Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Gail Pinsker

National Poll Ranks SMMUSD among California's Best Districts

ranking of 29 in the 2018 Best School Districts in California by national academic ranking service, Niche


August 24, 2017

File photo

Graduating seniors at Santa Monica High School

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District was ranked 29 in the 2018 Best School Districts in California by national academic ranking service, Niche. Nearly 500 school districts are included. The 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.

"We are honored to be recognized for the extraordinary achievements of our students and teachers," Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said. "We are dedicated to providing the education and support all students need for success while in our classrooms and as they embark on college and career, in order to lead meaningful, engaged lives beyond our halls."

Additionally, Niche awarded santa monica high school an A+ and Malibu High School an A for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores with special consideration given to schools whose students matriculate to high-ranked colleges and universities. The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates. The ranking formula also includes facilities, safety, clubs, sports and other factors.

Both SMMUSD comprehensive high schools boast proficiency rates that are well above county and state averages. The schools also graduate 95 percent of their students – rates that exceed county and state rates.

The two high schools offer comprehensive college and career counseling, maintain acclaimed visual and performing arts programs, boast high student participation in clubs and extracurricular activities, and support diverse academic curriculum such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM); Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advanced Placement (AP).

John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and SMASH middle school, all received an A grade, while all SMMUSD elementary schools earned an A or A-. Niche also ranked the best places to teach in California and SMMUSD ranked 23 of 450, and ranked best teachers in the state, with SMMUSD placing 41 of 472.

"I am so proud of our entire Santa Monica-Malibu community – the students, parents, faculty and staff for this honorable recognition," Dr. Drati said.


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