Best Schools 2011: The Rankings

Our exclusive ranking of the region's Top 50 school districts.

Edited by Janelle Nanos

boston best schools

Photograph by Angela Coppola

How are the schools? It’s a question you’ve gotten used to asking. Whether you’re thinking about a move or wondering if you should stay put, you ask your friends, your in-laws, your stockbroker, your real estate agent. You ask everyone. There’s just so much riding on the answer, from the value of your home to how likely your kid is to get into a good college (assuming you still think college is a worthwhile investment, something more and more of us are questioning these days, as you can see here).

So to answer that all-important question, we ran the numbers. We compared test scores from elementary, middle, and high schools in 135 districts, then looked within those districts to determine how schools were improving (or not) over time. Next, we called superintendents, principals, teachers, coaches, administrative assistants, and guidance counselors to ask: How many AP classes do you have? Can a kid play freshman sports? Do you offer pre-K of any kind? Will a child’s passion for math, science, or writing be fostered here? (The vast majority were helpful, though we did get hung up on once because it was Field Day.)

Finally, we crunched the data and came up with this, our exclusive ranking of the region’s 50 best school districts.

Click here for the rankings