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
Rank School District County City State
1 Clayton St. Louis County Clayton Missouri
2 Specl. Sch. Dst. St. Louis Co. St. Louis County Town & Country Missouri
3 Rockwood R-vi St. Louis County Eureka Missouri
4 Kirkwood R-vii St. Louis County Kirkwood Missouri
5 Ladue St. Louis County St Louis Missouri
6 Parkway C-2 St. Louis County Chesterfield Missouri
7 Francis Howell R-iii St. Charles County St Charles Missouri
8 North Kansas City 74 Clay County Kansas City Missouri
9 Brentwood St. Louis County Brentwood Missouri
10 Lindbergh Schools St. Louis County St Louis Missouri
11 Blue Springs R-iv Jackson County Blue Springs Missouri
12 Richland R-i Stoddard County Essex Missouri
13 Lee's Summit R-vii Jackson County Lee's Summit Missouri
14 Liberty 53 Clay County Liberty Missouri
15 Ft. Zumwalt R-ii St. Charles County O'fallon Missouri
16 Wentzville R-iv St. Charles County Wentzville Missouri
17 West Platte Co. R-ii Platte County Weston Missouri
18 Park Hill Platte County Kansas City Missouri
19 Webster Groves St. Louis County Webster Groves Missouri
20 Kearney R-i Clay County Kearney Missouri
21 Nixa Public Schools Christian County Nixa Missouri
22 Valley Park St. Louis County Valley Park Missouri
23 Arcadia Valley R-ii Iron County Ironton Missouri
24 Ozark R-vi Christian County Ozark Missouri
25 Marceline R-v Linn County Marceline Missouri
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.