Weston High is top of the class among Greater Boston's public high schools, according to the latest issue of Boston Magazine, but schools in other western suburbs are not far behind.
Nipping at Weston's heels in the magazine's annual rankings are, in descending order, Dover-Sherborn, Concord-Carlisle, Lexington, Newton South, Newton North, Wellesley, Wayland, Lincoln-Sudbury, and Bedford.
Rounding out the magazine's top 20 are Sharon, Manchester Essex, Brookline, Bromfield in Harvard, Westwood, Westborough, Boston Latin, Acton-Boxborough, Needham, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin.
The 2009 rankings were computed by statistician George Recck, the director of the Math Resource Center at Babson College. Data — such as total enrollment, per-pupil spending, student-to-teacher ratio, MCAS and SAT results and graduation rates — was gathered for area schools by consulting school officials and websites, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Education.
With that information, Recck calculated mean scores for each data category and then ranked schools based on their distance from the averages.
''Obviously statistics aren’t the full picture, but they say a lot,'' said Boston Magazine staff writer Jason Schwartz in an interview.
The rankings considered schools in the eastern part of the state, with a few exceptions towards central Massachusetts, he said.
"We're always please to be recognized." said Anthony Parker, principal of Weston High. But, "We don't aim to be number one. We aim to be the best school we can possibly be given the resources that we have."
"We recognize that not every school has these resources ... To say that these resources don't give us an advantage is silly. You have wealthy, well-educated people who live in this community ... We acknowledge that we are hugely blessed and are thankful for the resources we have, and we then try to use those resources the best we can."
Parker is a Newton resident who sent his children to the Newton public schools.
The magazine’s 2008 top-10 list of public schools academic rankings placed Brookline first, followed by Lincoln-Sudbury, Weston, Boston Latin, Lexington, Newton South, Dover-Sherborn, Weymouth, Wayland and Newton North.
This year, the magazine also ranked private schools, with the Commonwealth School snagging the top spot for 2009. In second is Groton School, followed by Middlesex School, Philips Academy Andover, Newton Country Day School, Winsor School, Boston University Academy, Montrose School, Belmont Hill School, and Noble and Greenough School.
The area's best private high school in terms of value, according to Boston Magazine, is Mount Alvernia, followed by Cathedral, Montrose, Sacred Heart, Bishop Fenwick, Pope John XXIII, Woodward, Marian, Archbishop Williams and Ursuline Academy.