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Overall, Missouri public schools’ performance isn’t too shabby, with 8th Grade NAEP math scores meeting the national average and the 87.8% high school graduation rate besting the national average by over 4 percentage points. Interestingly, all of the state’s top five public school districts are located in St. Louis county.

Missouri’s top public school district is the School District of Clayton, with five schools serving Clayton, as well as a part of the city of St. Louis. Clayton is frequently considered one of the best school districts in the nation, with a 99.5% graduation rate and a ACT composite score of 25.9.

Placing second is the Town & Country-based Special School District of St. Louis County, which administers 8 schools. SSD is one of the top districts in the nation in providing students with special needs a beneficial education and career path.

#3 Rockwood School District is the state’s largest school system, spreading out 150 square miles with an enrollment of over 21,000 students. A whopping 10 schools in the district have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Landing at #4 is Kirkwood School District, which comprises 9 schools in the Kirkwood area. Kirkwood High School is one of the best high schools in the state, with a graduation rate of over 99% and produces National Merit finalists annually.

Ladue School District is Missouri’s #5 public school district. The district does great in preparing students for higher learning with 91% of 2018 grads going on to attend college.

Top School Districts in Missouri, 2019

RankSchool DistrictCountyCityState
1ClaytonSt. Louis CountyClaytonMissouri
2Specl. Sch. Dst. St. Louis Co.St. Louis CountyTown & CountryMissouri
3Rockwood R-viSt. Louis CountyEurekaMissouri
4Kirkwood R-viiSt. Louis CountyKirkwoodMissouri
5LadueSt. Louis CountySt LouisMissouri
6Parkway C-2St. Louis CountyChesterfieldMissouri
7Francis Howell R-iiiSt. Charles CountySt CharlesMissouri
8North Kansas City 74Clay CountyKansas CityMissouri
9BrentwoodSt. Louis CountyBrentwoodMissouri
10Lindbergh SchoolsSt. Louis CountySt LouisMissouri
11Blue Springs R-ivJackson CountyBlue SpringsMissouri
12Richland R-iStoddard CountyEssexMissouri
13Lee's Summit R-viiJackson CountyLee's SummitMissouri
14Liberty 53Clay CountyLibertyMissouri
15Ft. Zumwalt R-iiSt. Charles CountyO'fallonMissouri
16Wentzville R-ivSt. Charles CountyWentzvilleMissouri
17West Platte Co. R-iiPlatte CountyWestonMissouri
18Park HillPlatte CountyKansas CityMissouri
19Webster GrovesSt. Louis CountyWebster GrovesMissouri
20Kearney R-iClay CountyKearneyMissouri
21Nixa Public SchoolsChristian CountyNixaMissouri
22Valley ParkSt. Louis CountyValley ParkMissouri
23Arcadia Valley R-iiIron CountyIrontonMissouri
24Ozark R-viChristian CountyOzarkMissouri
25Marceline R-vLinn CountyMarcelineMissouri

Methodology

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.

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