The Best Schools in Boston 2013

To assemble this year’s Best Schools list, we spent months compiling numbers—released by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education—from 147 municipalities in Greater Boston. The schools in the cities and towns that topped our proprietary ranking stood out across 20 different categories, including student-to-teacher ratio, average class size, expenditures per pupil, rate of college matriculation, and results on tests such as the SAT and the MCAS.

Below is a sortable list ranking the cities and towns in the Greater Boston Area. (For more on how we determined the rankings, see our methodology below.)


District
Rank
Enrollment
Avg. Class Size
Graduation Rate
% Attending College
Per Pupil Expenditures
% Scoring 3-5 on AP Exams
SAT Reading
SAT Writing
SAT Math
Student Teacher Ratio
Gr-10 ELA
Gr-10 Math
Gr-10 SCI
Gr-8 ELA
Gr-8 MTH
Gr-8 SCI
Gr-5 ELA
Gr-5 MTH
Gr-5 SCI
Gr-3 ELA
Gr-3 MTH
Dover152318.397.591.6$17,607 9659660262112.3100981009679768486808684
Sherborn240517.397.591.6$15,129 9659660262111.7100981009679768385858686
Lexington36,50619.395.986.5$16,358 96.161261763712.19995959787778689828686
Carlisle463819.892.986.3$15,908 96.458758660111.89892959894898486809189
Boxborough543719.794.285.2$14,222 96.961161265013.29694949584768489788890
Concord62,14017.192.986.3$16,637 96.458758660112.89892959676808586818686
Lincoln71,24116.297.387.3$20,776 92.65815776069.89996848961587879777582
Westford85,25918.798.592.5$11,179 91.758057360814.99996949689798486827880
Wayland92,7171896.487.5$15,198 91.559159461714.29995929984857579758078
Wellesley104,95417.498.388.4$15,421 95.162363163113.99896739681648375638677
Weston112,37422.696.685.1$19,352 79.260361763311.99995869472738277758480
Harvard121,2101996.386.9$13,476 92.160359460915.810098939773729384858577
Winchester134,39619.897.684.5$11,822 81.158959961414.810098929783808488828285
Sharon143,43318.195.190.3$14,151 95.758559060013.19794929375588278828387
Manchester1546521.195.780.9$13,274 91.556956358512.99797939684809085798987
Sudbury163,00620.597.387.3$12,359 92.658157760614.39996849480708986848478
Westborough173,51516.497.590.7$14,007 89.155655858913.39893969677757974788080
Holliston182,82016.697.886.3$12,089 94.255355657313.39996959374658283818173
Brookline197,11217.792.979.9$16,556 94.758759161413.89692849480668078647778
Newton2012,33519.394.979.9$16,397 92.558759561415.49694879380638482718078
Westwood213,16718.69686.7$13,999 9055054756615.09996939475598783838683
Boxford2277816.39783.7$12,006 76.153953656813.09998949481768176818380
Belmont234,06521.395.784.3$11,969 94.158659161217.19995959578778384718685
Acton242,51222.594.285.2$11,480 96.961161265018.19694949584768282768082
Cohasset251,58420.698.990$13,320 8355554956313.69798869778658183768087
Essex2627221.395.780.9$13,274 91.556956358512.99797939684807989708264
Middleton2780916.39783.7$11,762 76.153953656812.69998949481767774817680
Hopkinton283,41419.997.585.2$12,298 83.255656458314.19895969579637980738686
Bolton297671994.387.9$12,498 90.156355458115.59492889682718787907672
Southborough301,42218.795.487.8$13,831 90.256757058513.310096929164577870688389
Topsfield3159715.89783.7$11,862 76.153953656812.79998959481768573797468
Needham325,47619.395.488.6$13,602 9558158259415.49895919274718073658177
Andover336,22520.995.589.1$13,697 8156056258614.19592889676658482798382
Wenham3424919.197.884.2$14,644 83.257656757913.19995919867607463659595
Hamilton351,01219.397.384.2$14,644 83.257656757913.199959198676070.57671.589.587
Bedford362,51415.59485.4$16,963 92.657257159212.29589859572567370566868
Medfield372,78819.699.191.5$11,364 81.457758260214.79896969572687575687868
Hingham384,20219.994.487.8$11,213 94.255656656515.39895909472568483808382
Northborough391,89318.195.487.8$12,324 90.256757058513.810096929265707366757373
Marblehead403,25118.796.382.6$12,727 8655956757913.69994879474707669697977
Littleton411,5762092.684.4$12,692 89.956556356914.29892939481647872668074
Medway422,48218.396.782.4$11,641 71.453855156415.19996889374628379818084
Norwell432,33120.896.591.3$11,524 72.853754255316.59894929674678482868281
Duxbury443,24220.796.983.6$11,729 79.454155056814.09997969674637977758271
Arlington454,90318.588.579.9$12,942 84.656455956514.89789839476658178808069
