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Top education towns 2011:
Median home prices $800,000 or more

Clustered on the East and West Coasts, these cities offer wonderful public schools and plenty of other attractions, but be prepared for the sticker shock of million-dollar homes.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Darien, CT

Educational quality score: 87.14
Median home value: $1,044,750
Population: 20,298

Long ago, Darien was a summer getaway destination far from the bustle of Boston and New York City, harboring sailing ships on their way down Long Island Sound. Darien still has plenty of boaters and swimmers, but these days many enjoy the picturesque shoreline year-round.

Darien isn't just a pretty spot. The community of affluent and well-educated residents considers small classroom size a priority, which may be why elementary schools have some of the highest reading, writing, and math scores in the state, according to the Connecticut Mastery Test. At Ox Ridge Elementary School , where the average class is less than 14, students had the 17th-highest scores in the state.

Darien High School has an academic ranking many would envy. It secured a Silver Medal and shared in the U.S. News & World Report's list of America's Best High Schools. But academics aren't all the high school has going for it: Darien High School's lacrosse team is considered one of the best in the nation.

Learn more about schools in Darien, CT.

Photo credit: cseeman

Comments from readers

"As a proud parent of 2 West School Elementary students, I know our teachers and administrators are tops and that my children are getting a fabulous public school education. Way to go NC!"