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Best Dallas High Schools

The 2018 best Dallas public high school rankings on this page identify traditional open enrollment, magnet and charter high schools in the Dallas area that currently are having the greatest broad-based teaching success and are at the same time best preparing their students for post secondary education experiences.

School for the Talented and Gifted and School of Science and Engineering retained their top two positions from the previous year ranking in this 2018 best Dallas public high school ranking. North Hills Preparatory High School moved into the third spot, demoting Highland Park High School to fourth place. Westlake Academy is now ranked fifth, pushing Carroll Senior High School / Carroll High School and Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, ranked fourth and fifth last year, to the sixth and seventh positions.

About 85 percent of the 248 high schools included in this best public high schools in Dallas ranking are open enrollment schools operated by local school districts. The remaining schools are pretty evenly split between magnet schools, also by operated by local school districts, and charter schools operated by non-profit corporations, higher education institutions and governmental entities. Lists of the top ranked schools of each type are displayed by clicking on these top DFW open enrollment high schools, top DFW magnet high schools and top DFW charter high schools jump links.

2018 top 50 Dallas high schools

The twenty-two highest ranking Dallas high schools listed below also earned recognition as 2018 top 50 Texas high schools.

The data presented in this table can be sorted by clicking on the table headings. You also can limit the data display to a single school or school district by typing the name of a school or school district in the Search box.

