Arkansas has historically performed very poorly among American states in education, with underfunding, frequent political meddling in curriculums, and poverty all contributing factors. However, just as in Alabama, recent reforms are improving the situation along with funding increases. Arkansas has been praised repeatedly for its efforts to improve early-childhood education, and college and career readiness.
Top in Arkansas, Haas Hall Bentonville - or Haas Hall Academy - includes only the academy itself and serves around 300 students of grades seven to twelve. Haas Hall Academy students frequently score excellently in standardized college admission tests (ACT), particularly in English (97.4 average in the 11th grade). The location in Bentonville, the home of Walmart, means graduating students can expect to find jobs relatively easily.
At number two and sharing the city of Bentonville, Bentonville Public Schools district has five elementary schools, five junior or middle schools, and one high school. The district is also number one for student athletes in Arkansas This highly rated district has achieved averages of 65% reading proficiency, 58% math proficiency, and a 91% average graduation rate. The teacher-student ratio is also better than the national average (17:1), at 15:1.
Located to the northeast, the state’s third best school district - Valley View School District - is centered on Arkansas’ fifth largest town of Jonesboro (population around 71,000). With a good 15:1 teacher-student ratio, Valley View delivers a safe learning environment across two elementary schools, and single junior and high schools with 74% reading proficiency, 67% math proficiency, and a 95% average graduation rate. Graduates may take advantage of ample local opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture, and medicine.
Top School Districts in Arkansas, 2019
Rank School District County City State
1 Haas Hall Academy Washington County Fayetteville Arkansas
2 Bentonville School District Benton County Bentonville Arkansas
3 Valley View School District Craighead County Jonesboro Arkansas
4 Greenbrier School District Faulkner County Greenbrier Arkansas
5 Valley Springs School District Boone County Valley Springs Arkansas
6 Salem School District Fulton County Salem Arkansas
7 Nemo Vista School District Conway County Center Ridge Arkansas
8 Fayetteville School District Washington County Fayetteville Arkansas
9 Bismarck School District Hot Spring County Bismarck Arkansas
10 Greenwood School District Sebastian County Greenwood Arkansas
11 Bryant School District Saline County Bryant Arkansas
12 Harrison School District Boone County Harrison Arkansas
13 Cabot School District Lonoke County Cabot Arkansas
14 Genoa Central School District Miller County Texarkana Arkansas
15 Emerson-taylor School District Columbia County Emerson Arkansas
16 Searcy County School District Searcy County Marshall Arkansas
17 Conway School District Faulkner County Conway Arkansas
18 Pottsville School District Pope County Pottsville Arkansas
19 Rogers School District Benton County Rogers Arkansas
20 Benton School District Saline County Benton Arkansas
21 Mccrory School District Woodruff County Mccrory Arkansas
22 Clinton School District Van Buren County Clinton Arkansas
23 Melbourne School District Izard County Melbourne Arkansas
24 Estem High Charter Pulaski County Little Rock Arkansas
25 Eureka Springs School District Carroll County Eureka Springs Arkansas
The following contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, teacher quality, school funding, student to teacher ratio, standardized test results (reading and math; the percentage of students scoring at or above state proficiency level). Data from a total of 10,728 school districts had sufficient values for the variables above.