While there is a lot of progress to be made in Michigan’s public school system, with its standing among other Midwest states dropping in the past couple decades, it’s not all bad: there are plenty of school districts in the Great Lakes State where things are going well. Let’s take a closer look at Michigan’s top five school districts.
Ranking #1 among Michigan public school districts is the Copper County Intermediate School District, which administers 13 smaller school districts with a total enrollment of around 6,600 students.
The Eaton Regional Education Service Agency is Michigan’s #2 public school district. Another conglomerate school district, Eaton RESA’s six component school districts are some of the best in the state in terms of composite test scores.
Chippewa County’s Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD places #3 on the list. The largest geographic district in the state, Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD serves 19 individual school districts spread over three counties with an enrollment of 7,000 students.
#4 Clinton County RESA serves seven public school districts with an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students, and provides additional services including the Great Start Readiness Program.
The #5 public school district in Michigan is Gratiot-Isabella RESD, another large intermediate school district headquartered in Ithaca that presides over 11 local districts.
Top School Districts in Michigan, 2019
Rank School District County City State
1 Copper Country ISD Houghton County Hancock Michigan
2 Eaton RESA Eaton County Charlotte Michigan
3 Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD Chippewa County Sault S Marie Michigan
4 Clinton County RESA Clinton County Saint Johns Michigan
5 Gratiot-Isabella RESD Gratiot County Ithaca Michigan
6 Livingston ESA Livingston County Howell Michigan
7 Van Buren ISD Van Buren County Lawrence Michigan
8 Lenawee ISD Lenawee County Adrian Michigan
9 Wexford-Missaukee ISD Wexford County Cadillac Michigan
10 Allegan Area Educational Service Agency Allegan County Allegan Michigan
11 Cheb-Otsego-Presque Isle ESD Cheboygan County Indian River Michigan
12 Tuscola ISD Tuscola County Caro Michigan
13 Washtenaw ISD Washtenaw County Ann Arbor Michigan
14 Saginaw ISD Saginaw County Saginaw Michigan
15 West Shore Educational Service District Mason County Ludington Michigan
16 Ottawa Area ISD Ottawa County Holland Michigan
17 St. Clair County RESA St. Clair County Marysville Michigan
18 Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD Alpena County Alpena Michigan
19 Traverse Bay Area ISD Grand Traverse County Traverse City Michigan
20 Newaygo County RESA Newaygo County Fremont Michigan
21 Charlevoix-Emmet ISD Charlevoix County Charlevoix Michigan
22 Lapeer ISD Lapeer County Lapeer Michigan
23 Macomb ISD Macomb County Clinton Township Michigan
24 Muskegon Area ISD Muskegon County Muskegon Michigan
25 Birmingham Public Schools Oakland County Beverly Hills Michigan
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.