Advanced Placement /
International Baccalaureate
college admission tests
course credit
taking tests
1School for the Talented and GiftedDallas ISD2619 - 12A+100.0100.097.1%85.3%100.0%195729.2
2School of Science and EngineeringDallas ISD4189 - 12A+99.893.093.7%76.5%100.0%190829.3
3Uplift Education - North Hills Preparatory High SchoolUplift Education5279 - 12A+95.575.369.9%75.6%100.0%172425.2
4Highland Park High SchoolHighland Park ISD2,1599 - 12A+98.366.545.6%74.5%99.0%181427.1
5Westlake AcademyWestlake Academy Charter School843K - 12A+95.970.564.7%69.1%100.0%169725.8
6Carroll Senior High SchoolCarroll ISD2,74611 - 12A+98.959.030.9%83.5%96.4%168425.7
7Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsDallas ISD9299 - 12A98.054.154.4%42.6%100.0%159823.4
8Lovejoy High SchoolLovejoy ISD1,4319 - 12A96.854.834.9%66.8%94.9%158224.1
9Imagine International Academy of North TexasImagine International Academy1,230K - 12A93.959.435.9%74.3%100.0%168325.8
10Rangel Young Women's Leadership SchoolDallas ISD2719 - 12A99.648.755.7%27.6%100.0%159822.7
11School of Health ProfessionsDallas ISD5499 - 12A100.046.263.7%24.7%100.0%147821.2
12Sanders Law MagnetDallas ISD3819 - 12A99.546.263.7%26.2%100.0%147320.5
13Liberty High SchoolFrisco ISD2,0609 - 12A94.053.226.0%81.5%92.2%156523.9
14Plano West Senior High SchoolPlano ISD5,66611 - 12A94.251.127.4%84.1%84.6%144522.2
15Coppell High SchoolCoppell ISD3,4099 - 12A92.055.025.9%82.6%98.7%170724.1
16Wakeland High SchoolFrisco ISD2,1329 - 12A96.346.222.3%70.5%88.5%143321.6
17School of Business and MagementDallas ISD5069 - 12A99.638.950.9%15.9%100.0%140619.1
18Garza Early College High SchoolDallas ISD4259 - 12A99.838.515.1%37.9%100.0%141619.9
19Texas Academy of Biomedical SciencesFort Worth ISD3859 - 12A99.039.412.1%26.2%100.0%145622.3
20Flower Mound High SchoolLewisville ISD3,57810 - 12A94.747.016.6%85.2%89.1%152022.6
21Lassiter Early College High SchoolDallas ISD2379 - 12A100.037.013.1%19.0%100.0%140920.8
22Plano ISD Academy High SchoolPlano ISD4559 - 12A99.238.20.9%89.9%150222.5
23Richland Collegiate High SchoolRichland Collegiate High School57211 - 12A99.237.90.2%96.0%150022.2
24Cedar Hill Collegiate High SchoolCedar Hill ISD4069 - 12A99.337.7100.0%150321.9
25Sorrells School of Education and Social ServicesDallas ISD3339 - 12A98.638.050.0%13.9%100.0%137219.4
26Keller High SchoolKeller ISD2,8769 - 12A94.545.119.9%72.9%88.9%143021.4
27Waxahachie Global High SchoolWaxahachie ISD4189 - 12A98.337.295.6%147321.7
28Marcus High SchoolLewisville ISD3,3379 - 12A93.146.419.4%82.4%88.0%145021.6
29Grand Prairie Fine Arts AcademyGrand Prairie ISD7406 - 12A-97.438.148.5%20.5%100.0%138717.1
30Centennial High SchoolFrisco ISD2,0379 - 12A-94.442.425.0%73.2%75.4%123618.5
31Mansfield Frontier High SchoolMansfield ISD23011 - 12A-
32Argyle High SchoolArgyle ISD8009 - 12A-94.741.65.6%77.8%95.8%152523.0
33Independence High SchoolFrisco ISD1,8239 - 12A-
34Steele Accelerated High SchoolNorthwest ISD1429 - 12A-96.934.7100.0%141619.7
35Gilliam Collegiate AcademyDallas ISD3649 - 12A-96.634.221.3%20.0%100.0%128818.0
36Colleyville Heritage High SchoolGrapevine-Colleyville ISD2,0789 - 12A-87.949.834.3%63.4%87.8%143021.8
37Heritage High SchoolFrisco ISD2,0759 - 12A-92.940.621.2%73.1%79.4%123118.4
38Nelson High SchoolNorthwest ISD2,5519 - 12A-89.846.129.4%51.2%100.0%152420.8
39McKinney Boyd High SchoolMcKinney ISD2,8149 - 12A-92.041.926.2%61.7%78.1%125519.0
40Fort Worth Adademy of Fine ArtsFort Worth Adademy of Fine Arts3437 - 12A-92.541.121.5%26.8%94.3%150621.8
41New Tech High School at CoppellCoppell ISD3259 - 12A-91.042.510.7%49.4%100.0%159322.5
42Prosper High SchoolProsper ISD2,5159 - 12A-92.938.414.5%65.6%81.9%129819.0
43Plano Senior High SchoolPlano ISD5,39211 - 12A-91.340.720.0%85.5%72.3%118618.1
44Obama Male Leadership AcademyDallas ISD1879 - 12A-99.026.364.7%20.0%100.0%1467
45Sunnyvale High SchoolSunnyvale ISD5009 - 12A-92.936.089.3%141821.2
46Hebron High SchoolLewisville ISD3,6189 - 12A-89.242.518.3%80.3%81.2%130720.1
47Frisco High SchoolFrisco ISD1,6749 - 12A-88.743.224.2%71.9%77.8%126219.6
48Marine Creek Collegiate High SchoolFort Worth ISD3139 - 12A-93.434.6100.0%136320.3
49Grapevine High SchoolGrapevine-Colleyville ISD1,8209 - 12B+86.146.935.7%57.3%82.2%133320.7
50Uplift Education - Summit International High SchoolUplift Education4389 - 12B+85.547.758.6%34.0%100.0%143820.4

Source: Texas Education Agency.

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Each of the Dallas area high schools included in this ranking was evaluated using three metrics: 1) students performance on the 2017 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) evaluations administered by the Texas Education Commission (TEA), 2) participation in and successful completion of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and 3) percentage of graduating seniors taking the SAT and ACT college admission tests and their performance on those tests. TEA ratings were not considered in this analysis since all but four of the low ranked high schools in this area received Met Standard accountability ratings.

