Maryland is among the top states in terms of K-12 academics, with well-funded school districts and above-average proficiency rates in math and reading. In 2019, Education Week magazine gave the state a B grade, which bests the national grade of C, and ranked Maryland 4th in the nation in education. Let’s take a closer look at the five best school districts in Maryland. 

The best school district in Maryland is Montgomery County Public Schools, which is the largest school system in Maryland comprising 206 schools with a total enrollment of over 163,000. MCPS is home to a remarkable 41 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Placing 2nd is Prince George’s County Public Schools, another vast district made up of over 200 schools serving more than 130,000 students. Despite the district’s size, PGCPS schools are well-funded, and have earned national recognition for their innovative learning programs and focus on career and technical education. 

Baltimore County Public Schools is the 3rd best school district in Maryland. Like the first two entries, BCPS is a large school district that is home to many schools that have received national attention for their high academic performance. In total, over 20 BCPS schools have won a National Blue Ribbon Award.

Earning the #4 spot is Howard County Public Schools, consisting of 77 schools with a diverse student population of nearly 59,000. The district’s 4-year graduation rate of 92% is nearly five percentage points higher than the state average. 

Filling out the list of Maryland’s top five school districts is Worcester County Public Schools, headquartered in Newark, Maryland and comprising fourteen schools in Worcester County. The district excels in academics, and boasts the highest concentration of four and five-star schools of any school district in Maryland.

Top School Districts in Maryland, 2020

1Montgomery County Public Schools
2Prince George's County Public Schools
3Baltimore County Public Schools
4Howard County Public Schools
5Worcester County Public Schools
6Anne Arundel County Public Schools
7Frederick County Public Schools
8Charles County Public Schools
9Baltimore City Public Schools
10Carroll County Public Schools
11Calvert County Public Schools
12Harford County Public Schools
13Kent County Public Schools
14Cecil County Public Schools
15Garrett County Public Schools
16Washingtion County Public Schools
17St. Mary's County Public Schools
18Queen Anne's County Public Schools
19Allegany County Public Schools
20Somerset County Public Schools


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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