Five Arizona schools among the best in the nation, U.S. officials say

The U.S. Department of Education has named five Arizona schools as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools, among the best in the country.

The yearly honor announced Thursday is given to schools around the country based on their “overall academic excellence” or their “progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” the U.S. Department of Education website says.

The Arizona schools honored this year are:

Gilbert, Knox and Mesa were recognized for being high performing schools, while Franklin and Vista closed achievement gaps, according to an Arizona Department of Education news release.

“These schools are an example for all others to follow. By putting the children first, these schools are now able to receive national recognition and take a well-deserved bow for their commitment to excellence,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, in the news release.

The Department of Education honored 349 U.S. schools with the program this year. It has recognized more than 8,800 schools in the program’s 36-year run.

The Blue Ribbon program looks at public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools, including traditional, charter, magnet schools, parochial and independent schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

What: Azcentral and HuffPost are hosting a free community event to talk about education.

When: “The Academics And Economics Of School Choice: A Parent-Led Discussion” will be held Oct. 18 at the Tempe Center for the Arts Lakeside Room. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the forum begins at 7 p.m.

Cost: The event is free. To RSVP or for more information, click here or go to 


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