Most Texas high schools offer a four-year curriculum at a single campus, but some school districts have chosen to operate separate campuses for ninth grade students or for ninth and tenth grade students. In this analysis, the performance metrics for high schools that are a part of these multiple campus arrangements are combined and the schools are evaluated in the same manner as the four-year, single-campus high schools. Other school districts and some charter districts operate schools that teach more than four grades. The STAAR assessment student performance metric used in this best Texas high schools ranking is for all grade levels taught at those schools.

Unlike some other published rankings, this analysis examined only the most credible and most current student performance data available and no consideration was given to student demographics, changes in student performance over time on the STAAR tests, and other such factors or to subjective factors such as anonymous self-selected reviews and statistically invalid online opinion surveys. The difference between carefully selecting fact-based metrics and using probably well-intentioned, but poorly selected metrics or narrowly formed opinions to identify high performing schools and school districts is plainly demonstrated by these best Texas high schools and best Texas school districts online rankings comparisons. Just click on the column headings that identify the sources of the rankings and see which rankings show strong positive correlation with the TEA-sourced performance results displayed in the ranking tables.

Additional information about how the performance of these DFW public high schools was evaluated and ranked in this analysis, how overall academic performance was graded, and the 2018 rankings for all 248 high schools included in this study are available by clicking on this complete DFW public high schools rankings link.

Open enrollment high schools

Of the 248 Dallas area public high schools and multiple campus arrangements evaluated, 202 are traditional open enrollment schools for which the only requirement for admittance is residency in the district and school attendance area. The 25 DFW open enrollment high schools that ranked highest in this 2018 analysis are shown below. Additional performance and other information for schools located in the communities featured on this website can be accessed by clicking on the name of the school.

Top 25 Dallas open enrollment high schools

attended by students living in
1Highland Park High SchoolHighland Park ISDA+98.366.5Dallas, Highland Park, University Park
2Carroll Senior High School / Carroll High SchoolCarroll ISDA+98.959.0Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Westlake
3Lovejoy High SchoolLovejoy ISDA96.854.8Fairview, Lucas, Allen, McKinney, Wylie
4Liberty High SchoolFrisco ISDA94.053.2Frisco
5Plano West Senior High School / Jasper High School / Shepton High SchoolPlano ISDA94.251.1Dallas, Plano
6Coppell High SchoolCoppell ISDA92.055.0Coppell, Irving
7Wakeland High SchoolFrisco ISDA96.346.2Frisco
8Flower Mound High School / Flower Mound Ninth Grade CampusLewisville ISDA94.747.0Flower Mound, Lewisville
9Keller High SchoolKeller ISDA94.545.1Colleyville, Fort Worth, Hurst, Keller, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Westlake
10Marcus High School / Marcus Ninth Grade CampusLewisville ISDA93.146.4Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville
11Centennial High SchoolFrisco ISDA-94.442.4Frisco
12Argyle High SchoolArgyle ISDA-94.741.6Argyle, Bartonville, Denton, Flower Mound
13Independence High SchoolFrisco ISDA-93.042.1Frisco
14Colleyville Heritage High SchoolGrapevine-Colleyville ISDA-87.949.8Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine
15Heritage High SchoolFrisco ISDA-92.940.6Frisco
16Nelson High SchoolNorthwest ISDA-89.846.1Fort Worth, Northlake, Roanoke, Southlake, Trophy Club
17McKinney Boyd High SchoolMcKinney ISDA-92.041.9McKinney
18Prosper High SchoolProsper ISDA-92.938.4Prosper, Celina, Frisco, McKinney
19Plano Senior High School / Clark High School / Vines High SchoolPlano ISDA-91.340.7Plano, Allen, Dallas, Richardson
20Sunnyvale High SchoolSunnyvale ISDA-92.936.0Sunnyvale
21Hebron High School / Hebron Ninth Grade CenterLewisville ISDA-89.242.5Carrollton, Frisco, Lewisville, Plano, The Colony
22Frisco High SchoolFrisco ISDA-88.743.2Frisco
23Grapevine High SchoolGrapevine-Colleyville ISDB+86.146.9Colleyville, Grapevine, Hurst
24Allen High School / Lowery Freshman CenterAllen ISDB+89.540.0Allen, Lucas, McKinney, Parker
25Lone Star High SchoolFrisco ISDB+92.733.7Frisco

