East Dallas has two of Texas’ top elementary schools (and not the ones you might expect)

Three schools in our neighborhood are among the “most distinct” in the state, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which unveiled its 2016 accountability reports last week.

TEA rates public schools across the state according to how their students’ perform on state-mandated tests, better known as STAAR exams. The state not only decrees whether a school “met standard” but also whether it earned any distinctions in several categories. The three schools in East Dallas were among 17 DISD schools that earned all eligible distinctions and among only eight that were non-magnet/specialty schools.

A few neighborhood highlights from this year’s results:

• Both Dan D. Rogers Elementary in Ridgewood Park and and Alex Sanger Elementary in Forest Hills earned all possible distinctions for the first time. Rogers recently converted to a personalized learning campus led by charismatic principal Lisa Lovato, and homeowners in the neighborhood are taking notice of the school’s success. Sanger is one of the most successful dual language campuses in Dallas ISD and in fall 2015 added middle schoolers to its campus.

Bryan Adams High School earned six of seven possible distinctions this year. “This accomplishment is even more amazing when you realize how far BA has come in a few short years,” notes DISD Trustee Dan Micciche on his Facebook page. “In 2012, BA was rated ‘academically unacceptable’ for the fourth straight year. Add to that the fact that 88 percent of the students live in poverty and one-third of the students are English language learners. But thanks to the Herculean efforts of a lot of people, and led by Principal Richard Kastl, our teachers, and a dedicated PTA, BA is back and the Cougars are roaring!”

Woodrow Wilson High School earned all possible distinctions for the second consecutive year. Since the TEA began awarding distinctions in 2013, Woodrow has earned the full amount three of four times — the only non-magnet school in Dallas to accomplish this.

Lakewood, Stonewall Jackson and Hexter elementaries lived up to their strong reputations and performed well this year; all three have a history of earning all possible distinctions once or twice. A school that doesn’t receive a lot of publicity, however — Martha Turner Reilly Elementary in Lochwood — is performing comparably to these schools, state data shows.

See how your school stacks up and read more about the state’s evaluation measures below:


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