Two Dallas ISD schools among nation’s best high schools, earn top 20 in U.S.

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Two Dallas ISD schools are among the 2019 Best High Schools top 20 list according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Science and Engineering (SEM) took the No. 12 spot, nationwide, while the School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) ranked No. 16. Both are housed at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center.

Five Dallas ISD schools rounded out the top 20 schools in Texas: SEM (No.1); TAG (No.2); Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School (No. 6); Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (No. 14); and Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet (No. 17).

Tiffany Huitt, executive director of magnet schools in Dallas ISD and a former SEM principal, shares her perspective on how national prestige continues to follow the schools.

“It speaks to the quality of the programming that we have and offer in Dallas ISD. We’re continuously researching the best way to implement learning initiatives,” said Huitt. “You have a community of people working really hard who want the best for these students, and what you see is the result of that in the rankings every single year.”

She also emphasized while other names may not have made the top list, many schools have transformed their approach and have made strides.

“It’s not just academically, but programmatically, you can look across the rankings and see a number of schools, while they may not be in the top 20, they are improving in their rankings from the year prior,” said Huitt.

The annual report reviews schools by looking at six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. Specifically, college readiness measures participation and performance on AP and IB exams.

This year, U.S News expanded the number of schools surveyed to more than 17,000, nationwide – up from 2,700 schools in 2018. Texas led all states, with three schools in the top 20.

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