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Top education towns 2011:
Median home prices $200,000-$399,999

Dreaming of a quaint seaside abode or southern celebrity enclave? You'll find plenty of options among these 10 best cities for great housing and top public schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Brookfield, WI

Education quality score: 94.10
Median home value: $241,260
Population: 38,922

If you’re a fan of the Little House series, you may fondly remember Laura’s ma, Caroline, grew up here. In many ways, Brookfield remains a serene, outdoorsy place to grow up with thousands of acres of open space. Just 10 miles from Milwaukee, Brookfield also doubles as a modern city with a thriving business sector primarily made up of health care, technology, manufacturing, and financial services. The engaged community and its highly trained educators have landed Brookfield at the top of the heap for our best schools list.

Students from Brookfield and several surrounding communities are served by the Elmbrook School District. The district's made it a priority to involve the whole school community in decision making. Parents and staff serve on a host of committees and advisory boards on gifted and special education, curriculum planning, booster clubs, and parent legislative affairs. The collaboration is paying off: In a recent survey, 92 percent of parents reported being satisfied with their child’s school. The faculty also draws kudos: All meet or exceed national highly qualified status, 60 percent hold a master's degree, and many of the support staff hold professional degrees and certifications beyond what’s required for their positions. Compared to surrounding communities, Elmbrook spends the least on administration and directs the most money directly to instruction. The district gets its share of academic kudos, with 93 percent earning proficient or advanced scores in reading and math, and 88 percent of AP students scoring a three or higher on AP exams. But challenging extracurricular activities also get their due. Central High School placed first in the state championship of the National Economics Challenge and East High School won their seventh consecutive conference championship in forensics.

Learn more about schools in Brookfield, WI

Photo credit: .michael.newman.