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SMMUSD Ranked Among State's Top School Districts

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By Jorge Casuso

August 30, 2023 -- SMMUSD was ranked among the top school systems in California by Niche, while Samohi and Malibu High School were rated among the top high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, District officials announced Wednesday.

SMMUSD was ranked ninth in LA County and 16th in California among the 440 school districts included in the rankings compiled by the popular ranking and review site.

"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," District officials said.

Niche also weighs state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality and public school district ratings, among other factors.

SMMUSD ranked seventh among nearly 700 California school districts both for best places to teach and for best teachers.

According to Niche, the average teacher salary in the District is $114,642, while the expenses per student totaled $38,544, triple the national average of $12,239.

John Adams, Lincoln and SMASH middle schools all received an A or A+ grade, while all SMMUSD elementary schools earned an A+, A or A-.

Niche also gave Samohi an A+ and Malibu High School an A for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores.

Both schools received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates.

"Both SMMUSD comprehensive high schools boast proficiency rates that are well above county and state averages, along with graduation rates in the mid-to-high 90-percentile range," District officials said.

In addition to awarding grades for educational academic outcomes, Niche's ranking formula includes facilities, safety, clubs and sports.

Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report ranked Malibu and Santa Monica high schools in the top four percent out of nearly 18,000 public schools in the nation and among the top 110 schools in California.

Malibu High ranked 660 and Samohi 736, nationally; 93 and 106 statewide and 39 and 45 Countywide, improving over their rankings from last year.

In 2022, Malibu ranked 176 in the state and 1,170 in the country and Samohi ranked 108 in the state and 829 in the country. Olympic High School is not included in the ranking.

The rankings are based on college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

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