For the ninth straight year, Williamsville Central School District earned top honors from among nearly 100 nearby districts ranked annually by Buffalo Business First, while Tonawanda-area school districts showed up near the middle of the pack.
It is the 12th year the Williamsville district as whole has been judged the best since the business publication began ranking districts in 1992, using four years of test data compiled by the New York State Education Department.
In a statement announcing this year's rankings, Business First editors said each of the 97 districts ranked throughout Western New York were scored on a 100-point scale, "reflecting the collective performance of its elementary, middle and high schools."
Locally, City of Tonawanda schools came in at 40th, followed by Ken-Ton schools at 48th and then the North Tonawanda City School District, which ranked 56th on the list.
Niagara Wheatfield came in 24th on the list.
The list of all 97 districts is broken into two continuous parts: "Honor roll" districts including the first 19 finishers, and "other districts" rounding out the list.
Eighteen of this year's honor roll honorees also made the elite list in 2011. The sole newcomer is 19th place Southwestern, a Chautauqua County district that returns after a one-year absence. Southwestern had previously been on the Honor Roll from 2008 to 2010.
Eden is the only 2011 Honor Roll district to drop off the list this year, slipping from 19th place a year ago to 20th this time. Eden's score of 89.31 leaves it just 0.69 points below the Honor Roll threshold. Five other districts came within two points of qualifying: Starpoint, Chautauqua Lake, Pembroke, Niagara-Wheatfield and Wilson, according to a press release.
Fourteen of this year's Honor Roll districts are located in Erie County, with the highest-rated exception being Lewiston-Porter of Niagara County, which rose from 10th place in 2011 to sixth place in this year's rankings.
Other outlying districts on the Honor Roll are Bemus Point and Southwestern from Chautauqua County, Alfred-Almond from Allegany County and Barker from Niagara County.
Full details are available in Business First's 2012-2013 Guide to Western New York Schools, which will go on sale Friday. Highlights from the report are also available now at the newspaper's website at: www.bizjournals.com/buffalo.
Contact city editor Neale Gulley at 693-1000, ext. 4114