Massachusetts reputation for educational excellence is unrivaled in the nation: the state placed first overall in US News & World Report’s ranking of Pre-K-12 public education. The Bay State’s high educational standard dates back to the 17th century, when it was first state to require that all its municipalities employ a teacher. Massachusetts also boasts the nation’s oldest university (Harvard), public elementary (The Mather School), and high school (Boston Latin School).

The best public school district in a state full of them is Lexington Public Schools. Lexington’s nine schools have earned numerous honors recognizing their excellence, including a Blue Ribbon Award for Jonas Clarke Middle School in 2013.

Massachusetts #2 ranked public school district is Westford Public Schools, centered in Westford, MA. The district exceeds state standards in nearly every category, according to the 2017 district report card.

Placing third is Winchester Public Schools, a system of eight schools in Winchester, MA, a suburb eight miles north of downtown Boston. All of its schools rank among the best in the state, and WInchester High School’s graduation rate regularly tops 95%.

Westwood Public Schools is Massachusetts fourth-best public school district. Along with its remarkable high graduation rate, over 80% of the district’s students are at least proficient in both math and reading, as reflected in state test scores.

At #5 is Shrewsbury Public Schools, a district of nine schools headquartered in the nearly 300-year-old town of Shrewsbury, MA. The high achieving district is considered one of the best systems for teachers to earn a living, and it attracts the best, as 100% of its core classes are taught by those considered highly qualified.

Top School Districts in Massachusetts, 2018

State RankSchool DistrictState
1LexingtonMassachusetts
2WestfordMassachusetts
3WinchesterMassachusetts
4WestwoodMassachusetts
5ShrewsburyMassachusetts
6WestonMassachusetts
7BelmontMassachusetts
8Mount GreylockMassachusetts
9BrooklineMassachusetts
10NewtonMassachusetts
11SharonMassachusetts
12ArlingtonMassachusetts
13WaylandMassachusetts
14HinghamMassachusetts
15Acton-BoxboroughMassachusetts
16WellesleyMassachusetts
17Dover-SherbornMassachusetts
18BedfordMassachusetts
19King PhilipMassachusetts
20AndoverMassachusetts
21ScituateMassachusetts
22NeedhamMassachusetts
23HarvardMassachusetts
24HopkintonMassachusetts
25LynnfieldMassachusetts
26MedfieldMassachusetts
27Manchester Essex RegionalMassachusetts
28WestboroughMassachusetts
29Groton-DunstableMassachusetts
30HollistonMassachusetts
31CohassetMassachusetts
32FranklinMassachusetts
33NatickMassachusetts
34WachusettMassachusetts
35GraftonMassachusetts
36NashobaMassachusetts
37ChelmsfordMassachusetts
38MarbleheadMassachusetts
39DuxburyMassachusetts
40LittletonMassachusetts
41CantonMassachusetts
42MiltonMassachusetts
43NorwellMassachusetts
44BraintreeMassachusetts
45MedwayMassachusetts
46North ReadingMassachusetts
47LongmeadowMassachusetts
48Old RochesterMassachusetts
49ReadingMassachusetts
50Hamilton-WenhamMassachusetts
51MarshfieldMassachusetts
52MansfieldMassachusetts
53WalpoleMassachusetts
54HanoverMassachusetts
55Mendon-UptonMassachusetts
56MelroseMassachusetts
57IpswichMassachusetts
58EastonMassachusetts
59HopedaleMassachusetts
60MasconometMassachusetts
61PentucketMassachusetts
62Silver LakeMassachusetts
63NausetMassachusetts
64DedhamMassachusetts
65NewburyportMassachusetts
66AshlandMassachusetts
67WilmingtonMassachusetts
68West BridgewaterMassachusetts
69SandwichMassachusetts
70TantasquaMassachusetts
71North AttleboroughMassachusetts
72NortonMassachusetts
73Hampden-WilbrahamMassachusetts
74SwampscottMassachusetts
75HolbrookMassachusetts
76North AndoverMassachusetts
77WakefieldMassachusetts
78LunenburgMassachusetts
79SeekonkMassachusetts
80FoxboroughMassachusetts
81SuttonMassachusetts
82LenoxMassachusetts
83HadleyMassachusetts
84PembrokeMassachusetts
85MillisMassachusetts
86GeorgetownMassachusetts
87Amherst-PelhamMassachusetts
88BurlingtonMassachusetts
89StonehamMassachusetts
90AuburnMassachusetts
91RockportMassachusetts
92HampshireMassachusetts
93AvonMassachusetts
94Freetown-LakevilleMassachusetts
95DouglasMassachusetts
96CambridgeMassachusetts
97MilfordMassachusetts
98East BridgewaterMassachusetts
99Berlin-BoylstonMassachusetts
100GranbyMassachusetts

Methodology

The following contributed to the ranking: student performance (math and reading test scores), dropout rates, school funding, and area poverty rates. Data was collected from a total of 9,577 school districts.

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