One of the first things you might do when considering moving to a new city or town and buying a home is to check out the top performing South Shore MA public high schools. There are many ways to do this including asking people you know in those communities, visiting the administrative offices of that school district and asking for information or searching on-line informational sites such as and You can also delve into the numbers and crunch them yourself by visiting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education website. You can click here to see your current city or town or the community you are considering moving to. There’s a lot of information available out there to help you make an informed decision based on your own metrics that you believe are the most important to you and for your family.

How accurate are these South Shore MA public high schools ranking by Newsweek Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Boston Magazine and Boston Business Journal?

top performing south shore public high schools

I know some people may be confused, agree or disagree with the various publications offering analysis and State-wide or National rankings regarding which schools are the top performing South Shore MA public high schools. However, I think we can all agree that there is no perfect analysis or decisive “go to” list that is considered the holy grail when it comes to this subject matter.

Creating these ranking lists isn’t a perfect science and there’s certainly varied opinions from educators, administrators and parents as to why and how their South Shore MA public high school district wasn’t ranked higher than another or why researchers used one set of data points and not another. Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decipher the information and see what metrics and data is most important to them when evaluating a school district. And even more importantly, it’s up to the parents and the student to put in the extra effort and go over and above to squeeze out all they can get from the South Shore MA public high schools they attend, even if you live in an underperforming district.

Creating credibility when your community is consistently listed in the top performing South Shore MA public high schools ranking

top performing south shore public high schoolsWhen you look at these annual rankings, as you will see here, those South Shore public high school districts that excel and consistently rank high year after year, does create deserved credibility. However, as you will see from the most recent and comparable overview of the top performing South Shore public high schools, there can be a lot of differences between the various lists, as school districts can bounce up and down based on what data is evaluated each year, which can raise the question – how accurate are these school ranking lists anyway?

As a footnote, if you don’t see your city or town listed in a specific list, this could mean that the school district did not choose to be included or respond to the publications inquiry. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of pride behind these lists and it can really help a community in terms of property values and the correlation of how willing taxpayers in those towns are willing to pony up for school overrides. It’s also apparent that socio-economic factors certainly do play a role in school districts that excel academically and certainly affluence and income makes an impact on success. Many public school districts have done a good job creating a culture of exceptional learning and critical thinking, thus, recruiting the best and brightest new teachers as well, which means being competitive in terms of the teacher and administrator salaries.

Massachusetts is known for being the #1 public school system in the Nation

Keep in mind that it’s a well known fact that Massachusetts is regarded as having the #1 public school system in the country as recently discussed in The Atlantic magazine. In Massachusetts, just 2 percent of its high-schoolers drop out, and its students’ math and reading scores rank No. 1 nationally. Dubbed “The Massachusetts experiment” back in 1993, the Commonwealth doubled downed both financially and strategically on transforming its public education system when State leaders decided to set high standards and establish a stringent accountability system for all students.

Newsweek Magazine lists top 500 public high schools in America

top performing south shore high schoolsAccording to Newsweek, the analyzed data was focused upon answering the primary question: “Does this high school prepare students for college?”

Newsweek, based on the analysis conducted by Westat Research studied six measurements and weighted them to come up with a “college readiness index.” The rankings are meant to show how well high schools do at preparing students for college. The measurements and their weight used in Newsweek’s analysis are: Holding power: 10 percent, Ratio of counselor/full-time equivalent to student enrollment: 10 percent, Weighted SAT/ACT: 17.5 percent, Weighted AP/IB/dual enrollment composite: 17.5 percent, Graduation rate: 20 percent, and College enrollment rate: 25 percent.

In all, 6,477 of the nation’s 15,819 public high schools met the criteria to be considered in Newsweek’s rankings. Newsweek used school performance data from the National Center for Education Statistics to narrow down the list of schools. Of those 6,477 schools, 4,760 were considered for the overall rankings. To view Westat’s technical brief and analysis for Newsweek’s 2016 ranking for the top 500 list in America, click here. To read the entire Newsweek Magazine article and U.S. top 500 public high school rankings, click here.

See who made the top 500 list in America and on the South Shore in 2016 according to Newsweek Magazine:

#1 Hingham High School, Hingham (#104 in America)

#2 Norwell High School, Norwell (#332 in America)

#3 Braintree High School, Braintree (#436 in America)

Of note, the top public high school in all of Massachusetts ranked by Newsweek was Boston Latin, which was ranked #28 in the entire country.

Boston Magazine lists top high schools in Massachusetts

top performing public high schoolsBoston Magazine’s top high school’s in Massachusetts analysis considered enrollment, average class size, student to teacher ratio, 10th graders scoring proficient or higher on MCAS reading, math and science, average SAT’s in reading, writing and math, AP scoring 3-5 (%), number of college counselors, number of varsity sports teams, graduation rate (%), attending college (%). Of note, Boston Magazine only considered cities and towns in Eastern Mass only, within Route 495 for this ranking, which totaled 155 schools.

