Queen Creek, Higley, Chandler districts among top in the state; Gilbert schools rank high - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

School rankings Queen Creek, Higley, Chandler districts among top in the state; Gilbert schools rank high

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 9:56 pm | Updated: 9:55 am, Mon Aug 5, 2013.

Want to find some of the top schools in Arizona?

According to the Arizona Department of Education’s school rankings released Thursday morning, a lot of them are located in the East Valley.

The Arizona Department of Education released school grades this week based on results of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test taken by students last spring.

Schools received points based on test scores, how many students they reclassify from English Language Learning, dropout rates, graduation rates and how much students improve each year or growth points.

Based on those points, two schools in the Gilbert Unified School District are among the top 10 in the state. Gilbert Classical Academy, which offers a Socratic-based teaching method for students in grades five through 12, is ranked No. 2 in the state. The school is open to any students who turn in an open enrollment application and does not require an entrance test.

Neely Traditional Academy in Gilbert offers a back-to-basics curriculum with a focus on whole-group instruction. It’s also open to students based on open enrollment and, like Gilbert Classical Academy, has a long waiting list.

The No. 1 school in the state based on points is again University High School in the Tolleson Union High School District. Unlike Gilbert Classical Academy and Neely, University High requires an admissions tests for enrollment.

East Valley charter schools also performed well. ASU Preparatory Academy-Polytechnic High School, a Mesa charter school with ties to Arizona State University, is right behind Gilbert Classical Academy at No. 3.

Self Development Charter School in Mesa, Tempe Prep Academy, and Pathfinder Academy, a Mesa charter school, are in the top 10.

Chandler’s Hamilton High School, the largest school in the state, is also one of the top 10 point getters.

Several East Valley school districts earned A rankings, including Queen Creek Unified School District, Higley Unified School District, Chandler Unified School District, Gilbert Unified School District, Tempe Union High School District and Kyrene Elementary School District.

In fact, among the top 15 school districts in the state are Queen Creek, Higley and Chandler unified school districts. They are also much larger than some of the other districts in that top tier - including Apache Elementary District, Alpine Elementary School District, and Owens-Whitney Elementary School District which each only have one school.

Mesa Unified School District, Tempe Elementary School District and J.O. Combs earned Bs. Apache Junction Unified School District earned a C.

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