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Hopkinton schools ranked No. 1 in state

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Education, Featured: Education

The Hopkinton Public School district was ranked first in Niche’s 2024 Best Schools and Districts rankings for Massachusetts.

Hopkinton also is ranked as being the best place to teach, and as having the best teachers.

“It’s really nice to have that first ranking across all three categories,” Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said. “Administrators should feel proud, teachers should feel proud, everyone in our district should feel proud, because it takes a village.”

Nationally, Hopkinton was ranked 30th of 10,932 districts, with the 22nd-best teachers.

Hopkinton also was ranked No. 1 in the state in Niche’s 2021 list.

“These No. 1 rankings reflect some really outstanding work being done by our educators and administrators,” shared School Committee chair Nancy Cavanaugh. “While different organizations rank on different criteria, the Niche rankings consistently highlight the strong academics in our schools. I appreciate all of the community support our schools receive as we continue to navigate some challenging budget years in the midst of rapid student enrollment growth.”

Niche gave Hopkinton an overall rating of A-plus, with A-plus ratings in academics, teachers, administration and college prep. The district received a straight A in clubs/activities, A-minus in sports and resources/facilities, a B in food and a B-minus in diversity.

Noting the diversity grade, the superintendent said that is something the district can continue to work on.

“The entire community knows that that has been a major goal for us over the last five years,” she said. “We want to make sure we are meeting the needs of every kid, and often it means socially, emotionally, behaviorally and physically.”

Based on state test scores, 78% of Hopkinton students are at least proficient in reading, with 71% of the same caliber in math.

The average graduation rate is 99%. The average SAT score is 1,340 (based on 470 responses), and the average ACT score is 30 (based on 261 responses).

With 4,006 students, Hopkinton has a student-teacher ratio of 14:1 (as compared to the national average of 17:1). The average teacher salary is listed as $93,930, and 7.3% of teachers are in their first or second year.

Niche is a website that produces rankings of K-12 schools and districts as well as colleges and places to live and work.

Hopkinton is ranked by Niche as the 32nd best place to live in the Boston area (430th nationally) — broken down by neighborhoods as well as towns. Other Hopkinton rankings include the fourth-best place in Massachusetts to buy a house (1,305th nationally) and the 15th-best place in the state in which to raise a family (87th nationally).

Hopkinton’s success in such rankings has led to a steady rise in population, crowding the schools and leading to plans to adjust every school in town in order to accommodate the new students.

“I do think a major draw for Hopkinton are the public schools,” the superintendent said. “It might be a double-edged sword [because of the surge in population], but I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

4 Comments

  1. Glen Dawson

    It is nice to see such positive news about Hopkinton schools. But, as a statistician and former college statistics instructor, I find it very hard to believe that the average SAT score of Hopkinton students is 1340. This is approximately the 91st percentile, yet only 71% of students were proficient in math, and that “proficiency” level is a pretty low bar. One wonders how Niche obtained that number. Was it a random sample of all SAT test takers? Please also note that on international tests such as the prestigious Programme for International Student Success (PISA), the United States is ranked near the bottom of industrialized countries in math, science, and reading.

    I also read in disbelief that Hopkinton is the “4th best place to buy a home” in Massachusetts. Have you seen the real estate transactions lately?

    • james brke

      Well we all know there are three types of lies. Lies , Damn Lies and Statistics.
      First your confusion with the low numbers is this is by District. So K through 12, not High School. The numbers for MCAS are about all grades combined. Below are the 10 Grade MCAS grades (and they state as proficient, which makes it sound like they just passed. But the majority are Exceed). first three numbers matter. First is both meet and exceed, Second is exceed, third is meet.
      column descriptors.
      Grade and Subject Meeting or Exceeding Expectations % Exceeding Expectations % Meeting Expectations % Partially Meeting Expectations % Not Meeting Expectations % No. of Students Included Part. Rate % Avg. Scaled Score Avg.
      SGP Included in Avg.
      SGP
      GRADE 10 – ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 88 58 40 15 48 43 10 30 2 11 326 98 523 58 295
      GRADE 10 – MATHEMATICS 87 50 37 10 50 40 10 42 2 9 325 98 523 52 296
      GRADE 10 – SCIENCE AND TECH/ENG 83 47 39 11 44 36 14 42 3 11 311 98 523 N/A N/A

      Not sure on the SAT, I agree 1340 sounds a little low, but the school provides these numbers. I have not found anywhere that breaks it down by the schools to compare. My son was a 1570 (took the test once). Not sure why they leave out ACT since it is now common across the US to choose between or even do both. No longer an east coast and west coast test. Have not seen an article about “being 4th best place to buy a home”, but I can tell you people are working hard to get into this town for the schooling. My guess is when they are saying 4th best place to buy a home I Massachusetts they do not mean because it is cheap. Hopkinton, which is not cheap to live in, is much cheaper than the rest of the cities and towns with public schools at this level. Hence why people are trying to get into Hopkinton. Have you seen the housing market in most of Massachusetts. I was born and raised in Marlborough. In Marlborough a 2000 sq ft house will set you back $700,000 or more. So the entire housing market is nuts.
      Here are how the cities and towns finished in MCAS last year (according to the State) This is by district also, not finishing 10th Grade MCAS tests
      1. Hopkinton – performed better than 99.7% other school districts
      2. Harvard – performed better than 99.4% other school districts
      3. Lexington – performed better than 99.2% other school districts
      4. Dover-Sherborn – performed better than 98.9% other school districts
      5. Benjamin Banneker Charter Public (District) – performed better than 98.6% other school districts
      6. Weston – performed better than 98.3% other school districts
      7. Belmont – performed better than 98% other school districts
      8. Carlisle – performed better than 97.7% other school districts
      9. Wayland – performed better than 97.5% other school districts
      10. Southborough – performed better than 97.2% other school districts

  2. Dave T

    Looking at any ranking you need to understand where it comes from and compare it with other rankings that are publicly available. Before coming to any conclusion, I would recommend looking at more than one source. The two that I have recently seen are the annual reviews from Boston Magazine and US News and World Reports. The Boston Magazine rating, has Hopkinton listed at 57 down from 18 in last years report. Link to the Boston Magazine article https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/best-public-high-schools-boston-2023-chart/. The data use for their calculation is all based on data collected by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). In the US News and World Report rank Hopkinton 13 in Massachusetts. Link to the US News and World Report article https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/massachusetts.

  3. Ellen Holmes

    So we have schools high on the list but our police and fire departments and other town departments suffer because of all the taxes geared towards these schools and the building of a “college campus” for 2nd 3rd and 4th graders. The cost of houses is so high and out of reach for most people. I’m not sure any of this is an asset to the town, but “build it and they will come.”

    Ellen H

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