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New School Rankings from Children at Risk Are a Mixed Bag for Dallas

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Five of the 10 best high schools in North Texas are in Dallas ISD, Children at Risk, a Houston-based nonprofit says. So are five of the 10 worst. Three of the 10 best middle schools in North Texas are in Dallas ISD. So are seven of the 10 worst. The Children at Risk rankings for elementary schools are less kind to Dallas ISD, no schools made the 10 best and three were among the 10 worst.

The Children at Risk rankings are based on three factors for elementary and middle schools — student achievement, campus performance and growth. The high school rankings add a fourth factor, college readiness. Basically, the rankings are grounded in schools' performances on STAAR exams, then adjusted for demographic factors and recent improvements.

Unsurprisingly, Townview Magnet Center's Science and Engineering and Talented and Gifted Magnets were scored as the top two North Texas high schools. About two weeks ago, the two schools were named two of the five most challenging schools in the country by The Washington Post. Erma Rangel Leadership Academy, which finished 15th in the Post survey, rounds out an all-Dallas ISD top three as decided by Children at Risk.

William B. Travis (2) and George Bannerman Dealey (7) were Dallas ISD's highest ranked middle schools while to get to the district's highest ranked elementary school, you have to scroll all the way down to Lakewood Elementary School at 34.

See also: Nutall Probe Will Include Abuse of DISD Staff

Billy Earl Dade, a middle school squarely in the, ahem, middle of the current controversy surrounding embattled Superintendent Mike Miles, was given a F by Children at Risk, which declared it the eighth worst middle school in North Texas. It was announced April 30 that Dade would soon get its fifth principal in four years — this after getting its most recent new principal in October. The October leadership change saw Miles replace the school's administration and 10 teachers on a Friday and Dallas ISD trustee Bernadette Nutall removed from Dade's campus at Miles' request at an emergency staff meeting on the following Monday.

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