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Washington, D.C.  – Five schools within the Pulaski County Special School District have been ranked among the 2024 Best Elementary, Middle, and High School rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings include more than 79,000 public elementary and middle schools and 25,00 high schools across the country. Schools are ranked at the state and district level, with Best Charter Schools and Best Magnet Schools ranked as stand-alone categories.

  • Baker Elementary - Ranked #1 in Arkansas for Elementary Schools
  • Chenal Elementary - Ranked #14 in Arkansas for Elementary Schools
  • Cato Elementary - Ranked #119 in Arkansas for Elementary Schools
  • Joe T. Robinson Middle - Ranked #42 in Arkansas for Middle Schools
  • Joe T. Robinson High - Ranked #94 in Arkansas for High Schools

“We couldn’t be more proud of the leaders and professional staff at each of the five buildings as they are nationally recognized for supporting our students,” said Dr. Charles McNulty, superintendent of PCSSD. “ What’s even more exciting is that we, as a district, build capacity across all of our K-12 schools with a student-centered approach. Therefore, we believe this is just a tip of the iceberg of great things to come for our students and their families.” 

The methodology focuses on state assessments of students who were proficient or above proficient in mathematics and reading/language arts while accounting for student backgrounds, achievement in core subjects, and how well schools are educating their students. Student-teacher ratios are applied to break ties in the overall score.

The 2024 Best Elementary, Best Middle Schools, and Best High School rankings are based on publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Education. For district-level rankings, at least two of the top performing schools must rank in the top 75% of the overall elementary, middle or high school rankings to qualify for district-level recognition.

“The 2024 Best rankings offer a way for parents to get a snapshot of their child’s school and how well it is doing compared with other schools in their community," said LaMont Jones, managing editor for education at U.S. News. “In addition, U.S. News provides easily accessible data on student-teacher ratios, district spending, and the number of counselors a school makes available to its students.”

Parents, educators and students can see how our five schools compare to other institutions and how the rankings are calculated on 


Pulaski County Special School District spans more than 600 square miles in central Arkansas and requires highly skilled and passionate personnel to adapt educational policies and personalization to 26 schools. Every school is accredited by the Arkansas State Board of Education. PCSSD has served schools across Pulaski County since July 1927. PCSSD is committed to creating a nationally recognized school district that assures that all students achieve at their maximum potential through collaborative, supportive and continuous efforts of all stakeholders.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.