Best Dallas High Schools
The 2020 best Dallas public high school rankings on this page identify traditional open enrollment, selective enrollment and charter high schools in the Dallas area that currently are having the greatest broad-based teaching success and are at the same time best preparing their students for post secondary education experiences.
About 75 percent of the 307 high schools included in this best public high schools in Dallas ranking are traditional open enrollment schools operated by local school districts. The remaining schools are pretty evenly split between selective enrollment schools, also by operated by local school districts, and charter schools operated by non-profit corporations, higher education institutions and governmental entities. Lists of the top ranked schools of each type are displayed by clicking on these 2020 top DFW open enrollment high schools, 2020 top DFW selective enrollment high schools and 2020 top DFW charter high schools jump links. The high schools identified in these lists also are among the top ranked high schools in the state of Texas.
Each of the Dallas area high schools included in this ranking analysis was evaluated using three metrics: students' performance on the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) evaluations administered by the Texas Education Commission, participation in and successful completion of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and percentage of students taking the SAT and ACT college admission tests and their performance on those tests. Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings were not considered in this analysis since these ratings also take into account factors that generally have no meaningful linkage to the learning success of individual students, such as student demographics and changes in student performance on the STAAR evaluations from one year to the next.
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Most Texas high schools offer a four-year curriculum at a single campus, but some school districts have chosen to operate separate campuses for ninth grade students or for ninth and tenth grade students. In this analysis, the performance metrics for Texas high schools that are a part of these multiple campus arrangements are combined and the schools are evaluated in the same manner as the four-year, single-campus high schools. Other independent school districts and some charter districts operate schools that teach more than four grades. The STAAR assessment student performance metric used in this best Texas high schools ranking is for all grade levels taught at those schools.
Unlike some other published rankings, this analysis examined only the most current credible student performance data available and no consideration was given to subjective factors such as anonymous self-selected reviews and statistically invalid online opinion surveys. Additional information about how the performance of these DFW public high schools was evaluated and ranked in this analysis, how overall academic performance was graded, and the 2020 rankings for all 307 high schools included in this study are available by clicking on this complete DFW public high schools rankings link.
Open enrollment high schools
Open enrollment high schools are single campus and multiple campus traditional public high schools operated by independent school districts at which the only requirement for admittance is residency in the district and school attendance area.
Highland Park High School, Carroll Senior High School / Carroll High School and Lovejoy High School all retained their same top-3 places from the previous two annual rankings. Joining them this year as top five DFW best traditional open enrollment high schools are Reedy High School, previously ranked forty-second (due to lack of college readiness indicators) and Wakeland High School, previously ranked seventh. Liberty High School dropped from fourth to seventh place. and Plano West Senior High School / Jasper High School / Shepton High School fell from the fifth to ninth position The twenty highest ranking Dallas high schools listed below earned recognition 2020 top 50 Texas open enrollment high schools with Highland Park High School, Carroll Senior High School / Carroll High School and Lovejoy High School capturing the first, third and fourth spots in the state-wide ranking.
2020 top Dallas open enrollment high schools
Selective enrollment high schools
In addition to their traditional open enrollment schools, a number of Texas school districts also operate selective enrollment schools. Selective enrollment schools provide career-oriented or specialized curriculum in addition to academic subjects, and admittance typically is based on students' previous academic performance and interests demonstrated in student interviews, auditions, essays, and other similar faculty assessments. As would be expected, since admission to selective enrollment schools generally is highly selective and limited, the average standardized test results of the selective enrollment schools generally are much higher than results attained by the open enrollment schools that their students otherwise would attend.
School for the Talented and Gifted, School of Science and Engineering and Rangel Young Women's Leadership School again for the second year straight hold the top three positions from the previous year rankings in this 2020 best Dallas selective enrollment high school ranking. School for the Talented and Gifted and School of Science and Engineering also were again recognized as the top ranked selective enrollment schools in Texas.
2020 top Dallas selective enrollment high schools
|% students met criteria|
|AP / IB||SAT||ACT|
|1||School for the Talented and Gifted||Dallas ISD||359||100.0||A||99||98.5%||98.5%||100.0%|
|2||School of Science and Engineering||Dallas ISD||497||95.4||A||98||99.0%||98.6%||95.6%|
|3||Rangel Young Women's Leadership School||Dallas ISD||549||91.6||A||98||90.8%||93.9%||83.1%|
|4||Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts||Dallas ISD||999||73.7||A||95||70.0%||74.9%||56.3%|
|5||Lassiter Early College High School||Dallas ISD||245||73.5||A||96||50.9%||82.7%||50.9%|
|6||Sanders Law Magnet||Dallas ISD||409||71.7||A||96||53.3%||72.3%||26.7%|
|7||School of Health Professions||Dallas ISD||549||71.0||A||97||38.8%||76.1%||31.7%|
|8||School of Business and Magement||Dallas ISD||505||68.5||A||96||43.3%||75.8%||23.5%|
|9||Garza Early College High School||Dallas ISD||438||67.5||A||96||31.7%||73.3%||21.3%|
|10||Sorrells School of Education and Social Services||Dallas ISD||306||66.2||A||94||54.8%||71.5%||20.2%|
|11||Mansfield Frontier High School||Mansfield ISD||128||66.1||A||97||31.7%||49.5%||23.1%|
|12||Young Women's Leadership Academy||Fort Worth ISD||416||65.4||A||92||86.1%||75.0%||22.2%|
|13||Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy||Grand Prairie ISD||830||63.6||A||94||52.2%||70.1%||16.9%|
|14||Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences||Fort Worth ISD||397||63.5||A||93||48.9%||89.7%||21.2%|
|15||New Tech High School at Coppell||Coppell ISD||319||62.4||A||93||47.6%||55.6%||60.3%|
Charter high schools
Generally speaking, any student can apply for admission to a Texas charter school, though the charter district's charter can specify certain restrictions. A typical example of this would be that a student must reside in a specific town or city in order to apply for admission. In most cases, the school's admissions policy also will describe its lottery process. A charter school must use a lottery process when the number of applications to the school exceeds the number of available spaces.
2020 top Dallas charter high schools
|% students met criteria|
|AP / IB||SAT||ACT|
|1||Uplift North Hills Preparatory High School||Uplift Education||531||83.2||A||95||90.8%||81.7%||85.2%|
|2||Westlake Academy||Westlake Academy Charter School||879||80.5||A||94||96.9%||73.1%||78.5%|
|3||Imagine International Academy of North Texas||Imagine International Academy of North Texas||1,406||75.8||A||93||100.0%||86.0%||53.1%|
|4||Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute||Grand Prairie ISD||310||63.8||A||94||40.0%||90.0%||10.0%|
|5||Richland Collegiate High School||Richland Collegiate High School||592||61.4||A||95||23.9%||74.9%||23.9%|
|6||TCPA Founders Classical Academy||Texas College Preparatory Academies||921||59.2||A||91||51.8%||74.1%||50.0%|
|7||Uplift Summit International High School||Uplift Education||484||56.4||B||85||79.7%||65.6%||41.2%|
|8||Harmony School of Innovation - Fort Worth||Harmony Science Academy||893||56.2||A||90||57.1%||87.8%||21.4%|
|9||Harmony Science Academy - Carrollton||Harmony Science Academy||499||55.3||A||91||50.0%||84.8%||1.4%|
|10||Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts High School||Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts||339||54.7||A||92||32.6%||65.2%||32.6%|
Similar Dallas area elementary schools and middle schools student performance ranked lists are available on these best DFW public elementary schools and best DFW public middle schools pages. Rankings for area school districts are shown on this best DFW school districts page.
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