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Best Cities 2010: 10 Best Cities for Education

  • Looking for a city that's dedicated to education? Check out these 10 communities, which have impressive graduation rates, test scores, and lots of highly-rated schools. Also notable are the high expenditures per student and low pupil/teacher ratios. Your kid's bound to reap the benefits these education-friendly cities have to offer.

    See our list of worst spots for education

    (Our list was compiled by using a list of the top 100 cities by population, adding in well-known smaller cities too, and removing cities so close to other large cities that they would have similar data. We ranked the best cities for education based on eight educational criteria categories.)

    #1: Spokane, WA
    With impressive scores in math and reading proficiency, and a relatively high ($11,320) expenditure per student, Spokane Washington has a well-balanced record of notable stats, making it the most education-friendly city on our list. It also came in at #7 overall.

    Read More About Spokane

    Want to check out these towns? Save a bundle when you book your trip online through Parenting Privileges. You'll get cash back on your reservations at Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or Priceline.com!

  • #2: Lexington, KY
    With its an excellent pupil/teacher ratio (13.8:1) and high reading scores, Lexington, is a city with education as a top priority. More good news for Lexington: it came in as our 5th best city for families overall.

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  • #3: Boston, MA
    With 24 National Association for the Education of Young Children-accredited preschools, Boston tots get a great start in school, and high scores in both reading and math are evidence that the schools deliver quality teaching in later years too. Total expenditures per student is a whopping $20,485.

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  • #4: Louisville, KY
    Nine of Louisville's schools have been awarded the Department of Education's blue ribbon distinction, revealing the top-notch quality of schools in this education-friendly city, which also boasts a 75% graduation rate.

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  • #5: Charlotte, NC
    With lots of DOE-certified blue ribbon schools (8) and NAEYC-accredited preschools (16), you can feel good about placing your kids in the Charlotte school systems.

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  • #6: Toledo, OH
    Holy graduation rate! (That's 86.7% -- one of the highest of any of the cities we surveyed.) This city's impressive education numbers may be in part due to the total expenditures per student, an impressive $15,350.

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  • #7: Indianapolis, IN
    Indianapolis takes the cake for Blue Ribbon schools (19), and has a striking amount of NAEYC-accredited preschools (24). Also notable are the Indiana capitol's strong math scores.

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  • #8: Providence, RI
    With a solid graduation rate (82.1%), a large number of NAEYC-accredited preschools (8), and a generous $14,760 spent per student, Providence did relatively well in all of the categories, making it a well-rounded choice for preschool to 12th grade

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  • #10: Wilmington, DE
    This smaller city (72,592) manages to have plenty of Blue Ribbon schools (2.75 per 100,000 people) and NAEYC-accredited preschools (12.4 per 100,000 people.) Though Wilmington, ranked last in our 101 city round-up, suffers a sky-high crime rate, it still squeezes into our top ten best cities for education.

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    #9: Pittsburgh, PA
    There are 50 NAEYC-accredited of them in Pittsburgh, which adds up to 16.127 per 100,000 people. Residents also benefit from an incredibly low pupil/teacher ratio. Expenditure per student comes out to $17,042 per student.

    Read More About Pittsburgh

    Want to check out these towns? Save a bundle when you book your trip online through Parenting Privileges. You'll get cash back on your reservations at Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or Priceline.com!

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