Top 10 School Districts

Below are top 10 lists of the most overachieving school districts in the state in 2014. The lists are sorted by grade level, demographics and region, as well as by overall excellence. As with all State Champs rankings, student income levels are factored into every list.

Please note that in the regional lists, not every district listed is an Academic State Champ. Click on the district name to get more information. Go here to search all districts.

Overall

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Central AcademyWashtenaw576114.461
Fairview Area School DistrictOscoda304114.342
Kingsley Area SchoolsGrand Traverse1384114.23
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293114.24
Star International AcademyWayne1586113.65
Riverside AcademyWayne1059113.46
West MI Academy of Environmental ScienceKent623112.927
Crawford AuSable SchoolsCrawford1653112.38
Godwin Heights Public SchoolsKent2274111.69
Frankfort-Elberta Area SchoolsBenzie511111.410

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Elementary grades

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Elementary rank
Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center AcademyWayne298136.61
Hamtramck AcademyWayne493123.92
Vanderbilt Charter AcademyOttawa459118.63
Godwin Heights Public SchoolsKent2274118.34
Ellsworth Community SchoolAntrim245117.95
West MI Academy of Environmental ScienceKent623117.46
Onaway Area Community School DistrictPresque Isle674116.97
North Central Area SchoolsMenominee437116.78
Detroit Merit Charter AcademyWayne734115.39
Academy of SouthfieldOakland319114.710

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Middle school grades

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Middle school rank
Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center AcademyWayne298140.91
Hamtramck AcademyWayne493127.52
Detroit Merit Charter AcademyWayne734117.43
Star International AcademyWayne1586116.64
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293115.95
Crawford AuSable SchoolsCrawford1653114.76
Burr Oak Community School DistrictSt. Joseph280114.67
Deckerville Community School DistrictSanilac585114.48
Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe AcademyChippewa463114.39
Central AcademyWashtenaw576113.910

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

High school grades

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*High school rank
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293121.11
Fairview Area School DistrictOscoda304120.62
Star International AcademyWayne1586120.23
Central AcademyWashtenaw5761204
Kingsley Area SchoolsGrand Traverse1384118.85
Bloomfield Hills SchoolsOakland5406118.36
Bloomingdale Public School DistrictVan Buren1210117.27
Riverside AcademyWayne1059116.68
Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area SchoolsHoughton314116.59
Baldwin Community SchoolsLake56111610

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Rural school districts

Based on federal education designation for rural.

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Fairview Area School DistrictOscoda304114.32
Kingsley Area SchoolsGrand Traverse1384114.23
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293114.24
Frankfort-Elberta Area SchoolsBenzie511111.410
North Central Area SchoolsMenominee437109.614
Stephenson Area Public SchoolsMenominee586109.516
Madison School District (Lenawee)Lenawee1560109.218
Mason County Eastern SchoolsMason459109.119
Roscommon Area Public SchoolsRoscommon115510920
Benzie County Central SchoolsBenzie1633108.822

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

High concentration of low-income students

Districts in which more than 80 percent of students are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch.

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Central AcademyWashtenaw576114.51
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293114.24
Star International AcademyWayne1586113.65
Riverside AcademyWayne1059113.46
Godwin Heights Public SchoolsKent2274111.69
International Academy of FlintGenesee1101109.515
Bloomingdale Public School DistrictVan Buren1210108.626
Baldwin Community SchoolsLake561107.936
Countryside AcademyBerrien596107.738
Covert Public SchoolsVan Buren342107.247

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Low concentration of low-income students

Districts in which fewer than 20 percent of students are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch.

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Okemos Public SchoolsIngham399711012
Bloomfield Hills SchoolsOakland5406108.133
Rochester Community School DistrictOakland14951107.346
South Lyon Community SchoolsOakland7423106.855
East Grand Rapids Public SchoolsKent2995106.857
Troy School DistrictOakland1254710674
Spring Lake Public SchoolsOttawa2484104.7105
Forest Hills Public SchoolsKent10107104.6107
Hudsonville Public School DistrictOttawa6245104.3116
Northville Public SchoolsWayne7302103.7129

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Michigan regional comparisons

Below are the best districts in each of the state's regions. See map for key.

