Davis Joint Unified School District is NerdWallet's Best District in California!

Davis, CA is a great place for families.  While other towns may be cheaper, many parents move to Davis, just for Davis’ top-ranked school district.  NerdWallet is the latest site to declare Davis, CA’s school district as California’s top school district. Here’s how they reached their conclusion:

NerdWallet’s analysis

Here’s how we found the best school districts in California:

Affordability. We calculated this by averaging the district index score for median home values and selected monthly homeowner costs (which includes property tax) for the school district.
Standardized test scores. We analyzed high school STAR scores and SAT scores for the 2012-13 school year. STAR, Standardized Testing and Reporting, has since been replaced by CAASPP, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. These are the state’s student achievement assessments.
College readiness. We factored in the most recent data on graduation rates and students seeking post-secondary education.
Class size. We also considered the student-to-teacher ratio.

We analyzed 375 school districts in California. All data are from the U.S. Census Bureau or the California Department of Education.

Key takeaways

Small areas score big. Many high performing districts we found are in more rural areas such as in Calaveras County’s Gold Country. If your career isn’t tied to a major metropolitan area, these smaller communities can offer great value.

Affordable options exist. You don’t need to spend a mint to live in a good school district. In the area that supports high-performing Shasta Union High School District in Redding, home values average $236,400.

Best school districts in California

1. Davis Joint Unified School District

Davis Joint Unified is one of the highest-performing school districts in the state with a SAT average of 1756 and a graduation rate of 97.5%. Home values in this city west of Sacramento hover at about $546,000, which is on the higher end of our top 10. The district has 21 schools, including Davis Senior High and Da Vinci Charter Academy.

We’re pleased that many Davis families have chosen a home with one of our Tandem Properties communities.  If you’re looking to find an apartment near a given Davis, CA school, chances are, there’s a Tandem Property in that school’s area.