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The suburbs of Chicago are home to some of the best public school districts in the country, characterized by high graduation rates and high rates of proficiency in math and language arts. It should come as no surprise that all five of the best school districts in Illinois are located in this area. 

The best school district in Illinois is Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210, which comprises three high schools in the communities of New Lenox and Frankfort. Lincoln-Way is an excellent district that continues to improve, hitting its highest graduation rate in history in the most recent school year (98%). Furthermore, 85% of district students went on to a 2 or 4-year college within 16 months of graduation. 

Not far behind is Community High School District 155 (#2), which encompasses 4 high schools serving several communities in McHenry County. The district boasts a graduation rate of 95%, which is ten points higher than the state average, and 2019 graduates were awarded $11.7 million in scholarship money. 

Placing 3rd in Illinois is Hinsdale Township High School District 86, which operates two schools serving the communities of Hinsdale and Darien. Like the first two districts in the ranking, D86 has a very high graduation rate, and a remarkable 98% of graduates go on to attend the higher learning institution of their choosing. 

Consolidated High School District 230, which serves several southwest suburbs of Chicago in Cook County, earns the #4 spot on the list. CHSD230 is another high-performing high school district, boasting a graduation rate in the 90’s, a 91% college persistence rate, and 72% participation in co-curricular activities.  

Rounding out the list of Illinois’ five best school districts is Lyons Township High School District 204, which consists of a single high school with two campuses in LaGrange and Western Springs. Lyons Township High School has been named one of the best high schools in America by U.S. News and World Report.  

Top School Districts in Illinois, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1Lincoln Way Chsd 210New Lenox
2Chsd 155Crystal Lake
3Hinsdale Twp Hsd 86Hinsdale
4Cons Hsd 230Orland Park
5Lyons Twp Hsd 204La Grange
6Edwardsville Cusd 7Edwardsville
7Chsd 99Downers Grove
8Lake Zurich Cusd 95Lake Zurich
9Oak Park - River Forest Sd 200Oak Park
10Geneva Cusd 304Geneva
11Grayslake Chsd 127Grayslake
12Dunlap Cusd 323Peoria
13Lake Park Chsd 108Roselle
14Batavia Usd 101Batavia
15Lockport Twp Hsd 205Lockport
16Chsd 117Lake Villa
17Warren Twp Hsd 121Gurnee
18Woodstock Cusd 200Woodstock
19Central Cusd 301Burlington
20Lemont Twp Hsd 210Lemont
21Riverside-Brookfield Twp Sd 208Riverside
22Hononegah Chd 207Rockton
23Waterloo Cusd 5Waterloo
24Kaneland Cusd 302Maple Park
25Coal City Cusd 1Coal City
26Byron Cusd 226Byron
27O Fallon Twp Hsd 203O Fallon
28Mascoutah Cud 19Mascoutah
29Homewood Flossmoor Chsd 233Flossmoor
30Yorkville Cusd 115Yorkville
31Dupage Hsd 88Addison
32Morton Cusd 709Morton
33Triad Cusd 2Troy
34Sycamore Cusd 427Sycamore
35Mahomet-Seymour Cusd 3Mahomet
36Columbia Cusd 4Columbia
37Tri Valley Cusd 3Downs
38Moline-Coal Valley Cusd 40Moline
39Mundelein Cons Hsd 120Mundelein
40Chsd 218Oak Lawn
41Joliet Twp Hsd 204Joliet
42Ball Chatham Cusd 5Chatham
43Belleville Twp Hsd 201Belleville
44Grant Chsd 124Fox Lake
45Minooka Chsd 111Channahon
46Bremen Chsd 228Midlothian
47Cairo Usd 1Cairo
48County Of Woodford SchoolMetamora
49Carterville Cusd 5Carterville
50Wauconda Cusd 118Wauconda
51Mt Zion Cusd 3Mt Zion
52Tremont Cusd 702Tremont
53St Joseph Ogden Chsd 305Saint Joseph
54Johnsburg Cusd 12Johnsburg
55Chsd 94West Chicago
56Monticello Cusd 25Monticello
57Williamsville Cusd 15Williamsville
58Round Lake Cusd 116Round Lake
59Marengo Chsd 154Marengo
60Teutopolis Cusd 50Teutopolis
61Morris Chsd 101Morris
62Mchenry Chsd 156Mchenry
63Hinckley Big Rock Cusd 429Hinckley
64Quincy Sd 172Quincy
65Dekalb Cusd 428Dekalb
66Pecatonica Cusd 321Pecatonica
67Reed Custer Cusd 255UBraidwood
68Washington Chsd 308Washington
69Crete Monee Cusd 201UCrete
70Thornton Fractional Twp Hsd 215Lansing
71Forrestville Valley Cusd 221Forreston
72Oak Lawn Chsd 229Oak Lawn
73Reavis Twp Hsd 220Burbank
74Highland Cusd 5Highland
75Jersey Cusd 100Jerseyville
76Alton Cusd 11Alton
77Elmwood Park Cusd 401Elmwood Park
78Wilmington Cusd 209UWilmington
79Rochester Cusd 3ARochester
80Bradley Bourbonnais Chsd 307Bradley
81Harlem Ud 122Machesney Park
82Eastland Cusd 308Lanark
83Herscher Cusd 2Herscher
84Argo Chsd 217Summit
85Genoa Kingston Cusd 424Genoa
86Peotone Cusd 207UPeotone
87Hamilton Co Cusd 10Mc Leansboro
88Jasper County Cud 1Newton
89Rochelle Twp Hsd 212Rochelle
90Bloomington Sd 87Bloomington
91Freeburg Chsd 77Freeburg
92Sherrard Cusd 200Sherrard
93Collinsville Cusd 10Collinsville
94Manteno Cusd 5Manteno
95Rock Island Sd 41Rock Island
96Central Chsd 71Breese
97Mattoon Cusd 2Mattoon
98Geneseo Cusd 228Geneseo
99Proviso Twp Hsd 209Forest Park
100Maroa Forsyth Cusd 2Maroa

Methodology

The following variables contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student to teacher ratio, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Math test, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Reading and Language test. Data from a total of 10,247 public school districts were used to compute a score for each school district. The following states were omitted due to lack of sufficient data: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. Note that high schools in some states have their own independent districts.

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