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The 20 best public school districts in Alabama (Spring 2015)

Homewood High School marching band (Photo: Steven Atha -- stevenatha.com)
Homewood High School marching band (Photo: Steven Atha — stevenatha.com)

Niche.com, a site that seeks to “make choosing a neighborhood, college, or K-12 school a more transparent process” by “providing reviews and insight from everyday experts,” recently set out to discover which Alabama public schools districts are the best of the best.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Academics Grade Grade includes stats from reading levels, AP enrollment, AP test scores, SAT/ACT scores, graduation rats and more, as well as survey responses from parents and students. Read the methodology. Niche grade 50%
Health & Safety Grade Includes stats from suspension rates, expulsion rates, law enforcement referral rate, etc., as well as data from parent and student surveys about health and safety.. Read the methodology. Niche grade 10%
Student Culture & Diversity Grade Includes diversity data on race and gender, including the “percentage of students belonging to the most represented ethnicity” (lower is better). Read the methodology. Niche grade 10%
Survey Responses Includes results of parent and student surveys about the overall experience in the school district they currently or recently attend(ed). Niche users 10%
Teachers Grade Includes compilation of various statistics, from student-teacher ratio to teacher absenteeism and more. Read the methodology. Niche grade 10%
Resources & Facilities Grade Calculates student-counselor ratio, food quality, average expenses per student and more. Read the methodology. Niche grade 5%
Extracurriculars & Activities Grade Includes stats on how many sports each school has, as well as the number of male and female athletes, etc. Read the methodology. Niche grade 2.5%
Sports & Fitness Grade Calculated similarly to extracurriculars and activities, but with different weighting. Read the methodology. Niche grade 2.5%

Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available.

As we head into the 2015 Spring semester, the Niche rankings for Alabama’s Top 20 public school districts can be found below. To view the full list, click here.

1. Homewood City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: A
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.5/5
Student Culture and Diversity: A+
Teachers Grade: A+
Resources and Facilities: A
Extracurriculars and Activities A-
Sports and Fitness: A-

2. Mountain Brook City Schools

Academics: A+
Health and Safety: A
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.2/5
Student Culture and Diversity: C-
Teachers Grade: A+
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities A-
Sports and Fitness: A

3. Hoover City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: A+
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.2/5
Student Culture and Diversity: A
Teachers Grade: A+
Resources and Facilities: A
Extracurriculars and Activities: B
Sports and Fitness: A-

4. Auburn City Schools

Academics: A+
Health and Safety: B+
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.2/5
Student Culture and Diversity: A
Teachers Grade: A
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities: B+
Sports and Fitness: A-

5. Vestavia Hills City Schools

Academics: A+
Health and Safety: A
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.0/5
Student Culture and Diversity: B-
Teachers Grade: A+
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities: B-
Sports and Fitness: B+

6. Madison City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: B
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.3/5
Student Culture and Diversity: A
Teachers Grade: A+
Resources and Facilities: B
Extracurriculars and Activities: B+
Sports and Fitness: A-

7. Trussville City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: A-
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.2/5
Student Culture and Diversity: C+
Teachers Grade: A
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities: B
Sports and Fitness: A-

8. Hartselle City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: A-
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.1/5
Student Culture and Diversity: B+
Teachers Grade: B+
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities: B+
Sports and Fitness: A

9. Cullman City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: A-
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.4/5
Student Culture and Diversity: B-
Teachers Grade: A-
Resources and Facilities: B
Extracurriculars and Activities: B+
Sports and Fitness: A-

10. Muscle Shoals City Schools

Academics: A
Health and Safety: B
Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience: 4.3/5
Student Culture and Diversity: B+
Teachers Grade: A-
Resources and Facilities: A-
Extracurriculars and Activities: B-
Sports and Fitness: B

11. Florence City Schools
12. Enterprise City Schools
13. Oxford City Schools
14. Fort Payne City Schools
15. Shelby County Schools
16. Jasper City Schools
17. Arab City Schools
18. Athens City Schools
19. Madison County Schools
20. Brewton City Schools