Region 1

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Calumet, Laurium & KeweenawHoughton1497110.811
Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area SchoolsHoughton314109.913
North Central Area SchoolsMenominee437109.614
Stephenson Area Public SchoolsMenominee586109.516
Bessemer Area School DistrictGogebic45010751
Ironwood Area Schools of Gogebic CountyGogebic83710676
West Iron County Public SchoolsIron876105.880
Brimley Area SchoolsChippewa500105.781
Chassell Township School DistrictHoughton257105.484
Gwinn Area Community SchoolsMarquette1117105.389

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 2

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Kingsley Area SchoolsGrand Traverse1384114.23
Frankfort-Elberta Area SchoolsBenzie511111.410
Benzie County Central SchoolsBenzie1633108.822
Ellsworth Community SchoolAntrim245108.427
Pellston Public SchoolsEmmet607108.230
Manton Consolidated SchoolsWexford910107.249
Mesick Consolidated SchoolsWexford637107.150
Boyne City Public SchoolsCharlevoix1307106.759
Glen Lake Community SchoolsLeelanau770106.463
Leland Public School DistrictLeelanau426106.270

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 3

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Fairview Area School DistrictOscoda304114.32
Crawford AuSable SchoolsCrawford1653112.38
Roscommon Area Public SchoolsRoscommon115510920
Johannesburg-Lewiston Area SchoolsOtsego739108.624
Onaway Area Community School DistrictPresque Isle674107.737
Houghton Lake Community SchoolsRoscommon1442107.639
Hale Area SchoolsIosco462107.640
West Branch-Rose City Area SchoolsOgemaw2060107.541
Cheboygan Area SchoolsCheboygan1897107.444
Gaylord Community SchoolsOtsego3041106.954

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 4

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
West MI Academy of Environmental ScienceKent623112.97
Godwin Heights Public SchoolsKent2274111.69
Mason County Eastern SchoolsMason459109.119
West Ottawa Public School DistrictOttawa719510835
Baldwin Community SchoolsLake561107.936
Byron Center Public SchoolsKent372410752
East Grand Rapids Public SchoolsKent2995106.857
Excel Charter AcademyKent1388106.561
Grand Haven Area Public SchoolsOttawa6141106.462
Kelloggsville Public SchoolsKent2168106.368

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 5

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Ashley Community SchoolsGratiot293114.24
Au Gres-Sims School DistrictArenac431108.134
Midland Public SchoolsMidland7727106.365
Gladwin Community SchoolsGladwin1784106.269
Chesaning Union SchoolsSaginaw1553105.388
Pinconning Area SchoolsBay1354104.9100
Beaverton Rural SchoolsGladwin1256103.2150
Standish-Sterling Community SchoolsArenac1657103.2152
Clare Public SchoolsClare1535102.2189
Bangor Township SchoolsBay2436102.1190

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 6

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
International Academy of FlintGenesee1101109.515
Deckerville Community School DistrictSanilac585108.625
Kingston Community School DistrictTuscola622108.328
Brown City Community SchoolsSanilac884108.231
Croswell-Lexington Community SchoolsSanilac2322107.442
Ubly Community SchoolsHuron744107.248
Davison Community SchoolsGenesee555710753
Harbor Beach Community SchoolsHuron507106.660
Carman-Ainsworth Community SchoolsGenesee5450105.290
Bendle Public SchoolsGenesee1153105.291

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 7

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Okemos Public SchoolsIngham399711012
Haslett Public SchoolsIngham2733108.229
East Lansing School DistrictIngham3465106.365
Michigan Connections AcademyIngham1504103.7131
Ovid-Elsie Area SchoolsClinton1647103.3145
Fowler Public SchoolsClinton539101.2227
Olivet Community SchoolsEaton1506100.9240
Pewamo-Westphalia Community SchoolsClinton646100.8243
Williamston Community SchoolsIngham1799100276
Webberville Community SchoolsIngham60699.5303

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 8

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Burr Oak Community School DistrictSt. Joseph280108.823
Bloomingdale Public School DistrictVan Buren1210108.626
Countryside AcademyBerrien596107.738
Edwardsburg Public SchoolsCass2755107.443
White Pigeon Community SchoolsSt. Joseph759107.345
Covert Public SchoolsVan Buren342107.247
Berrien Springs Public SchoolsBerrien2448106.856
Dowagiac Union School DistrictCass2323106.758
Lawton Community School DistrictVan Buren999106.367
Lakeshore School District (Berrien)Berrien282910677

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 9

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Central AcademyWashtenaw576114.51
Madison School District (Lenawee)Lenawee1560109.218
Ann Arbor Public SchoolsWashtenaw16453108.921
Napoleon Community SchoolsJackson1428104.56111
Saline Area SchoolsWashtenaw5267103.4142
Western School DistrictJackson2941103159
Hillsdale Community SchoolsHillsdale1347102.4181
Hudson Area SchoolsLenawee893102.1191
Chelsea School DistrictWashtenaw2430101.8198
Springport Public SchoolsJackson972101.6208

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts.

