If you have children, one of the most important things to think about when choosing a new place to call home is the school system. Even if you don't have children, it can also be an important thing to consider since the quality of your local systems can affect your property taxes and the value of your home.
There are a number of great schools systems located within a few miles of Boston. Weston ($18,591 spending per pupil), Wellesley ($18,960 spending per pupil), Newton ($16,597 spending per pupil), and Brookline ($17,090 spending per pupil) are consistently ranked in the top-25 Boston area school systems in Boston Magazine's annual Best School Rankings. These districts are known for high per pupil spending, academic rigor, and strong extracurricular programs.
Within the city of Boston, Boston Latin School is considered to be the best public high school. It is consistently ranked as one of the best high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report because of its high-level curriculum, and it ranks high for college preparedness. Boston Latin is an exam school, meaning that students must take a qualifying exam to be accepted for admission. Within the city of Cambridge, Cambridge Rindge and Latin is the newly renovated and comprehensive high school.
Boston Magazine compiled ratings by comparing test scores from elementary, middle, and high schools in 135 districts, then they looked within those districts to determine how schools were improving (or not) over time. They then conducted interviews with superintendents, principals, teachers, coaches, administrative assistants, and guidance counselors to ask important questions, including:
"How many AP classes do you have?"
"Can a kid play freshman sports?
"Do you offer pre-kindergarten of any kind?
"Will a child's passion for math, science, or writing be fostered here?"