Best School Districts in Dallas Area

Student taking testAll schools operated by only three Dallas Fort Worth school districts, Highland Park ISD, Carroll ISD, and Lovejoy ISD, attained 2013 Student Achievement Index scores of greater than 90. These three school districts also had the highest school district Student Achievement Index scores, and therefore top this ranking of the best school districts in the DFW metroplex for 2013.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) refers to the percentage of total State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) student assessments for all subjects that met or exceeded TEA achievement standards as the Student Achievement Index, both a metric and concept used in performing this analysis and elsewhere on this website.

2013 Top 10 Dallas Fort Worth public school districts

Student Achievement Index number of campuses rated
1 Highland Park Independent School District 97.1 7
2 Carroll Independent School District 97.0 11
3 Lovejoy Independent School District 96.6 5
4 Frisco Independent School District 94.2 52
5 Allen Independent School District 93.0 21
6 Prosper Independent School District 92.8 7
7 Argyle Independent School District 92.3 4
8 Coppell Independent School District 91.6 14
9 Sunnyvale Independent School District 90.9 3
10 Plano Independent School District 89.6 62

Additional district ranking and campus Student Achievement Index information for public school districts located in the DFW metroplex is presented below on this page.

School districts serving the northwest Dallas suburbs

Many of school districts in the DFW metroplex have campuses in more than one city or town. The Lewisville ISD, for example, serves not only the seven northwest Dallas suburbs listed in the table below, but also Lewisville, Carrollton, and The Colony. A question I hear frequently is how to do the schools that serve the northwest Dallas suburbs compare to other schools in the metroplex. As is shown below and discussed further on this Northwest Dallas Public Schools page, if the following school districts had campuses only in the northwest Dallas suburbs listed, most would rank among the best school districts in the DFW metroplex.

Student Achievement Index northwest Dallas suburbs served
2 Carroll Independent School District 97.0 Southlake, Grapevine, Westlake
4 Frisco Independent School District 93.8 southwest Frisco, west Plano
8 Argyle Independent School District 92.3 Argyle, Bartonville, Flower Mound
9 Lewisville Independent School District 92.1 Flower Mound, Highland Village, Coppell, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, southwest Frisco, west Plano
10 Keller Independent School District 91.6 Keller, Southlake, Westlake
11 Coppell Independent School District 91.6 Coppell
12 Plano Independent School District 91.4 west Plano, southwest Frisco
14 Northwest Independent School District 90.4 Trophy Club, Southlake, Flower Mound, Keller
15 Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District 89.1 Colleyville, Grapevine

Further evidence of the high quality of schools in the northwest Dallas suburbs profiled on this website is that ten of the top 20 public high schools in the DFW metroplex are located in this area, as shown on this 2013 Best Dallas Fort Worth public high schools page.

As might be expected, many of DFW's best known private schools have chosen over the years to locate their campuses in the north Dallas area. While there are private schools located in the northwest Dallas suburbs, they are not nearly as numerous as in north Dallas. These private schools are not evaluated or rated by the TEA.

School districts serving the DFW metroplex

This table shows district and campus Student Achievement Index for 53 independent school districts that operate public schools attended by students living in the greater Dallas Fort Worth area. Also shown are how many of the district's campuses had Student Achievement Index higher than 90, between 80 and 89, and so on.

All of the DFW school districts listed below, except one, received a Met Standard TEA accountability rating for 2013. Duncanville ISD received an Improvement Required rating.

Student Achievement Index                    number of campuses                   
  90+   80 - 89 70 - 79 60 - 69   59-  
Allen ISD 93.0 19 2
Anna ISD 80.4 2 2
Argyle ISD 92.3 3 1
Arlington ISD 75.3 2 19 20 20 7
Azle ISD 79.0 1 6 3
Birdville ISD 80.8 4 11 14 1 1
Burleson ISD 84.1 1 10 2 1
Carroll ISD 97.0 11
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD 80.1 4 16 9 6
Castleberry ISD 72.7 4 1
Cedar Hill ISD 73.4 1 1 7 4
Celina ISD 88.2 1 2
Coppell ISD 91.6 11 2 1
Crowley ISD 69.1 12 6 3
Dallas ISD 69.1 24 18 60 78 43
Denton ISD 81.5 7 10 12 1
DeSoto ISD 66.3 3 9
Duncanville ISD 70.1 1 5 7 3
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD 80.2 10 9 3
Everman ISD 70.9 1 4 2 2
Fort Worth ISD 67.6 5 15 25 40 37
Frisco ISD 94.2 46 6
Garland ISD 79.8 8 28 24 6
Godley ISD 78.5 1 3
Grand Prairie ISD 73.7 1 9 10 13 2
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD 89.1 9 6 1 1
Highland Park ISD 97.1 7
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD 87.6 4 19 3
Irving ISD 67.0 6 20 7
Joshua ISD 82.3 1 4 3
Keller ISD 88.3 13 7 4 3
Kennedale ISD 80.7 5
Lake Dallas ISD 84.0 5
Lake Worth ISD 67.2 2 3 1
Lancaster ISD 66.7 3 4 3
Lewisville ISD 88.0 21 23 11 5 3
Little Elm ISD 77.7 1 5 2
Lovejoy ISD 96.6 5
Mansfield ISD 83.5 6 24 9 1
McKinney ISD 88.2 11 12 3 2
Melisa ISD 84.7 1 3
Mesquite ISD 77.3 10 32 3
Northwest ISD 87.2 7 15 2
Plano ISD 89.6 37 16 9
Prosper ISD 92.8 5 2
Red Oak ISD 79.8 5 1 1
Richardson ISD 83.1 11 23 14 4 1
Rockwall ISD 88.2 7 6 4
Springtown ISD 71.9 4 2
Sunnyvale ISD 90.9 2 1
White Settlement ISD 76.6 1 6 1
Wylie ISD 87.7 4 11 3
Methodology

Texas Education Agency (TEA) 2013 district Student Achievement Indexes were used to compile this comparison of student performance in Dallas area school districts. While using a single factor to evaluate the school districts might be considered a somewhat simplistic approach, the STAAR tests on which these indexes are based are applied in a consistent manner in all public schools in the state of Texas. It also likely provides better results than the methodology which was previously based on TEA district and campus accountability ratings, and it is easier to understand.

Relying on Student Achievement Indexes as the key metric for comparing student performance at district and campus levels is a major change from the previous emphasis on TEA accountability ratings. After seeing how meaningless, and probably misleading, the current TEA performance rating system is for comparing the current academic performance of students attending schools in one district versus another, or of students attending one school versus another, it actually was a very logical change.

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