The 2020 Niche rankings have been tabulated and the ratings site says that Wellesley comes in #8 in Massachusetts. That number is based on an analysis that relies heavily on survey results from 280,000 students and parents who weigh in on campus life, extracurriculars, sports options, gifted and special needs programs availability, and student/faculty/curriculum diversity. Academics are a part of the ratings as well, but according to Niche, “Unlike traditional school rankings, which rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance, we provide a real-life view of what it’s like to attend a given school.”
Basically the site wants to serve as the go-to resource for families who are trying to choose the perfect academic experience for their kids, and by extension the perfect neighborhood in which to live.
Wellesley has over the years bounced here and there in various ratings systems. US News and World Report in 2019 put us at #19 in the state and #600 in the US. Niche said in 2017 we were #1. Boston Magazine put Wellesley at #6 statewide back 2014. Newsweek snubs Wellesley year after year, generally acting like we don’t exist. Go figure.
If you put much stock in such reports, some years Wellesley schools will disappoint you, some years they’ll puff you up with pride. School administrators tend to remain mum about such lists. Can you blame them? Crowing about a tip-top placement one year can only lead to sputtered explanations after the inevitable push off the pedestal.
Our kids went through the Wellesley schools and are happily ensconced (now there’s an SAT word) in good colleges. So yes, up and down rankings not withstanding, I’d say we’re believers in our local public schools.
We’re number 8! We’re number 8!