Magnet high schools

In addition to their open enrollment schools, a number of DFW school districts also operate magnet schools. Magnet schools provide career-oriented or specialized curriculum in addition to academic subjects, and admittance typically is based on students' previous academic performance and interests demonstrated in student interviews, auditions, essays, and other similar faculty assessments. As would be expected, since admission to magnet schools generally is highly selective and limited, the average standardized test results of the magnet schools generally are much higher than results attained by the open enrollment schools that their students otherwise would attend.

These factors, probably to a large extent, have enabled the two Dallas Independent School District schools that rank highest among the fifteen magnet schools included in this analysis to frequently be recognized in national surveys as two of the best high schools in the U.S. In any event, they also top this 2018 DFW best public high schools ranking.

Top 20 Dallas magnet high schools

1School for the Talented and GiftedDallas ISDA+100.0100.0
2School of Science and EngineeringDallas ISDA+99.893.0
3Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsDallas ISDA98.054.1
4Rangel Young Women's Leadership SchoolDallas ISDA99.648.7
5School of Health ProfessionsDallas ISDA100.046.2
6Sanders Law MagnetDallas ISDA99.546.2
7School of Business and MagementDallas ISDA99.638.9
8Garza Early College High SchoolDallas ISDA99.838.5
9Texas Academy of Biomedical SciencesFort Worth ISDA99.039.4
10Lassiter Early College High SchoolDallas ISDA100.037.0
11Plano ISD Academy High SchoolPlano ISDA99.238.2
12Cedar Hill Collegiate High SchoolCedar Hill ISDA99.337.7
13Sorrells School of Education and Social ServicesDallas ISDA98.638.0
14Waxahachie Global High SchoolWaxahachie ISDA98.337.2
15Grand Prairie Fine Arts AcademyGrand Prairie ISDA-97.438.1
16Mansfield Frontier High SchoolMansfield ISDA-100.032.0
17Steele Accelerated High SchoolNorthwest ISDA-96.934.7
18Gilliam Collegiate AcademyDallas ISDA-96.634.2
19New Tech High School at CoppellCoppell ISDA-91.042.5
20Obama Male Leadership AcademyDallas ISDA-99.026.3

Charter high schools

Generally speaking, any student can apply for admission to a Texas charter school, though the charter district's charter can specify certain restrictions. A typical example of this would be that a student must reside in a specific town or city in order to apply for admission. In most cases, the school's admissions policy also will describe its lottery process. A charter school must use a lottery process when the number of applications to the school exceeds the number of available spaces.

Top 5 Dallas charter high schools

1Uplift Education - North Hills Preparatory High SchoolUplift EducationA+95.575.3
2Westlake AcademyWestlake Academy Charter SchoolA+95.970.5
3Imagine International Academy of North TexasImagine International AcademyA93.959.4
4Richland Collegiate High SchoolRichland Collegiate High SchoolA99.237.9
5Fort Worth Adademy of Fine ArtsFort Worth Adademy of Fine ArtsA-92.541.1


A comprehensive list of Dallas area public high schools is provided on this Dallas schools page. Similar Dallas area elementary schools and middle schools student performance ranked lists are available on these best DFW public elementary schools and best DFW public middle schools pages. Schools with the best k-12 student performance are identified on this best DFW public k-12 schools page and rankings for area school districts are shown on this best DFW school districts page.

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