2018 Districts with the Best Teachers Methodology

The 2018 Districts with the Best Teachers ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and teacher data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and parents. Learn where our data comes from. Note: Niche has a separate ranking for Best Places to Teach.

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 30.0%
Parent/Student Surveys on Teachers Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding teachers in the district. Self-reported by Niche users 25.0%
Teacher Absenteeism Percentage of teachers missing 10 or more days for sick or personal leave per school year. Civil Rights Data Collection 15.0%
Teacher Salary Index Average teacher salary normalized by Median Household Income by county. U.S. Department of Education 10.0%
Teachers in First/Second Year Percentage of teachers in their first or second year of teaching. Civil Rights Data Collection 10.0%
Average Teacher Salary Average teacher salary in the district. National Center for Education Statistics 5.0%
Student-Teacher Ratio Ratio of students to full-time teachers. Please note: Student-teacher ratio is not a representation of average class size. National Center for Education Statistics 5.0%


The same methodology is used to produce the Niche Teachers 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.