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The public education situation in Michigan is one of contrasts: while student performance in Detroit, the state’s largest city, is below average (although there are promising signs of improvement), districts in the adjacent suburbs perform exceptionally well. It’s no surprise that a number of Michigan’s five best school districts are located in this region. 

Northville Public Schools is the best school district in Michigan. Comprising eleven schools in the wealthy suburb of Northville, the district consistently has a graduation rate north of 96% and its students regularly best state and national averages on the ACT and SAT’s. 

Earning the #2 spot in Michigan is Lake Orion Community Schools, a large district of ten schools with a total enrollment of over 7,500 hailing from the village of Lake Orion and several adjacent communities.  Students in the district outperform state averages on the Michigan Merit Exam, ACT, and SAT. 

Michigan’s 3rd best school district is Hudsonville Public Schools, a system of 12 schools that is the second-largest district in Ottawa County. For three years in a row, all district buildings have earned an “A” grade from the Michigan Department of Education. 

Novi Community School District places 4th among Michigan public school districts. Not only do Novi students perform exceptionally on standardized tests, they are active outside of the classroom, as well, with 56% of 7th-12th graders involved in an athletic program, and 29% of high schoolers participating in performing arts. 

Completing the list of Michigan’s five best school districts is Midland Public Schools, a ten-school district headquartered in the city of Midland. The district boasts a graduation rate of 95%.

Top School Districts in Michigan, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1Northville Public SchoolsNorthville
2Lake Orion Community SchoolsLake Orion
3Hudsonville Public School DistrictHudsonville
4Novi Community School DistrictNovi
5Midland Public SchoolsMidland
6Bloomfield Hills SchoolsBloomfield Hills
7Brighton Area SchoolsBrighton
8Byron Center Public SchoolsByron Center
9Saline Area SchoolsSaline
10Clarkston Community School DistrictClarkston
11Spring Lake Public SchoolsSpring Lake
12East Grand Rapids Public SchoolsGrand Rapids
13St. Joseph Public SchoolsSaint Joseph
14Hartland Consolidated SchoolsHowell
15Zeeland Public SchoolsZeeland
16Okemos Public SchoolsOkemos
17Anchor Bay School DistrictCasco
18Jenison Public SchoolsJenison
19West Ottawa Public School DistrictHolland
20Berkley School DistrictOak Park
21Lakeview Public Schools (Macomb)Saint Clair Shores
22Grandville Public SchoolsGrandville
23Lowell Area SchoolsLowell
24Dewitt Public SchoolsDewitt
25Caledonia Community SchoolsCaledonia
26Dexter Community School DistrictDexter
27Howell Public SchoolsHowell
28West Bloomfield School DistrictWest Bloomfield
29Davison Community SchoolsDavison
30Grand Haven Area Public SchoolsGrand Haven
31Mattawan Consolidated SchoolMattawan
32Fraser Public SchoolsFraser
33Haslett Public SchoolsHaslett
34Marysville Public SchoolsMarysville
35Linden Community SchoolsLinden
36Oxford Community SchoolsOxford
37Grosse Ile Township SchoolsGrosse Ile
38Royal Oak SchoolsRoyal Oak
39Coopersville Area Public School DistrictCoopersville
40Romeo Community SchoolsRomeo
41East Lansing School DistrictEast Lansing
42Grand Ledge Public SchoolsGrand Ledge
43Chelsea School DistrictChelsea
44St. Johns Public SchoolsSaint Johns
45Lakeshore School District (Berrien)Stevensville
46Southfield Public School DistrictSouthfield
47Bedford Public SchoolsTemperance
48Public Schools Of PetoskeyPetoskey
49Bullock Creek School DistrictMidland
50East China School DistrictEast China
51Hamilton Community SchoolsHamilton
52Almont Community SchoolsAlmont
53Lapeer Community SchoolsLapeer
54Goodrich Area SchoolsGoodrich
55Williamston Community SchoolsWilliamston
56Greenville Public SchoolsGreenville
57Thornapple Kellogg School DistrictMiddleville
58Frankenmuth School DistrictFrankenmuth
59Houghton-Portage Township School DistrictHoughton
60Saugatuck Public SchoolsDouglas
61Holt Public SchoolsHolt
62Avondale School DistrictAuburn Hills
63Otsego Public SchoolsOtsego
64Mason Public Schools (Ingham)Mason
65Wayland Union SchoolsWayland
66Freeland Community School DistrictFreeland
67Lakeview Sch. District (Calhoun)Battle Creek
68Allendale Public SchoolsAllendale
69Glen Lake Community SchoolsMaple City
70Armada Area SchoolsArmada
71Kingsley Area SchoolsKingsley
72Trenton Public SchoolsTrenton
73Crestwood School DistrictDearborn Heights
74Bridgman Public SchoolsBridgman
75Cedar Springs Public SchoolsCedar Springs
76Mona Shores Public School DistrictNorton Shores
77Manchester Community SchoolsManchester
78New Lothrop Area Public SchoolsNew Lothrop
79Riverview Community School DistrictRiverview
80Sparta Area SchoolsSparta
81Ida Public School DistrictIda
82Lakewood Public SchoolsWoodland
83Yale Public SchoolsYale
84Blissfield Community SchoolsBlissfield
85Hopkins Public SchoolsHopkins
86Harbor Springs School DistrictHarbor Springs
87Allen Park Public SchoolsAllen Park
88Gull Lake Community SchoolsRichland
89Plainwell Community SchoolsPlainwell
90Lake Fenton Community SchoolsFenton
91Fowler Public SchoolsFowler
92Fowlerville Community SchoolsFowlerville
93Woodhaven-Brownstown School DistrictWoodhaven
94Kenowa Hills Public SchoolsGrand Rapids
95Flushing Community SchoolsFlushing
96Cass City Public SchoolsCass City
97Imlay City Community SchoolsImlay City
98West Branch-Rose City Area SchoolsWest Branch
99Pewamo-Westphalia Community SchoolsWestphalia
100Elk Rapids SchoolsElk Rapids

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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