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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $400,000-$599,999

From southeast Florida to northwest Washington (with a few stops in between), these U.S. cities offer upscale homes, plenty of green space, and top-of-the-line schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Westwood, MA

Education quality score: 88.98
Median home price: $516, 280
Population: 14,050

Norman Rockwell would have felt right at home in this scenic New England town. It’s no wonder Westwood attracts so many families yearning for a relaxed small-town life with an easy commute – via two commuter rail lines – to Boston, a mere 12 miles away.

Westwood also maintains a strong commitment to education. Last year, the independently-run Westwood Educational Foundation awarded the top-notch school system nearly $78,000 in grants – funding everything from spelling bees to math contests. The school district consists of five elementary schools, Edmund W. Thurston Middle School, and state-of-the-art Westwood High School, which was recently rebuilt for a cool $45 million. Year after year, Westwood students score in the top percentiles on national reading and math tests, and an overwhelming majority of high school graduates matriculate to college. But it’s not all work in Westwood: The town has an embarrassment of recreational areas, nature preserves, playgrounds, and ball fields. The downside to all this upside: Like many of the towns featured here, Westwood lacks diversity, its population is 95 percent white.

Learn more about schools in Westwood, MA

Photo credit: Elizabeth Thomsen