Relocating to NY from London, and looking for places (likely NJ) with excellent public schools. Should I be looking at school rankings, great schools scores, or something else? If ranking, what's the best source of truth?

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Summit, Basking Ridge, Millburn, Chatham, Short Hills, Madison, Mendham are a few of the best off the top of my head

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Agree on Morris County. You get great schools, trains, charming downtowns and reasonable taxes.

Interesting way might be looking at property prices. The standard 3b3ba at 800K+ usually means pretty good schools.

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montclair

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Blue ribbon schools are the “best schools” in the US in the federal governments eyes. I didn’t go to a “blue ribbon school”, but the elementary, middle, high school I went to became blue ribbon schools like 5 years after i left. The housing prices around these schools is pretty pricey I’m sure. Before my schools I attended were blue ribbon schools the homes in my parents neighborhood were around $220-$400k (2000s), now they’re around $560-700k (granted they rose because of other things too).

https://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html

Here’s the actual list https://portal.nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/schools/history

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You can also look up test results for a high school/district. The SAT is generally used for college admission (for now) so for the most part a school with higher will be better quality. Or wealthier, if there's really that much of a difference

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Glen Ridge NJ

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Great town and schools but absurd taxes

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Westchester county also has great schools

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Having been a student in Queens, District 25. I would NOT recommend that area.
A lot of teachers there are tenured to where they literally don't care.
Some are probably kept alive with medicine and cigarettes.
I had to go through supplemental education, thankfully my parents approved that EXPENSIVE afterschool program (weekend school)

My JHS is still 18 miles from WTC, filled with students with problematic homes, and yields a lot of broken adults, hopefully it changed, but when I was in 7th grade, the auditorium would regularly have used condoms and we all know who it is from.

my HS looked like a LITERAL prison, and they implemented metal detectors with armed truancy officers in 2005.

There were drug related crimes almost weekly, and even when my parents moved me to LI, the drug related crimes were non-violent, but the boy be carrying a bag of kilos and having multiple squad cars ready to whisk him away.

If you want to raise your kids away from drugs, you better just prep him for the SSHSAT and hope that he makes it to at least Stuyversant, otherwise, they literally have a hard future ahead of them.
Because Bronx Science has been losing prestige since 2004, Brooklyn Tech is like the "runner up" of the schools and funding for these schools are wasted on bureaucracy to the point where the chances of them even getting into a decent college is also wrecked at other forms of peer pressure.

Best of luck!
I ended up join the military just to exit this hell hole back in 2007.
Coming back in 2011, I was swiftly reminded why I left in the first place.

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Mountain Lakes is great too, but commute to the city worse than many of the towns listed here

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