When it comes to American public schools, early childhood education and high school achievement tend to dominate the conversation — while middle school quality tends to take a backseat. Despite the apparent lack of emphasis, children spend some of their most pivotal years of development in middle school.

Middle school serves as a critical bridge between elementary school and high school. Middle schools typically consist of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, and sometimes include the fifth grade as well. Currently, about 1 in every 5 Americans enrolled in school are fifth to eighth graders.

21. Massachusetts
> Middle school: Edward W. Brooke Charter School – East Boston, Boston
> Students: 393
> Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Pct. proficient: 92% (math), 92% (reading)

The best methods in education remain a matter of debate and schools approach teaching, administration, and discipline differently. While there is little consensus as to which methods are the best, it is clear that some schools manage to deliver exceptional results where others struggle. Based on analysis by school ranking website Niche, which considers factors such as academic proficiency, parent and student reviews, school culture, and more, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from to identify the best public or charter middle school in each state.

Click here the see the top middle school in each state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.