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  THE LOW INCOME & URBAN HOUSING BLOG  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Top Cities With The Best-Rated Public Schools


For parents, housing decisions often depend on where the best schools are located. Finding an affordable place to live that will also ensure your children have the best education can be a challenge. What is the criteria for determining whether or not the schools are highly rated? Two common criteria used are graduation rates and proficiency test results. The higher the score, the better the school. In some cases, higher score is also where the highest home prices are.

Here are the top 10 large and small U.S. cities with the best-rated public schools:

Large cities:

Raleigh, NC - more than 90% of students plan to continue some form of higher education (median home price  $202,480)

Colorado Springs, CO - More than 80% of its students go on to higher education.(median home price  $192,320)

Mesa, AZ - all six public schools were honored in the 2009 Best High Schools survey by U.S. News & World Report. (median home price $174,810)

Honolulu, HI - enjoys a great student teacher ratio of 14:1 (median home price  $632,750)

Virginia Beach, VA - has a graduation rate above 83%, above average ACT and SAT scores, and 84 percent of students continue their education (median home price  $239,890)

Portland, OR - has a total of 85 schools, seven charters, 18 community-based alternative programs, and 16 special services programs (median home price $257,300)

Pittsburgh, PA - offers 66 excellent schools and is called one of the most livable U.S. cities (median home price $79,380)

San Francisco, CA - four of its high school were named among the country's best by Newsweek. (median home price $673,610)

Tampa, FL - easy living, plus more than 243 schools, charter schools and early childhood learning centers (median home price $151,340)

San Jose, CA - named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education with many schools scoring 800 on an Academic Performance Index ranging up to 1,000 (median home price  $544,640)

Small cities:

Belmont, MA - rated an 98.01 on an Education Quality Score up to 100 (median home price $694,300)

Acton, MA - Education Quality Score of 97.10 for this Boston suburb (median home price  $520,570)

Weston, MA - the wealthiest suburb of Boston has SAT and college-placement scores near the top of Massachusetts’s public schools (median home price  $1,021,510)

Westwood, MA - 12 miles from Boston, students in this town of 14,000 score in the top percentiles on national reading and math tests (median home price $644,960)

Mason, OH - rated by CNN Money’s “Top Places to Live in the United States” in 2010, this suburb of Cincinnati boasts students who go on to attend ivy league colleges. The city's median home price is also attractive at $189,500.

Winchester, MA - another suburb of Boston, this small community has a top-performing school system and an abundance of recreational opportunities. (median home price $718,950)

Mercer Island, WA - the school district has some of the highest performance scores in the state for both primary and secondary students. (median home price $863,160)

Fishers, IN - all 18 public schools in Hamilton Southeastern Schools district scored a perfect 10, plus median home price is $183,800.

Sammamish, WA - excellent school with innovative programs such as the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning (median home price $569,140)

Sudbury, MA - teachers promote creative thinking, students score high on standardized tests, and a high percentage of real estate taxes are spent on the school systems. (median home price  $738,200)


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