In Dallas, school quality is a huge factor in homebuying decisions, especially for parents. Though many suburban districts rank extremely well, many schools within the city limits are also top performers. For concerned parents, the availability of excellent schools can make or break the decision of where to live.
Here, we take a look at the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of top schools, as well as GreatSchools data, to bring you a list of some of the best schools in Dallas and the neighborhoods they’re in. There’s a good balance of top-rated schools both within city limits and in the suburbs.
Science and Engineering Magnet School, aka SEM, is easily accessible from the Bishop Arts District, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Dallas. SEM is the top-rated school in all of Texas and ranks No. 12 nationally.
Along with the Science and Engineering Magnet School, several other top-ranked specialized schools are located at the same address. These other schools include The School for the Gifted and Talented, the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, and the School of Health Professions. Students at all these schools achieve above-average test scores and demonstrate college readiness.
Another nationally ranked magnet school, this Downtown Dallas institution is surrounded by all the cultural treasures of the city’s Arts District. The Booker T. Washington school is also accessible by DART public transit, which makes commuting easier for families who may not be able to drive their kids to school.
This is an excellent school for young women, ranked No. 6 among Texas high schools and No. 63 nationwide. Located in the Fair Park neighborhood, the school is easily accessible from both Downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum and nearby housing is affordable. This school is especially focused on preparing young women for careers in STEM fields.
This is a magnet school for young men, which GreatSchools gives scores of perfect 10 for college readiness, advanced education, and equity. Located near the affordable Oak Cliff neighborhood, the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy is a solid choice for high-achieving students.
The Park Cities have a long-standing reputation as one of Dallas’ most affluent and sophisticated neighborhoods. Park Cities, which encompasses University Park and Highland Park, is home to Southern Methodist University as well as notable residents like President George W. Bush.
Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the well-funded public schools here are also excellent. According to GreatSchools, Highland Park High School has a stellar 9/10 rating. The above-average student performance is bolstered by heavy parent involvement in their children’s education.
Moving outside Dallas proper, The Early College High School, located in the inner-ring suburb of Farmers Branch, earns a solid score of 9/10 rating from GreatSchools.
As part of a partnership with the Dallas County Community College District, the Early College program allows high school students to earn their associate’s degree while attending high school. Several high schools throughout Dallas participate in this program, including one affiliated with Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch.
There are a lot of great things happening with education in McKinney. This popular suburb in Collin County has highly reputed public schools with a lot of parental involvement and high student achievement. The Imagine International Academy of North Texas ranks No. 11 in Texas. Unlike many other schools on this list, the Imagine International Academy of North Texas welcomes students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Irving is a convenient older suburb with easy access to jobs in Dallas. Even though housing prices tend to be more affordable in Irving compared to other suburbs, some people are concerned that many schools in the area are not highly rated. But the Uplift Education-North Hills Prep High School stands out as a clear choice for driven students who want to be prepared for academic success and future collegiate study.
Artistically talented students will thrive at this school, which ranks at No. 18 in the state.
Grand Prairie is an affordable, older suburb in far west Dallas County. The location is convenient to Downtown Dallas, Arlington, and Downtown Fort Worth, which makes the suburb quite appealing. However, some schools in the Grand Prairie ISD are not highly ranked. But both the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy and another school, the Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute, provide a high caliber of education that may encourage you to take a second look at this convenient suburb.