Four district schools ranked in top 24 urban schools in country

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The National Center for Urban School Transformation has named four Dallas ISD schools as ranking among the highest performing 24 urban schools in the country.

Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School, John Q. Adams Elementary School, Walnut Hill Elementary School, and John J. Pershing Elementary School are recipients of the 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award. The schools will be formally recognized at the Excellence in Urban Education National Symposium being held May 21–22 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas.

Dr. Lynne Perez, associate director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST), said NCUST started its award program in 2005–06 as a way to identify and learn more about what high-performing schools are doing to get almost all students to highly achieve. In determining which urban schools are the highest achieving, NCUST examines student achievement within every group of students at the school.

“We only consider schools as being successful if they get almost every child to high levels of achievement,” Perez said. “We recognize those successful schools with this award.”

Brashear Elementary Principal Jacquelyn Burden said the NCUST award is a confirmation to the hard work being done at the school. She credited a culture of high expectations, collaboration among teachers, and help from support staff as significant factors in Brashear Elementary being a high performing urban school.

“There is a lot of humble pride at this school, we work to go above and beyond,” Burden said. “Our goal is to be a premiere urban school.”

Superintendent Mike Miles said the four Dallas ISD schools receiving the NCUST award shows that the district’s transformative efforts—including the Destination 2020 plan that aims to raise student achievement for all students—is making headway.

“We are excited, but not surprised, to learn these schools are considered among the top urban schools in the country,” Miles said. “This recognition affirms that the hard work being done at those schools, and across the district, continues to pay off for our students.”

In addition to formally recognizing the 24 highest performing urban schools in the country, the NCUST symposium in May will feature speeches and breakout sessions led by principals and educators from top performing schools. Perez said she always hears very positive feedback from those who attend the symposium.

“Some educators have a hard time believing that (such high achievement) is being done in a school just like theirs,” she said. “Every year we hear from people who attend the symposium say that it’s the best professional development they’ve ever had.”

To learn more about the NCUST award, including the criteria that goes into determining the award winners, click here.

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