Two Northern Kentucky school districts ranked first and second in this year's list by Niche.com of the best districts in the state.
Beechwood Independent Schools was named No. 1 in Kentucky, according to the list. The Fort Mitchell district serves over 1,500 students, and Beechwood superintendent Mike Stacy is the highest-paid superintendent in Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati region, according to an Enquirer analysis of local school leader contracts. Stacy earns an annual base salary of $228,000, according to his contract.
Fort Thomas Independent Schools came in at No. 2 in the state. The district serves more than 3,000 students.
Campbell County Public Schools, Walton Verona Independent Schools, Boone County Public Schools and Williamsburg Independent Schools also ranked in the top 25 Kentucky districts, according to Niche.com. The full list can be found online.
Niche's rankings are based on state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, teacher quality and public school district ratings, according to the website. Niche also relies on ACT and SAT scores, though this year the company says those factors were reduced significantly due to socioeconomic and racial disparities perpetuated by standardized tests, the impact COVID-19 had on scheduling testing in the last year and an increasing number of colleges and universities adopting test-optional policies for admissions.
"The 2022 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," the website reads.
Niche has been releasing rankings for eight years now, according to a Monday news release. The nationwide rankings include analysis of nearly 94,500 public schools, nearly 2,500 private schools and more than 11,800 school districts.
“Our 2022 rankings come at a time when so many parents are curious about the different options for their children’s education, including some they may never have considered before,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, said in the news release. “No matter where they are in their search process, we strive to be a reliable guide and resource. It is truly an honor to know our users trust us to play a key role in such a big life decision.”