Where you choose to live will not necessarily limit you to the neighborhood school. The Twin Cities offers open enrollment across school districts, magnet schools within school districts, public charter schools, and a plethora of private and parochial school from which to choose.
It’s important to remember when evaluating schools to not just focus on the larger district, but the individual school. For example to compare Edina Public School district to the city of Saint Paul district, there would be an enormous discrepancy in test scores. However, when you break it down school by school you will see that some Saint Paul schools test just as well.
Of course, test scores are just one tool to compare schools to one another. Visiting a school and talking to other parents are critical components of the process. However, you cannot possibly visit every school in the metro area.
In the mean time, here are links to area school districts.
Minnesota School Report Card (http://rc.education.state.mn.us/#)
School district map (http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/maps/SchoolDistricts/)
School district ratings (http://www.greatschools.org/schools/districts/Minnesota/MN/)
School District Finder (http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/schooldistricts/)
Minnesota Public Schools Data (http://extra.twincities.com/CAR/schools/schools.asp)