Region 10

DistrictCountyStudentsASC score*Overall rank
Star International AcademyWayne1586113.65
Riverside AcademyWayne1059113.46
Crestwood School DistrictWayne3549109.317
Dearborn City School DistrictWayne19379108.232
Bloomfield Hills SchoolsOakland5406108.133
Rochester Community School DistrictOakland14951107.346
South Lyon Community SchoolsOakland7423106.855
Cesar Chavez AcademyWayne2190106.172
Troy School DistrictOakland1254710674
Clintondale Community SchoolsMacomb3152104.996

* Districts with scores between 99 and 101 are meeting expectations, taking into account the percentage of low-income students. Those districts scoring above 101 are exceeding expectations, and those below 99 are falling short. Go here to search all districts. Here’s a more detailed explanation of our methodology, which allows Bridge to compare school achievement across all regions and income levels.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Mike
Tue, 02/03/2015 - 6:00pm
I'm sure it will come as a shock to most people in Macomb County that Clintondale is the only Macomb County district in Region 10 to be a "Top 10" "Academic State Champ". I find these statistics to be confoundingly obtuse and do not comport with the reality of actual student outcomes. Perhaps they are improving, but being 10% better than their previous abysmal performance does not make them an "Academic State Champ"
beth
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 8:11pm
Clintondale has made strides after changing their way of teaching. The have dedicated staff. And great students. Do not judge these students based on passed perceptions. They are here to succeed.
Lucy
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 7:46am
Unusual ranking system for sure. If an school district were to raise its socio-economic status (considered by most to be a good thing), it's academic rating would drop. There is no question that performance on test scores directly correlates to income - but I don't like the idea of adjusting the expectation according to economic standing. I received an excellent education from a well below average school district - both income and test score-wise. I think school performance depends a lot on parental expectations regardless of income level. There are excellent teachers in all districts.
Lucy
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 7:50am
I blame autocorrect for the incorrect "its" above. The "an" is on me. It's always dangerous to post about academics!
John
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 2:06pm
This seems extremely skewed towards the lesser-populated school districts. Not quite sure there's enough (or any) compensation for that in the rankings...
christine McDonald
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 10:30pm
Lumping charter schools with low numbers of students with districts of thousands of students feels like we are comparing oranges and apples. There are a lot of high scoring charters... This makes me wonder if this is just another way to make the "sheeple" reading the results think that charter schools are better than public schools..... My husband has always said that figures lie and liars figure. This whole thing feels like they have figured how to make the apparent results say what they want and not actually state the truth... Just sayin'
Thu, 02/05/2015 - 1:30pm
These rankings are a pure unmitigated joke- Mt Clemens ranked above Utica, choippewa Valley or Lanse Creuse? Joke.
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 7:52pm
As a teacher that works at one of the top ranked school iI really don't understand how we got such a high ranking. Over the past two years we lost over 70% of are staff. We have an adminstration that really shouldn't be running are school. But I guess when all you do is teach to the test don't care about discipline or speical Ed students that's just fine. Just along you have good test scores that's what matters the most nothing else matters. One day in the future we will all be saying how did we let down a whole generation of kids. Stop charter schools before its to late. Please tell me how can riverside be ranked higher the Dearborn schools. WHAT A JOKE.. If that is the case why did 12 of are teachers take positions with Dearborn public schools.
granny
Sun, 02/22/2015 - 9:08am
Robert Smith needs to return to school himself, as a student, and learn how to spell "our" and "special." Is it any wonder children can't learn if they don't have competent teachers to teach them?
Margaret
Sat, 07/16/2016 - 1:43pm
Yet another teacher left behind?
Bruce Schug
Fri, 02/13/2015 - 3:08am
If the grammar exhibited by some of you is any evidence, perhaps many of Michigan's schools are in trouble.
Les Rowsey
Mon, 02/16/2015 - 6:09am
I am a proud staff member of one of Newsweek's Best Schools in America, Jenison Public High School, yet we're nowhere on the list. We were already near the top in the state in ACT scores and overall academic achievement, but since we didn't improve "enough" we were, in fact, judged to be somehow substandard. Talk about skewed! But that's OK--We will continue to work just as hard to provide our kids with, as our superintendent has stated, "a Cadillac education on a Ford budget." (The only thing I'd change with his statement is, "..a Soapbox Derby budget" !!!!)
Sun, 02/22/2015 - 1:07pm
Perhaps, Bruce? You do mirror my sentiments, though. Let's not forget that cursive writing and spelling is no longer considered important, or as important in some schools due to computers and technology. What fools are agreeing, approving, and instituting this madness? This "dumbing down" of students is totally unacceptable and should NOT be tolerated by parents. Isn't the whole idea of Common Core to raise the educational standards supposedly?
Denii
Sun, 05/31/2015 - 8:04pm
My children started off in CVS but for the last four years they have been a part of the CCS. I can honestly say that even with my hesitation of them going to CCS, they have achieved more then I could have imagined. My son is graduating this year with a 3.5. My daughter graduated last year with a 3.5. When they were in CVS they were struggling, no matter how much I helped them and no matter how much tutoring they received at CVS they did not do well. CVS is a good school and have alot to offer but at CCS the class size is smaller and the students are not only learning but they are building their lives and their community
Sarah
Wed, 07/15/2015 - 5:42am
Central academy repeatedly passes students who should be failing classes to brag about a high graduation percentage. Unfortunately, this list does not reflect that.