Unionville-Chadds Ford School District landed in the top spot as the decade’s highest-scoring school district across the Commonwealth, according to a Pittsburgh Business Times analysis as part of its annual Guide to Southwestern Pennsylvania Schools.
With no state standardized testing in 2020 to build the traditional PBT rankings, this year's ranking of school districts across Pennsylvania is based on examining 10 years of standardized test scores that students took in grades 3-8 and high school.
Districts from the Pittsburgh metro area landed six of the top 10 positions on the statewide ranking, led by No. 3 South Fayette Township School District, followed by No. 4 Upper St. Clair and No. 5 Mt. Lebanon.
The Business Times looked at data from the last 10 years of state standardized testing, from 2010 to 2019, to see which districts had the highest-scoring students over that span. Tests were not given during 2020 due the pandemic. This map shows which districts landed in which ranking groups, with the largest concentration of top-scoring districts in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Hover over any district to see the name and rank. Hover or click on group buttons in key to see just one or more group on the map at a time.
Unionville-Chadds Ford in Chester County had landed at No. 1 for the state in annual rankings from 2014 to 2020. No. 2 on the decade ranking was Delaware County's Radnor Township School District, which was No. 3 in the most recent annual ranking in 2020.
Upper St. Clair ranked No. 2 statewide in 2020. USC held the No. 1 spot in the state annually from 2010 through 2013. South Fayette was in the top 10 every year since 2012.
Annual rankings are based on three years of test scores (for 2020, scores from 2017, 2018 and 2019). Decade rankings look at all scores for the last 10 years of testing, from 2010 to 2019.
In addition to the three listed above, locally Hampton Township, Peters Township and Fox Chapel Area landed in the decade top 10, with North Allegheny at No. 11.
Pittsburgh Public Schools ranked No. 462 for the decade. PPS has been improving its state rank, moving up from as low as 476 near the beginning of the decade into the top 450 since 2018.
Philadelphia City School District landed at No 480 for the decade. Its rank in 2020 was 472.
There are 493 districts in the state that are included in the overall ranking. Seven districts — including Wilkinsburg Borough, Duquesne City and Midland Borough in the Pittsburgh region — are not ranked because they do not offer all grades or do not have reportable scores for all grades over the past three years.