There are several very useful online tools for comparing public
schools in a given area, and for providing other information about
communities as well.
Here are the key resources that can help you in this regard:
The federal Department of Education has a comprehensive search for public schools:
U.S. Department of Education
Public school data 2003-2004 school year
You can search by entering just a small bit of information -- for
example, just a zip code, or a city and state -- and the database will
return a list of schools, with information on each. There is no
ranking, per se, but you will get in-depth information on enrollment,
student/teacher ratio, and other pertinent information.
A similar tool will allow you to pull up information for entire school districts:
I'll also mention this lookup tool:
Public Schools Lookup
which is very easy to use, though the information is quite similar to
the Dept. of Education database.
A commenter (below) mentioned another very useful site which I recommend as well:
This site pulls together a lot of information and links for individual
schools, school districts, and communities. Numerous rankings are
provided, and you can search for a number of different options,
--Search schools by zip
--Compare schools side-by-side
--View School Agency Rankings
--View Town / County Rankings
A slightly different take on things can be had at this site:
Although it doesn't offer deep information on individual schools, it
does provide a lot of context for the overall communities -- crime
rates, housing costs, weather, even local radio stations. Worth a
Lastly, you can usually get very detailed information on schools from
the websites of either the school itself, or from the Board of
Education/School District site in which the school resides. The sites
above contain links to local school district sites, and I would
encourage you to make use of them as you continue your explorations.
If you need any assistance finding a site for a particular school
district, just let me know.
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites for school and community information