Arizona has impressive graduation rates in certain districts and it’s possible to find schools with above average test scores.
Chandler Unified District 80 is the top Arizona school district centered on Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, serving around 42,000 students through thirty elementary schools, six middle schools, and seven high schools.
Although the teacher-student ratio of 20:1 is slightly below the national average of 17:1, the district performs well academically with 56% proficiency for reading, 57% for math, and an impressive graduation rate of 94%.
Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix is Arizona’s second highest performing district. It’s large, with thirty elementary, eighteen middle, and seven high schools with 34,153 students total.
Despite its size the district provides a good environment for students, with college prep considered its strongest feature, closely followed by the sports scene. Academics here are acceptable, with reading proficiency at 54% and math slightly trailing at 51%.
Further out from Phoenix, the suburban Gilbert Unified School District ranks third in Arizona. Another large district, Gilbert contains twenty-seven elementary, eight middle, and seven high schools.
Nationally, the district is considered above average, with proficiency for reading and math both at 53%, but a graduation rate of 93%. The district is also recognized for its excellent college prep, health and safety, teachers, administration, and sports.
Top School Districts in Arizona, 2019
Rank School District County City State
1 Chandler Unified District #80 Maricopa County Chandler Arizona
2 Deer Valley Unified District Maricopa County Phoenix Arizona
3 Gilbert Unified District Maricopa County Gilbert Arizona
4 Scottsdale Unified District Maricopa County Scottsdale Arizona
5 Catalina Foothills Unified District Pima County Tucson Arizona
6 Mesa Unified District Maricopa County Mesa Arizona
7 Vail Unified School District Pima County Vail Arizona
8 Peoria Unified School District Maricopa County Peoria Arizona
9 Higley Unified School District Maricopa County Gilbert Arizona
10 Paradise Valley Unified District Maricopa County Phoenix Arizona
11 Cave Creek Unified District Maricopa County Cave Creek Arizona
12 Queen Creek Unified District Maricopa County Queen Creek Arizona
13 Tucson Unified District Pima County Tucson Arizona
14 Dysart Unified District Maricopa County Surprise Arizona
15 Tanque Verde Unified District Pima County Tucson Arizona
16 Tempe Union High School District Maricopa County Tempe Arizona
17 Glendale Union High School District Maricopa County Glendale Arizona
18 Peach Springs Unified District Mohave County Peach Springs Arizona
19 Palominas Elementary District Cochise County Hereford Arizona
20 St Johns Unified District Apache County St. Johns Arizona
21 Fountain Hills Unified District Maricopa County Fountain Hills Arizona
22 Snowflake Unified District Navajo County Snowflake Arizona
23 Sierra Vista Unified District Cochise County Sierra Vista Arizona
24 Thatcher Unified District Graham County Thatcher Arizona
25 Amphitheater Unified District Pima County Tucson Arizona
The following contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, teacher quality, school funding, student to teacher ratio, standardized test results (reading and math; the percentage of students scoring at or above state proficiency level). Data from a total of 10,728 school districts had sufficient values for the variables above.