Scituate463,22018.991.485$11,381 75.753755055514.79590789678628485857879
Stow4786920.594.387.9$12,498 90.156355458115.59492889372457884817175
Lynnfield482,261219885.8$11,475 7653554155814.69690949370588367778790
Berlin4922316.395.792.5$15,240 6554454855612.29794919350476974658573
Reading504,48320.496.684.5$10,976 88.554754556214.69793869474607575627576
Lancaster5175019.594.387.9$12,498 90.156355458115.59492889066576876646578
West Newbury5246220.992.683.4$11,189 72.454253754414.39690889057518584738176
Norfolk5392621.691.886.5$12,203 72.154154355414.39890939260548179748277
Natick545,0652094.379$12,649 80.453653256414.79488909270647270748283
Braintree555,54918.595.181.5$11,176 91.853352955014.39591888973547572697880
Boylston5637916.395.792.5$15,240 65.354454855612.29794919350477864726967
Chelmsford575,13819.993.887.2$11,049 80.155054857715.19690789166666763667575
Wrentham581,15520.491.886.5$10,506 72.154154355415.59890939260547472828583
Plympton5924215.898.179.4$11,671 72.251550655013.49389799061497275887087
North Reading602,60621.694.784.3$11,842 66.754252756212.99688859263547478737980
Walpole614,0152194.887.9$11,692 84.953353152614.99587869263608071767872
Franklin625,86821.392.883.9$10,708 79.953754056115.49591869372657977667373
Canton633,26219.996.885.9$13,414 61.651051554814.29383869062637976677779
Foxborough642,75317.29973.9$12,855 84.252253054313.49486819167586868627373
Milton653,93418.693.885.8$12,613 65.651450752814.39587829071488282647176
Swampscott662,2832195.778.8$12,592 67.352252952113.19793889161587062707779
Newburyport672,34920.293.682.2$13,369 84.655155856313.59793908369486958597259
Ashland682,57319.696.280.1$12,007 84.354352657815.29896908970506570556763
Rockport6993114.790.578.2$14,618 5851852451211.39283819471676556566878
Plainville7080221.491.886.5$11,873 72.154154355416.09890939260546765687062
Georgetown711,55822.892.176.9$9,961 92.354754756114.59586859253507282557474
Dedham722,82616.888.367$15,459 67.949449351212.38989788961477576707774
West Bridgewater731,34419.795.179.5$10,395 49.348950250314.39695889159677378678372
Ipswich742,04819.895.387.6$11,369 65.953552953114.79893869264467068625766
Newbury7561418.690.274.9$12,399 58.650650454113.99285778867628269836568
Burlington763,60618.88982.2$15,008 73.152752753912.89688758660567049646561
Halifax7758219.298.179.4$11,023 72.251550655015.89389799061497265757570
Mansfield784,49720.594.482.7$10,554 81.652352055318.99793878862487975627568
Merrimac7935620.992.683.4$11,189 72.454253754414.39690889057516450397367
Wakefield803,38819.389.581.7$12,009 78.652452553713.99287818762517163646966
Hanover812,68421.397.591.4$10,965 5149749150615.79789888857597060738279
Marshfield824,48323.495.384.5$10,776 70.851451452713.99688839058338071737471
Easton833,88019.893.187.5$10,922 60.953352754115.39587729167626565547371
Wilmington843,55919.591.485$12,330 8451051354313.29692768554367070556964
Stoneham852,40116.591.286.1$12,449 71.550851451513.49381788656457467626667
Nahant8618527.295.778.8$10,886 67.352252952116.89793889161589060807279
Groveland8760721.592.683.4$11,189 72.454253754414.39690889057517055376267
Cambridge886,22215.983.276.5$26,305 80.950249750910.48683657150385954456465
Rowley8954718.690.274.9$12,399 58.650650454113.99285778867627363816251
North Andover904,7662293.186.9$11,503 7752852554516.39583888760477164557265
Kingston911,13422.998.179.4$10,200 72.251550655018.39389799061497563717976
Melrose923,67922.794.184.4$10,588 66.251251251514.99381648763527571667971
Millis931,45119.296.686$10,645 72.751951652616.39878848651387179585167
Pembroke943,32920.393.876.7$10,375 73.450349751316.39690828668556566606868
Norwood953,54718.188.777.5$13,616 8547847950713.19177678754526863556567
Amesbury962,33719.783.980.1$12,966 74.452950652415.29086738355556449537674
Watertown972,68817.185.876.9$16,008 76.348748351312.48980728959375851466768
Maynard981,35216.881.377.9$13,545 85.151952251713.39382857744486853546550
Salisbury995291890.274.9$12,399 58.650650454113.99285778862624758445963
Danvers1003,59319.39078.7$12,590 65.250750752814.08985768561426357447365
Norton1012,62920.685.182.1$11,762 62.651549651914.59283838652436372596765
Carver1021,73719.783.275.2$12,144 7852450951714.29687738056396969606355
