Malden public schools were ranked 119th in the state in a recent Boston Magazine evaluation of districts statewide.
Of 135 schools districts, Malden placed in the bottom 12 percent -- ahead of Attleboro, but behind Somerville -- in a measurement of state standardized test scores.
Other metrics included the number of Advanced Placement courses offered, availability of sports programs, preschool options, and attention to science, math, and writing.
Many of the top-tier districts follow a traditional pattern: small class sizes, healthy per-pupil spending, a high graduation rate, many sports offered, and options for Advanced Placement courses.
Malden, which has 6,855 students, has a higher student-to-teacher ratio of 14.2:1, and spends between $3,500 and $6,400 less than some of the top-spending school systems in the state.
Malden's graduation rate, at nearly 72 percent, also was a likely pull on the ranking.
Malden offers both full-day and half-day kindergarten, 41 sports teams, and 19 advanced placement courses.