Who made the grade on the South Shore in 2016 according to Boston Magazine:

#1 Hingham (#13 in Eastern Mass)

#2 Norwell (#21 in Eastern Mass)

#3 Duxbury (#29 in Eastern Mass)

#4 Cohasset (#34 in Eastern Mass)

#5 Scituate (#54 in Eastern Mass)

#6 Hanover (#60 in Eastern Mass)

#7 Braintree (#63 in Eastern Mass)

#8 Marshfield (#64 in Eastern Mass)

#9 No. Quincy (#82 in Eastern Mass)

#10 Hull (#86 in Eastern Mass)

#11 Carver (#87 in Eastern Mass)

#12 Pembroke (#88 in Eastern Mass)

#13 Abington (#89 in Eastern Mass)

#14 Kingston-Silverlake (#90 in Eastern Mass)

#15 Avon (#95 in Eastern Mass)

#16 Quincy (#97 in Eastern Mass)

#17 Plymouth (#103 in Eastern Mass)

#18 E. Bridgewater (#104 in Eastern Mass)

#19 Whitman-Hanson (#106 in Eastern Mass)

#20 Weymouth (#109 in Eastern Mass)

#21 Plymouth (#110 in Eastern Mass)

#22 Holbrook (#114 in Eastern Mass)

#23 Rockland (#116 in Eastern Mass)

#24 Randolph (#121 in Eastern Mass)

#25 Brockton (#130 out of 155 in Mass)

U.S. News & World Report lists top Public High Schools and Charter Schools in Massachusetts

top performing public high schoolsSchools were ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. Among the many Massachusetts schools in the 2016 rankings of U.S. News Best High Schools, 22 were awarded gold medals, 53 earned silver medals and 14 received bronze medals. Click here to view the entire list of top Massachusetts public schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  Click here to see the methodology U.S. News & World Report used to create their comprehensive rankings.

See who made the grade on the South Shore in 2016 according to U.S. News & World Report:

#1 Duxbury (Ranked #18 in Massachusetts and 435 in the United States)

#2 Cohasset (Ranked #19 in Massachusetts and 441 in the United States)

#3 Norwell (Ranked #25 in Massachusetts and 575 in the United States)

#4 Braintree (Ranked #45 in Massachusetts and #1100 in the United States)

#5 North Quincy (Ranked #62 in Massachusetts and #1803 in the United States)

(Of note, U.S. News & World Report did not rank Hingham, Hanover, Marshfield, Pembroke, Hull, Weymouth, Quincy and other towns on the South Shore)

top performing public high schoolsBoston Business Journal lists top public high schools and Charter schools in Massachusetts

The Boston Business Journal ranked 291 public high schools and charter schools by average percentage of proficient and advanced test takers across all three MCAS exams — English/Language Arts, Math and Science taken by 10th grade students in the 2014/2015 academic year to compile a ranking of the top-performing high schools in the State. Click here to view the complete Boston Business Journal article and entire State ranking.

The top-performing traditional public high school was Dover-Sherborn, followed by Lexington, Norwell, Hopkinton, Winchester and Cohasset. Ranked by annual household income, Dover is the state’s second wealthiest community, Lexington is ninth, Norwell is 32nd, Hopkinton is 16th; Winchester is 14th; and Cohasset is 28th, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, making for a correlation between affluence/income and rankings.

The worst-performing public school district on 10th-graders MCAS was Lawrence. with Springfield and New Bedford only slightly ahead. Two charter schools — Codman Academy Charter in Boston and Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter — were among the lowest-performing schools in the state.

See who made the grade on the South Shore MA public high schools list in 2015 according to Boston Business Journal:

#1 Norwell (#6 in Mass)

#2 Cohasset (#10 in Mass)

#3 Duxbury (#23 in Mass)

#4 Hingham (#31 in Mass)

#5 Braintree (#60 in Mass*)

#6 Hanover (#60 in Mass*)

#7 Scituate (#107 in Mass)

#8 Marshfield (#124 in Mass*)

#9 Whitman/Hanson (#124 in Mass*)

#10 Abington (#149 in Mass*)

#11 Pembroke (#149 in Mass*)

#12 Hull (#154 in Mass)

#13 Plymouth (#167 in Mass)

#14 Kingston-Silverlake (#179 in Mass)

#15 South Shore Vocational Technical – Hanover (#182 in Mass)

#16 South Shore Charter School – Norwell (#191 in Mass)

#17 Quincy (#195 in Mass)

#18 Weymouth (#198 in Mass)

#19 Avon (#204 in Mass)

#20 Holbrook (#213 in Mass)

#21 Carver (#234 in Mass)

#22 Rockland (#245 in Mass)

#23 Brockton (#268 in Mass)

#24 Randolph (#273 in Mass)

(*= tied)

As your local and trusted South Shore Realtor, I know how important it is for families to choose a town with a good public school system. I also understand that economics and affordability have a lot to do with the choices of where you would like to live and where you can live. I have had to make those same decisions for my family.

I have over 20+ years of real estate experience on the South Shore serving clients and customers in the towns of Norwell, Hanover, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, Scituate, Cohasset, Hull, Pembroke, Rockland, Quincy, Abington, Milton, Marshfield, Duxbury, Hanson, Kingston and beyond. I would love to help you and your family buy your next home or sell your current one.

Being affiliated with William Raveis Real Estate, the largest independently owned real estate agency in the Northeast and 8th largest independently owned real estate company in the United States, provides me with a large and experienced support staff that works behind the scenes for you and me. I will earn your business and your trust, giving you the peace of mind you deserve during the entire real estate buying and selling process. Buying and selling a home can be one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime and having the most experienced and skilled negotiator like me at your side could mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars, getting the deal done and achieving success.

To reach me today, contact George Jamieson, REALTOR with William Raveis Real Estate at 617-877-4839 or via email at If you would like to search all homes for sale on the South Shore please click here. Alternatively, if you would like to complete the contact form below, I will get back to you shortly.

    Full Name (required)

    Address (required)

    Unit/Apt #

    City (required)


    Zip Code (required)

    Email (required)

    Phone (required)

    What is your time frame for buying?

    What towns/cities are you considering?

    How much are you pre-approved for and/or what is your price range?

    Do you have any special requirements, needs or wants in your next home?

    [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response]