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Education

Dallas' MLK Learning Center Named One Of The Fastest Improving Schools In North Texas

picture of computer screen showing five faces of talkers participating in Zoom call
Bill Zeeble
/
KERA News
North Texas education leaders talking about their high scoring campuses during a zoom press conference sponsored by Children At Risk. Bob Sanborn (upper right), moderates the discussion.

Every year, Children At Risk rates the state's public schools, based partly on standardized test scores. The pandemic temporarily put those tests on hold, so this year's pandemic edition of campus rankings looks at the past three years.

Martin Luther King Jr. Learning Center ranks among the fastest improving schools in North Texas, according to ratings out today from the education nonprofit Children at Risk.

The Dallas school is the top-ranked pacesetter elementary in North Texas, according to the ratings. That means the school’s neither a charter nor magnet.

Most kids who attend come from low-income families, which can be a barrier to a good education. But these students are doing better than expected, especially when the pandemic forced virtual classrooms, another obstacle to learning.

Principal Romikianta Sneed said they strived to meet the needs of the students.

“In April and May,” Sneed said, “we had our scholars come in, so if you did not have internet access, it was like come on to school. We made sure we did everything as far as socially distances, with our scholars, but they were able to come to campus. So yes, our schools were closed but we never once closed our campus. I really believe this made a huge difference.”

photo of woman's head in front of giant letters MLK, taken from a computer Zoom meeting.
Bill Zeeble
Romikianta Sneed is principal at Dallas ISD's MLK, Jr., Learning Center, a rapidly improving Arts campus

Children at Risk rated nearly 2,000 schools across North Texas in its best schools list, which it calls the pandemic edition because state tests were interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown.