Area school systems ranked among top in state

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A national consumer advocacy website has named several school systems in Shelby County among the top in the state, touting their academic offerings and scores, safety and diversity.

Niche.com recently released its 2017 list of the “Best School Districts in Alabama,” and named Hoover City Schools, Shelby County Schools and Alabaster Schools in the top 20.

“The 2017 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education,” read the website. “Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.”

Most of the scores are based on the most recent data reported by each school system, which is usually from 2014-2016, according to the site.

HCS came in at No. 4 on the list behind Mountain Brook Schools, Homewood City Schools and Madison City Schools.

Hoover scored A+ grades in academics, which is based on state assessment proficiency, SAT and ACT scores and student and parent survey responses, and health and safety, which is based on rates of chronic student absenteeism, suspensions and expulsions and survey responses.

Hoover also earned A+ grades in the teacher category, which is based on teacher absenteeism rates, state test results and survey responses, and in the resources and facilities category, which is based on expenses per student, staffing and survey responses.

HCS earned an A grade in the culture and diversity category, which is based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses, and earned an A- grade in sports, which is based on the number of sports, participation and survey responses. Hoover’s lowest grade of B came in the clubs and activities category, which is based on expenses per student and survey responses.

Shelby County Schools came in at No. 17 on the list, scoring A grades in the academics and sports categories. Shelby County Schools scored A- grades in the health and safety and clubs and activities categories.

Shelby County Schools’ lowest grades of B+ came in the culture and diversity, teachers and resources and facilities categories.

Alabaster City Schools came in at No. 18 on the list, scoring an A in the culture and diversity category and A- grades in the academics, health and safety and teachers categories.

ACS scored a B in the resources and facilities category and C+ grades in the clubs and activities and sports categories.

To view the entire list, visit K12.niche.com/rankings/public-school-districts/best-overall/s/alabama.