport, CT
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 85%
> Students proficient in math: 82%
> Total enrollment: 5,329

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Source: Courtesy of Township High School District 113 via Facebook

16. Township High School District No. 113
> Location: Highland Park, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 68%
> Students proficient in math: 66%
> Total enrollment: 3,386

Source: Ladue School District / Facebook

15. Ladue School District
> Location: Ladue, MO
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 72%
> Students proficient in math: 70%
> Total enrollment: 4,325

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Source: Courtesy of Radnor High School

14. Radnor Township School District
> Location: Radnor Township, PA
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 88%
> Students proficient in math: 78%
> Total enrollment: 3,624

Source: Courtesy of School District of Clayton via Facebook

13. School District of Clayton
> Location: Clayton, MO
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 74%
> Students proficient in math: 72%
> Total enrollment: 2,514

Source: Courtesy of Libertyville High School College & Career Resource Center via Facebook

12. Community High School District 128
> Location: Vernon Hills, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 72%
> Students proficient in math: 73%
> Total enrollment: 3,379

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Source: Courtesy of Scarsdale Public School via Facebook

11. Scarsdale Union Free School District
> Location: Scarsdale, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 87%
> Students proficient in math: 90%
> Total enrollment: 4,657

Source: Courtesy of Eanes ISD via Facebook

10. Eanes Independent School District
> Location: Austin, TX
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%
> Students proficient in reading: 82%
> Students proficient in math: 81%
> Total enrollment: 7,968

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Source: Canyons School District / Facebook

9. Palo Alto Unified School District
> Location: Palo Alto, CA
> Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 81%
> Students proficient in math: 81%
> Total enrollment: 11,395

Source: West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School / Facebook

8. West Lafayette Community School Corporation
> Location: West Lafayette, IN
> Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%
> Students proficient in reading: 72%
> Students proficient in math: 72%
> Total enrollment: 2,316

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

7. New Trier Township High School District No. 203
> Location: Northfield, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 81%
> Students proficient in math: 80%
> Total enrollment: 4,030

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6. Roslyn Union Free School District
> Location: East Hills, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 79%
> Students proficient in math: 85%
> Total enrollment: 3,204

Source: Courtesy of Syosset Central School District via Facebook

5. Syosset Central School District
> Location: Syosset, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 76%
> Students proficient in math: 89%
> Total enrollment: 6,578

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Source: Courtesy of Jericho Wrestling Alumni via Facebook

4. Jericho Union Free School District
> Location: Oyster Bay, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%
> Students proficient in reading: 88%
> Students proficient in math: 92%
> Total enrollment: 3,153

Source: Courtesy of Great Neck Public Schools via Facebook

3. Great Neck Public Schools
> Location: Lake Success, NY
> Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 83%
> Students proficient in math: 86%
> Total enrollment: 6,831

Source: Courtesy of Glenbrook High School Foundation via Facebook

2. Glenbrook High Schools District 225
> Location: Glenview, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%
> Students proficient in reading: 67%
> Students proficient in math: 69%
> Total enrollment: 5,164

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Source: Courtesy of Adlai E. Stevenson High School via Facebook

1. Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125
> Location: Lincolnshire, IL
> Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%
> Students proficient in reading: 75%
> Students proficient in math: 76%
> Total enrollment: 4,315

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