Hanson1031,31622.792.672.5$10,527 6749049952419.49085838660487063627478
Plymouth1047,9751886.569.3$13,448 62.749848951513.39382788258486462596563
Hull1051,06719.388.469.1$14,019 51.251051752612.59586778053346154476769
Stoughton1063,75317.291.382.7$11,729 54.146346049413.19078758359536861576360
Tewksbury1073,80520.691.579.7$12,068 6550749851115.99186728755496054506872
Waltham1085,09816.181.563.8$19,741 83.548548250211.68878688351346253505050
Framingham1098,20118.685.363.3$15,769 90.351451755412.99087857746395445455250
Billerica1105,5132088.475.9$12,628 8349849853715.18983788751435851396259
Bridgewater-Raynham1115,44123.493.476.1$11,221 68.549448651016.79071668465516357636866
Hudson1122,89617.78279.7$12,551 60.948949350912.69786698049405660356260
Woburn1134,76617.485.374.1$13,413 70.348447950613.48873528046427061656563
Milford1144,1671985.172.9$12,212 53.448347549913.28982708857465954635958
Avon11574616.274.172.5$12,225 5043842244412.38782708859436766547873
East Bridgewater1162,24628.291.778.9$10,559 53.349049751118.29382758758527467776153
Winthrop1171,97518.883.173.2$11,627 48.748147950612.89183628556446350485562
Beverly1184,335218171.6$12,719 56.249750051515.39077758356476456495961
Whitman1191,76223.392.672.5$10,527 6749049952419.490858380473756.555.54063.572.5
Quincy1209,26619.489.770.2$13,584 75.946446352314.58778688045415657545858
Weymouth1216,89720.784.869.6$11,528 81.349848651016.79179817743366252546667
Gloucester1223,01617.786.161.3$13,818 74.249948652112.49071637537305854556656
Peabody1236,10319.283.267.9$12,729 61.849349150913.98776667950426348526861
Medford1244,67716.380.570.6$13,093 78.648748948812.58979667843445449485151
Bellingham1252,45719.681.368.9$11,550 40.349647949414.79181697959496143676960
Marlborough1264,5891880.171.2$13,949 67.350249452213.48278637845316051545546
Abington1272,03124.384.384.3$11,415 54.349048050816.48674758663406360475654
Rockland1282,19919.384.182.5$12,895 47.948148949214.89183527544255846545660
Saugus1292,85019.885.177.5$12,744 49.147547749513.58375637538225760475862
Taunton1307,6812177.469$10,824 79.649247749515.28164567344375450425962
Revere1316,64820.176.866.5$13,347 59.444143145814.28475608148395450475254
Holbrook1321,23819.471.282.8$13,937 4242740645914.78669467327127065626261
Salem1334,39515.67867.4$14,628 62.147846848710.87760507041264643364547
Middleborough1343,29527.290.568.7$11,426 52.748646449715.78561608136345752516259
Malden1356,57321.177.273.2$12,358 43.244844547815.08577667750344344374448
Somerville1364,92217.878.166.2$16,108 68.745145647312.47459556532304643394945
Wareham1372,82217.379.252.4$12,241 40.845945246412.98655447440315348385454
Haverhill1387,05218.569.668.7$11,528 61.650248351514.77965477133274134385350
Methuen1397,05523.578.777.5$11,722 44.447747049015.27959597141254443334947
Lowell14013,87919.273.373.7$12,780 69.645644949013.97768496439183937233947
Randolph1412,95727.870.772.7$14,912 38.542742046212.37465537036214240285556
Boston14255,11417.765.966.2$16,902 49.343142746412.97365466335153839173538
Brockton14316,59519.974.574.4$12,540 54.742641944414.87966556832193732203637
Lynn14414,13919.573.756.1$12,693 39.443542145414.78067555928174841324146
Everett1456,67219.875.460.9$12,040 40.143541944313.77757366828144437234455
Chelsea1465,89121.258.358.3$13,708 33.940138643514.16854395732203035193446
Lawrence14713,14520.660.677.8$13,463 27.340039640913.65534225419113327193639


METHODOLOGY

We gathered the most recent available data on area schools from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (doe.mass.edu). We also consulted town and school websites if necessary. Our rankings were then computed by statistician George Recck, who is the director of the Math Resource Center at Babson College. Recck calculated the mean scores for each category, and then ranked the towns based on a weighted average of each school data point’s difference from the mean. Only schools whose districts lie all or partially within the Greater Boston I-495 boundary were included. To calculate rankings for towns within regional school districts, we used data for regional high or middle schools where applicable. Additional research by Natalie Covate, Alexandra Graziano, Damon Hatheway, Patrick Lauppe, Zoe Marquedant, and Molly Mirhashem.