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2017 Best School Districts Ranking Methodology

The 2017 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

FactorDescriptionSourceWeight
Academics GradeBased on state assessment proficiency, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses on academics from students and parents.Niche50.0%
Culture & Diversity GradeBased on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.Niche10.0%
Health & Safety GradeBased on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents.Niche10.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall ExperienceNiche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of students and parents in the district.Self-reported by Niche users10.0%
Teachers GradeBased on teacher salary, teacher absenteeism, state test results, and survey responses on teachers from students and parents.Niche10.0%
Resources & Facilities GradeBased on expenses per student, staffing, and survey responses on facilities from students and parents.Niche5.0%
Clubs & Activities GradeBased on expenses per student and survey responses on clubs and activities from students and parents.Niche2.5%
Sports GradeBased on the number of sports, participation, and survey responses on athletics and athletic facilities from students and parents.Niche2.5%

This ranking assesses 10,364 U.S. public school districts. The same methodology is used to produce the Overall Niche Grade for each ranked school district as well as additional school districts. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the school districts.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.

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