Dallas ISD's TAG Magnet is Still the Best High School in the Country, Says U.S. News

A week ago, the Washington Post came out with its annual list of the country's best public schools. This week, it's U.S. News' turn.

The two lists take a fundamentally different approach to evaluating schools. The Post takes into account only the number of AP, IB and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests taken by students, paying no heed to results. U.S. News' algorithm is tougher to decipher, but it says it weighs student performance on both state exit exams and AP and IB tests.

It's no surprise, then, that the end products differ. The Post's No. 1, for example, is the American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, which comes in at a solid but unspectacular No. 38 for U.S. News. In both cases, however, DISD's magnets do very, very well.

For the second year in a row, the TAG Magnet at Townview tops the U.S. News list (though in a minor oversight by the publication it is not listed as a magnet school). It's given only a passing nod in education reporter Kelsey Sheehy's overview of the list, but it does at least get a blurb in the list itself:

The School for the Talented and Gifted follows the state's Distinguished Achievement Program, and places an emphasis on Advanced Placement curriculum--a minimum of 11 AP courses are required for graduation. Students at the School for the Talented and Gifted may conduct field research via partnerships with local universities, take electives such as Web mastery, and enroll in mini-courses like ballroom dancing or glass blowing during interim terms.

The U.S. News list isn't as top-heavy with DISD schools as the Post's, but the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School (14) and School of Science and Engineering (24) both make the top 25.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson