Middle school rankings

September 20, 2016 GMT

From the bad haircuts to the awkward dances, middle school can be a challenging time for students. But, the transition period from elementary school to high school, which typically spans sixth, seventh and eighth grade, is nonetheless a crucial step in a child’s education -- a period when students begin to explore more subjects and assume more responsibilities.With that in mind, the team at StartClass, an education research site powered by Graphiq, decided to take a look at some of the best middle schools in the country. Using the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Civil Rights Data Collection, we found the top public middle school in every state. Middle schools are ranked by their StartClass Rating, which includes the following components:

Exam Passing Rates: This includes math proficiency rates and reading and language arts proficiency rates over the last three years.School Environment: The school environment score consists of factors such as the student-teacher ratio, teacher experience and teacher absence rate.Disciplinary Actions: This takes into account the school’s retention rate, in-school suspension rate and out-of-school suspension rate.

Because middle school grades can vary across the country, we focused only on schools that at least included sixth, seventh or eighth grade. Additionally, 3 percent of the public middle schools in our database did not report enough data to create a rating and were left out of consideration. States are listed in alphabetical order.Keep in mind that many factors outside of the StartClass Rating can influence a child’s middle school experience. While this list provides a good overview of some of the top middle schools in the country, it is not meant to be definitive.