Dallas (Still) Has The Best High School In The Country, According To National Rankings | KERA News

Dallas (Still) Has The Best High School In The Country, According To National Rankings

Apr 20, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: High schools in the Southwest dominated this year’s U.S. News rankings; the 10th time could be the charm for a 50-year-old Dallas Cheerleaders hopeful; see the lineup for KXT’s Summer Cut; and more.

For the fifth year in a row, Dallas’ Magnet School for the Talented and Gifted earned the No. 1 spot on the list of Best High Schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

The rankings were determined by “data on more than 21,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments, their graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college.” Here’s the full methodology.


The School for the Talented and Gifted has just 247 students enrolled. The student-to-teacher ratio is 15-to-1, and the graduation rate is 100 percent. Sixty-four percent of the students are minorities, and 23 percent are considered “economically disadvantaged." The school is tuition free, but the admission requirements are academically steep.


U.S. News reported: “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.”

Another Dallas school —School of Science and Engineering — made the list as well, at No. 4, (up one from last year). Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston was No. 10. See the full rankings. [U.S. News & World Report]

  • While some college students gain the “freshman 15,” others don’t have enough food to get by. Campuses around the state are opening free food pantries to serve those hungrier students. The Texas Tribune reported: “In recent years, at least 14 colleges in Texas and hundreds across the country have opened food pantries, according to the College and University Food Bank Alliance. They range from big public schools like Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas to community colleges like Tarrant County College and Amarillo College.” Two main factors created the need for pantries: Tuition costs have risen, and more students from low-income families are attending college. Read more. [The Texas Tribune]


  • A 50-year-old physician is trying out to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader for the 10th time since 1999. Chiufang Hwang has maintained an intense diet and exercise routine in preparation for the tryouts next month. Her health regimen is so pristine, neither her age nor her abilities were questioned last year as a 49-year-old dancing alongside women half her age for the coveted cheerleading spot, she told The Dallas Morning News. How and why did she get into such a routine?

“Growing up in a Taiwanese family, my mother fed me a huge bowl of white rice every day for lunch and dinner. Even in my college years, she would not let me eat dinner on campus. She would bring a Corningware bowl of Chinese white rice drizzled with pork grease and a few beef tips for my dinner every night, and I’d sit in the passenger seat of her car and eat it. I got into nutrition to try to undo many unhealthy eating habits from my culture and add fitness, which was not part of my family’s concept.”

Watch Hwang train alongside teenage dancers. [The Dallas Morning News]

  • Rocker Jack White and former Texas Ranger Ian Kinsler have joined Dallas-based sporting goods company, Warstic. White, who was drawn to the company through his “love of design” and Kinsler, second baseman for the Detroit Tiger, are now co-investors and co-partners with Warstic’s founder Ben Jenkins. Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “According to the statement, Warstic — which makes American ash, maple and birch wood and metal baseball bats — furnished Kinsler with his black on black maple Warstic for his first Major League Baseball game of the season, where he hit the first pro base hit and the first home run recorded with a Warstic bat.” Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]