2018 Best School Districts Methodology

The 2018 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

Factor Description Source Weight
Academics Grade Based on state assessment proficiency, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses on academics from students and parents. Niche 50.0%
Teachers Grade Based on teacher salary, teacher absenteeism, state test results, and survey responses on teachers from students and parents. Niche 15.0%
Culture & Diversity Grade Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents. Niche 10.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of students and parents in the district. Self-reported by Niche users 10.0%
Health & Safety Grade Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents. Niche 5.0%
Resources & Facilities Grade Based on expenses per student, staffing, and survey responses on facilities from students and parents. Niche 5.0%
Clubs & Activities Grade Based on expenses per student and survey responses on clubs and activities from students and parents. Niche 2.5%
Sports Grade Based on the number of sports, participation, and survey responses on athletics and athletic facilities from students and parents. Niche 2.5%

 

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. Niche also collects data directly from schools via our school data update form. If you work for a school and would like to update your data, please claim your school.

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