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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $600,000-$799,999

Location, location, location: Homes in these cities aren't cheap, but they offer a wonderful lifestyle and top-flight schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Basking Ridge, NJ

Educational quality score: 94.17
Median home value: $685,300
Population: 24,600

Speech! Speech! The Ridge High School Forensics Team (speech and debate) has defeated all opponents for the state championship for 10 consecutive years, plus it dominated a national tournament by out-arguing 105 rival schools from 30 states. One assertion that isn’t debatable? That Basking Ridge has exceptional schools. Ridge High is a Blue Ribbon School, ranked #2 in New Jersey by Newsweek in 2010, with enrichment activities that range from a marching band to a ski squad.

William Annin Middle School
has one of the best athletic departments in New Jersey, plus loads of intriguing electives including Latin, computer game design, and international cooking. All this in a lovely place blessed with both high -ech industry and rich tradition: Verizon Wireless resides here, but there's also a historic district with preserved colonial buildings and a 600-year-old oak tree, under which George Washington is said to have enjoyed a picnic. There's even an ominous "Devil Tree," a gnarled oak that, according to lore, will curse and kill anyone who dares cut it down. Word is the local kids are far too wise to try.

Learn more about schools in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Photo credit: RickyNJ