In good news for Tennessee educators, 2019 TNReady assessment test results showed that a majority of students in the state are improving in all mathematics subjects.  The Volunteer State still has a long way to go in order to be mentioned along with the states with the top public education systems, but a handful of Tennessee school districts are already performing at a high level that places them among the best, nationwide. Let’s take a look at Tennessee’s five best school systems. 

Germantown Municipal School District is the best public school system in Tennessee. Comprising three elementary schools, one K-8 school, one middle school, and one high school in the affluent Memphis suburb of Germantown, GSD was established in just 2014 but has already positioned itself as the premier school district in the state, offering students access to high-end technology and facilities, a rigorous academic curriculum, and over 60 clubs and extracurricular activities.  

Placing 2nd in Tennessee is Maryville City Schools, a district consisting of seven schools in the Knoxville metropolitan area city of Maryville.  MCS schools do a great job of preparing students for the future, as 85% of graduates go on to seek post-secondary education. 

The 3rd best school district in Tennessee is Arlington Community Schools, made up of two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in the fast-growing town of Arlington. In recent years, ACS was one of just 12 districts in the state to be named an “Exemplary School District” by the Tennessee Department of Education. 

Kingsport City Schools earns the 4th spot in Tennessee. The large district consists of eleven schools in the city of Kingsport and its graduation rate of 95.9% is over six points higher than the Tennessee state average. 

Rounding out Tennessee’s top five is the Lawrence County School System, comprising twelve schools across several Lawrence County communities. The district’s Summertown Elementary was recently named a reward school by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Top School Districts in Tennessee, 2020

RankDistrictCity
1GermantownGermantown
2MaryvilleMaryville
3ArlingtonArlington
4KingsportKingsport
5Lawrence CountyLawrenceburg
6Roane CountyKingston
7Cumberland CountyCrossville
8Jefferson CountyDandridge
9Gibson Co Sp DistDyer
10Dyer CountyDyersburg
11Greene CountyGreeneville
12Loudon CountyLoudon
13Hawkins CountyRogersville
14Henderson CountyLexington
15Anderson CountyClinton
16Marshall CountyLewisburg
17GreenevilleGreeneville
18BristolBristol
19Mcminn CountyAthens
20Cheatham CountyAshland City
21ElizabethtonElizabethton
22Warren CountyMcminnville
23Franklin SsdFranklin
24Lincoln CountyFayetteville
25ClevelandCleveland
26Campbell CountyJacksboro
27Oak RidgeOak Ridge
28Franklin CountyWinchester
29AlcoaAlcoa
30Weakley CountyDresden
31White CountySparta
32Smith CountyCarthage
33Lauderdale CountyRipley
34DyersburgDyersburg
35Stewart CountyDover
36MilanMilan
37Monroe CountyMadisonville
38Coffee CountyManchester
39Mcnairy CountySelmer
40Chester CountyHenderson
41Rhea CountyDayton
42Claiborne CountyTazewell
43Macon CountyLafayette
44Cocke CountyNewport
45Grainger CountyRutledge
46Crockett CountyAlamo
47Dekalb CountySmithville
48Carter CountyElizabethton
49Fentress CountyJamestown
50Benton CountyCamden
51Giles CountyPulaski
52LebanonLebanon
53Hickman CountyCenterville
54Johnson CountyMountain City
55Trousdale CountyHartsville
56Hardin CountySavannah
57Decatur CountyDecaturville
58TrentonTrenton
59Overton CountyLivingston
60MckenzieMckenzie
61TullahomaTullahoma
62Henry CountyParis
63Humphreys CountyWaverly
64Marion CountyJasper
65Lenoir CityLenoir City
66Meigs CountyDecatur
67Obion CountyUnion City
68Houston CountyErin
69BradfordBradford
70Union CountyMaynardville
71OneidaOneida
72Morgan CountyWartburg
73Polk CountyBenton
74Wayne CountyWaynesboro
75Clay CountyCelina
76Perry CountyLinden
77FayettevilleFayetteville
78Huntingdon Special School DistrictHuntingdon
79West Carroll Sp DistTrezevant
80Scott CountyHuntsville
81Lewis CountyHohenwald
82Millington Municipal SchoolsMillington
83Hardeman County SchoolsBolivar
84Sequatchie CountyDunlap
85Unicoi CountyErwin
86Fayette County Public SchoolsSomerville
87Moore CountyLynchburg
88Cannon CountyWoodbury
89Union CityUnion City
90Grundy CountyAltamont
91Haywood CountyBrownsville
92Bledsoe CountyPikeville
93Jackson CountyGainesboro
94Pickett CountyByrdstown
95Van Buren CountySpencer
96Hollow Rock - BrucetonBruceton
97South CarrollClarksburg
98Lake CountyTiptonville
99Humboldt City SchoolsHumboldt
100Hancock CountySneedville

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.

Did your district make the list? Share the good news!

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