Hi ULLR... what a great question.
EVERYONE has an opinion about different resorts and their ski schools and it's generally based upon their personal experiences. I *think* magazine articles use statistical criteria such as % of professionally certified ski instructors, # of patrons each year (etc) to evaluate the ski schools. So, of course, larger resorts will rank higher.
As an industry, we see approximately 85% of all ski lessons fall into the category of never-ever or beginner skiers. ALL ski areas are used to working with folks who are learning to ski. You don't need a LOT of terrain. Meanwhile, weekdays are less crowded than weekends and you have already missed the "school vacation" weeks here!!
What else is important to you? If this is a family vacation - what else do you plan to be doing? Do you want to rent a condo and go to the grocery store and prepare your own meals? Do you want to be "slopeside" or in a "resort" environment? What other activities are you looking for? ice-skating? sledding/snow-tubing? swimming? sleighrides? snow-shoeing? cross-country (nordic) skiing? etc. Do you want to fly north or drive? Do you want to be close to other attractions? shopping? a city?
I think by answering these types of questions you will be able to come up with a very specific type of experience/environment that you are looking for - which should make sourcing the right resort much easier!
Meanwhile - I will include my 2 cents:
Waterville Valley, NH and Smuggler's Notch, VT are very well-known and reputed for being "family" mountains and great places to learn to ski.www.waterville.com/winterwww.smuggs.com
Waterville Valley is a bit smaller and just 2 hours north of Boston, while Smuggler's Notch has more challenging terrain and is about 3-3.5 hours north of Boston. Both offer a "total" family experience with day and night activities, including babysitting in case mom and dad decide to have a night to themselves.
March is a wonderful month for skiing in the northeast... we tend to get some good snow and it's warmer.
best of luck and let me know if I can provide further information for you!!