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Maryland’s Best School Districts 2020: New Rankings Released

August 7, 2019

A new ranking of Maryland’s best school districts has been released. See the top school districts here.
Article courtesy of Author Deb Belt, Patch Staff released Aug 6, 2019

rows of Blue Lockers down school hallway

Niche released its latest school rankings Monday, just in time for back-to-school.

MARYLAND — Data compiler Niche has ranked Maryland’s best school districts for the 2019-2020 school year. The rankings were released Monday as part of the website’s 2020 K-12 rankings.

Each Maryland school district received a letter grade in the following categories: Academics; Diversity; Teachers; College Prep; Clubs & Activities; Health & Safety; Administration; Sports; Food; and Resources & Facilities.

To arrive at the rankings, Niche looked at data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, college data, and ratings collected from Niche users.

The top-ranked school district in Maryland is Howard County Public School. Niche gave the school system an A or an A+ in all categories except for health and safety (A-). Last year, Howard County was also No. 1.

  • Howard County Public Schools
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Worcester County Public Schools
  • Carroll County Public Schools
  • Frederick County Public Schools
  • Calvert County Public Schools
  • Harford County Public Schools
  • Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
  • Washington County Public Schools
  • St. Mary’s County Public Schools
  • Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Anne Arundel County Public Schools
  • Talbot County Public Schools
  • Charles County Public Schools
  • Caroline County Public Schools
  • Garrett County Public Schools Wicomico County Public Schools

Not ranked by but given an overall letter grade by Niche:

  • Allegany County Public Schools, B-
  • Cecil County Public Schools, B-
  • Kent County Public Schools, B-
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools, C
  • Somerset County Public Schools, C
  • Baltimore City Public Schools, C-
  • Dorchester County Public Schools, C-

Niche looked at more than 94,000 public schools, 4,100 private schools and nearly 11,000 school districts across the country. The rankings are meant to help parents and students find schools that best fit their needs.

“Unlike traditional school rankings, which rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance, Niche’s rankings provide a real-life view of what it’s like to attend a given school,” the company said in a news release.

Comments from current students, alumni, and parents are included in the analysis, as well as observations about things like campus life, extracurricular activities, sports options, diversity, and programs for gifted and special needs students.

“Parents and students need more than test-score data,” Luke Skurman, CEO at Niche, said in the news release. “They need to understand what it’s really like to attend a school before they start the application or registration process.”