It’s a question nearly all parents ask as their children approach age 5: Where are the area’s best public schools?

The Maryland School Report Card, unfortunately, doesn’t quite answer it. The state’s tool, which rates schools on a five-star scale, only allows families to search for individual schools and lacks an easy way to compare schools across the region.

So The Banner created a searchable table, ranking the top 50 elementary, middle and high schools in the region by their report card scores, which were updated last week for the first time since 2019. Scores factor in students’ performance on state tests, attendance, graduation rates and access to a well-rounded curriculum, among other data from the 2021-22 school year.

Families should keep in mind, though, that the latest school report cards use data that’s nearly a year old, gathered at a time when many students were transitioning back to in-person learning. During the pandemic, remote learning proved ineffective for many vulnerable students who depended on in-person support, and that was reflected in state test scores.

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