Dallas Has 2 of 3 Best High Schools, But Can We Trust the U.S. News & World Report Rankings?

So, once again, Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted and Science and Engineering Magnet are ranked among the top high schools in the country by the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings.  Other North Texas schools that cracked the top 100 on the list, which was released today, were Westlake Academy in Westlake, Peak Preparatory School in Dallas, and Highland Park High School.

You can read their whole methodology, but basically they looked how each school’s students performed relative to state averages on standardized tests, then how well the school’s “least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low-income)” performed relative to their peers. Finally they considered “college readiness,” as defined by Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation and scores.

But are we to believe in the magazine’s rankings at all, when it turns out they don’t even know how to count the number of schools in a district? As Claire St. Amant of People Newspapers points out:

According to the report, “Highland Park High School is 1 of 2 high schools in the Highland Park School District.” Boy, is our face going to be red at Park Cities People, if we’ve been neglecting an entire campus for 30 years.


  • Bill

    Honestly, I would like to know colleges’ general views of these rankings. How important are they in admissions? Are they so important that I need to fight tooth and nail to get my kids into a higher-ranking district?