Minnesota’s public education system is stellar, characterized by low dropout rates, high test scores, and low student-to-teacher ratios. Minnesota’s high standard of education is reflected in its five best school districts. 

St. Michael-Albertville Schools is Minnesota’s best school district. Comprising one kindergarten, three elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools serving an enrollment of nearly 6,500, the high-performing district recently managed a remarkable graduation rate of over 99%

Minnesota’s 2nd best school system is Centennial School District, which is headquartered in the suburb of Circle Pines and consists of seven schools and a number of other facilities. Centennial teachers are highly qualified, with 78% holding a master’s degree, and the district has a graduation rate of 94.9%. 

Placing 3rd in the ranking is Farmington Area Public Schools, made up of five elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school in the city of Farmington. The district’s students consistently test higher than the national average on the ACT and NWEA MAP tests. 

Hopkins Public Schools is the 4th best public school district in the state of Minnesota. HPS serves an enrollment of around 6,800 students hailing from the city of Hopkins and portions of surrounding communities. Students of Hopkins schools are in good hands, as 84% of the district’s teachers have a master’s degree or higher. 

Mahtomedi Public Schools completes the ranking of Minnesota’s top school districts. Comprising four schools in the small Washington County city of Mahtomedi, MPS maintains a standard of excellence which is reflected in the district’s students’ high ACT and AP exam test scores

Top School Districts in Minnesota, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1St. Michael-Albertville School DistAlbertville
2Centennial Public School DistrictCircle Pines
3Farmington Public School DistrictFarmington
4Hopkins Public School DistrictHopkins
5Mahtomedi Public School DistrictMahtomedi
6Orono Public School DistrictLong Lake
7Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Public SchBuffalo
8Sartell-St. Stephen School DistrictSartell
9Hastings Public School DistrictHastings
10Monticello Public School DistrictMonticello
11New Prague Area SchoolsNew Prague
12Delano Public School DistrictDelano
13Forest Lake Public School DistrictForest Lake
14Waconia Public School DistrictWaconia
15St. Louis Park Public School Dist.Saint Louis Park
16Northfield Public School DistrictNorthfield
17Westonka Public School DistrictMinnetrista
18Brainerd Public School DistrictBrainerd
19St. Anthony-New Brighton SchoolsSaint Anthony
20Alexandria Public School DistrictAlexandria
21Grand Rapids Public School DistrictGrand Rapids
22Big Lake Public School DistrictBig Lake
23Becker Public School DistrictBecker
24Cambridge-Isanti Public School DistCambridge
25Esko Public School DistrictEsko
26St. Francis Area SchoolsSaint Francis
27Byron Public School DistrictByron
28Chisago Lakes School DistrictLindstrom
29Sauk Rapids-Rice Public SchoolsSauk Rapids
30West St. Paul-Mendota Hts.-EaganMendota Heights
31Hutchinson Public School DistrictHutchinson
32Rocori Public School DistrictCold Spring
33Foley Public School DistrictFoley
34Inver Grove Heights SchoolsInver Grove Heights
35Virginia Public School DistrictVirginia
36Kasson-Mantorville School DistrictKasson
37Spring Lake Park Public SchoolsSpring Lake Park
38Hermantown Public School DistrictHermantown
39Greenway Public School DistrictColeraine
40Annandale Public School DistrictAnnandale
41Dassel-Cokato Public School Dist.Cokato
42Owatonna Public School DistrictOwatonna
43Princeton Public School DistrictPrinceton
44Moorhead Public School DistrictMoorhead
45Rockford Public School DistrictRockford
46Holdingford Public School DistrictHoldingford
47Morris Area Public SchoolsMorris
48New Ulm Public School DistrictNew Ulm
49Pine Island Public School Dist.Pine Island
50Watertown-Mayer Public School Dist.Watertown
51Pequot Lakes Public SchoolsPequot Lakes
52Barnesville Public School Dist.Barnesville
53Albany Public School DistrictAlbany
55Jordan Public School DistrictJordan
56New London-Spicer School DistrictNew London
57Osakis Public School DistrictOsakis
58Red Wing Public School DistrictRed Wing
59Stewartville Public School DistrictStewartville
60Maple Lake Public School DistrictMaple Lake
61Zumbrota-Mazeppa School DistrictMazeppa
62Luverne Public School DistrictLuverne
63Hibbing Public School DistrictHibbing
64North Branch Public SchoolsNorth Branch
65Fairmont Area School DistrictFairmont
66St. Charles Public School DistrictSaint Charles
67Melrose Public School DistrictMelrose
68Chatfield Public SchoolsChatfield
69Paynesville Public School DistrictPaynesville
70Cannon Falls Public School DistrictCannon Falls
71Litchfield Public School DistrictLitchfield
72Eden Valley-Watkins School DistrictEden Valley
73Dover-Eyota Public School DistrictEyota
74Belle Plaine Public School DistrictBelle Plaine
75Maple River School DistrictMapleton
76Bemidji Public School DistrictBemidji
77Rush City Public School DistrictRush City
78Battle Lake Public School DistrictBattle Lake
79Thief River Falls School DistrictThief River Falls
80Roseau Public School DistrictRoseau
81Proctor Public School DistrictProctor
82International Falls School DistrictInternational Falls
83Warroad Public School DistrictWarroad
84La Crescent-Hokah School DistrictLa Crescent
85Braham Public School DistrictBraham
86Howard Lake-Waverly-WinstedHoward Lake
87Murray County Central School Dist.Slayton
88Montevideo Public School DistrictMontevideo
89Mora Public School DistrictMora
91Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa School DistBelgrade
92Jackson County Central School Dist.Jackson
93Minnewaska School DistrictGlenwood
94Lake Superior Public School Dist.Two Harbors
95St. Peter Public School DistrictSaint Peter
96Crosby-Ironton Public School Dist.Crosby
97Kimball Public School DistrictKimball
98Caledonia Public School DistrictCaledonia
99Kenyon-Wanamingo School DistrictWanamingo
100Pierz Public School DistrictPierz


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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