Longmeadow Best Again

Longmeadow Best Again

July 24, 2013

With its stellar school system, its lush tree-lined streets and historical single-family homes, the town of Longmeadow has been selected as the best place in Massachusetts to raise children by the financial literacy and consumer advocacy website NerdWallet.

“This study in particular is part of a series, of all 50 states, and Massachusetts is the latest addition,” said Mike Anderson, an analyst for NerdWallet.

Anderson said many factors were taken into account when selecting Longmeadow.

“We specialize in actionable advice, including recommendations on checking and banking products, brokerage accounts, and, in this case, real estate,” he said. “A mortgage principal, in a vacuum, doesn’t tell young families much about the cost and quality of living in a given city. It’s much more than that, it’s the cost of real estate as well as levels of income and education.”

The quality of education in Longmeadow has always been a reason for young families to move to the community of about 15,000 residents. In 2012, Family Circle Magazine listed Longmeadow as one of the top 10 towns in the country, also citing the school system as a reason for its decision. Newsweek also named Longmeadow in its top 500 schools of the nation coming in at 413.

School Committee Chairman Michael Clark said residents are very proud of the school system and are willing to invest in it.

“Longmeadow’s schools are consistently a determining factor in what makes this community a great place to live,” Clark said. “From Family Circle to Newsweek to NerdWallet, we are incredibly honored by the recognition we receive. I think that these rankings are a testament to the value this community places on education. As a School Committee, we are very thankful to the community for their support of our goals and our mission.”

Anderson said the website used several sources to come up with its top 10 list.

“We pulled data from the Census and GreatSchools.org. Census data is a fantastic resource, but it’s also not the most useful in and of itself. What does it matter that the value of a home in Longmeadow is $351,500? Our job is to make that data more accessible and transparent, so we look at that number in light of income levels and the quality of education,” he said.

GreatSchools is a well respected non-profit that families use to evaluate a given school district. The group aggregates standardized test scores from public schools across the nation. They then evaluate a given school’s scores in comparison to the state average, arriving at a final rating on a 1 to 10 scale – 10 being the highest. Longmeadow is rated a 9.

Longmeadow was the only Western Massachusetts community to make the top 10 list. The top 10 list is as follows:

  • Longmeadow
  • Wilmington
  • Winchester
  • Lexington
  • Brookline
  • Marblehead
  • Reading
  • Needham
  • Somerset
  • Milton

See the original article by Elizabeth Roman on Masslive.com

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