US Department of Education

Published: Published: September 29th, 2017

Five Arizona Schools Being Honored as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools

(Phoenix, Ariz., September 29, 2017) — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced today which Arizona schools are being honored as a National Blue Ribbon School. “I am proud of our Arizona schools and am glad there is an award to honor their hard work and dedication to the students and the community. These schools are putting the children first by creating safe and welcoming places where they can learn and be challenged.”

In Arizona, five schools made the grade by meeting the U.S. Department of Education’s accountability requirements:

  • Acacia Elementary School – Vail, Arizona
  • 5 School Logos including US Department of Education logo

  • Arizona College Preparatory – Oakland Campus Chandler, Arizona
  • Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School – Mesa, Arizona
  • Palm Valley Elementary School – Goodyear, Arizona
  • Seton Catholic Preparatory High School – Chandler, Arizona
  • The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 342 schools nationwide as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders.”

    These schools are being recognized for their performance in two categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.
  • Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition to more than 8,500 schools. On November 6-7, these schools will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Secretary and the Department of Education.

    Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year, but only the top schools make the grade to be honored as a National Blue Ribbon School. For more information about this national award, please visit or the national website.


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    Published: Published: September 7th, 2017

    Arizona’s ESSA State Plan Approved by the US Department of Education

    Arizona ESSA Plan Approved

    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced the approval of Arizona’s consolidated state plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).

    “I am extremely proud of the hundreds of hours of work put into developing this plan by my staff here at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), and I am most thankful for the thousands of comments we have received from parents, teachers, administrators, stakeholder groups, community members and elected officials that truly helped make this a plan for all of Arizona,” Superintendent Douglas said. “This is a plan made by Arizona – for Arizona – that would be ideal with or without ESSA.”

    The USDOE highlighted several aspects of Arizona’s state plan, including the ability of elementary and middle schools to earn additional points in its accountability system for accelerating student achievement. Arizona was also recognized for allowing high schools to earn additional points in its accountability system for preparing students to be college and career ready, including students performing well in Career Technical Education (CTE) courses, passing college-level courses, earning an industry credential and/or completing a work-based learning internship.

    “After reviewing Arizona’s plan and ensuring it complies with the law, I am pleased to approve it,” said USDOE Secretary Betsy DeVos. “I commend Governor (Doug) Ducey, Superintendent Douglas and the many stakeholders in Arizona who helped craft a plan to improve education for the students of the Grand Canyon State.”

    ESSA was passed into law by Congress in December 2015, replacing No Child Left Behind as the primary federal legislation addressing America’s public education system. Taking effect in the 2017-18 school year, $1 billion of federal aid to Arizona would be at risk without compliance.

    To learn more about ADE’s state plan, please visit

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