education

New Rankings Reveal Which North Texas Schools are ‘Pandemic-Proof'

Statewide nonprofit Children at Risk has release the 2020 School Rankings: Pandemic Edition due to the limited amount of academic data available

children at risk
NBC 5

Children at Risk has released their 2020 School Rankings with a few changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the past 14 years, Children at Risk has ranked public schools in Texas to help parents, educators, and community members understand how local schools are performing. 

This year, the statewide nonprofit has released the 2020 School Rankings: Pandemic Edition due to the limited amount of academic data available.

According to Children at Risk, this analysis will be very different from previous iterations.

The top schools of North Texas will be revealed and honored at a virtual press conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m., during which the consistently top-performing elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as Gold Ribbon and Pace Setter schools will be released.

NBC 5's media partner, the Dallas Morning News, has published the complete results of the study.  

The 2020 school year analysis covers 1,740 public schools in North Texas - 1,126 elementary, 395 middle, and 219 high schools.

This year, schools are measured by the 2020 high school graduation rates, the three-year average, an equity score, and whether they are pandemic-proof or pace setters.

Children at Risk said the high school graduation rates are the only traditional piece of the rankings that will be updated with new data from the 2019-2020 school year.

The three-year average is weighted by minority student performance from the 2017-2019 School Rankings to provide context on consistency and growth over that time relative to campus demographics, Children at Risk said.

According to Children at Risk, the equity score is a new district analysis using three-year average data that takes an in-depth look at district performance relative to race and ethnicity.

Schools deemed to be "Pandemic-Proof" are those in which 75% or more of the school's students are classified as low-income, and have received consistent A's or B's. This metric includes magnet and charter schools, unlike Gold Ribbon Schools which are exclusive to public schools.

"Pace Setter" schools are Gold Ribbon eligible schools, meaning that 75% or more of a campus' students are classified as low-income and are not classified as charter or magnet programs. These pace setter schools have shown significant improvements from prior years and are on track to becoming Gold Ribbon schools in the future, Children at Risk said.

According to the Dallas Morning News, in North Texas, Dallas ISD’s Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School was ranked No. 1 on Children at Risk's “racial equity index," and it also came in as the top-ranked high school in the state.

Other Dallas ISD magnets, including the School of Business and Management and Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, were ranked as leaders in racial equity, the Dallas Morning News said.

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