For many families, education is the determining factor in where they choose to make their home. Education is key to a better life, maybe even a longer one; in fact, a Harvard Medical School study found that well-educated people live 30 percent longer. In contrast to state budget cuts for education, the U.S. Department of Education is offering $400 million to states in their Race to the Top program for schools that can show improvement in student achievement. The good news is that graduation rates are improving across the country; more students are taking advanced science and math courses like calculus, statistics, chemistry and physics; and we have seen a 37 percent increase in college enrollment.
Choosing a school for your kids is a personal choice, so we can't tell you which city will be a perfect match for your family. However, these cities stood out when we compared educational benchmarks like graduation rates, math and reading scores, per-student spending, and class sizes.
1. Burlington, Vermont
Ranked second overall on our best cities list, it's no surprise that Burlington tops our education list. The small city boasts small class sizes, a huge perk since the U.S. Department of Education reported that achievement scores are higher in schools with fewer kids per class. Burlington also boasts a favorable student-to-teacher ratio. There are also plenty of options for pint-size students; Burlington has a high number of National Association for the Education of Young People-accredited day care centers per capita.