Woodrow is Dallas’ ninth-most challenging high school, says the Washington Post

Washington Post’s ranking of Dallas’ most challenging schools in 2017.

Correction: This reporter had a lapse of counting ability, for sadly she did not go to Woodrow, which is the ninth-most challenging school in Dallas.

Woodrow Wilson High School was the most expensive school in the city when it opened 1928; clearly the city had big dreams for the East Dallas institution. The school has continued to fill those dreams, made apparent last month when it was named the 329th most challenging high school by the Washington Post.

Of the more than 25,000 schools considered, that puts Woodrow in the top 1.5 percent of all high schools in America.

The demarkation is given to schools based on the number of students who participate in advanced placement and other educationally demanding programs such as International Baccalaureate and the Advanced International Certificate of Education.

Woodrow has a model IB program that is flourishing, where the number of students taking part has more than doubled every year since it launched. On Facebook, the school’s page thanked Dallas ISD trustee Dustin Marshall, who is hoping to keep his seat in a run off election this Saturday, for reporting the school’s updated IB and AP figures to the Washington Post.

It’s not the first time Woodrow has earned this accolade, but the school is moving on up, as the Jefferson would say, with a slightly higher ranking than last year. Woodrow also earned a silver medal from U.S. News and World Report this year.


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  • Woodrow Wildcat

    They don’t force everyone to take the exams (you can’t take IB exams if you aren’t in the IB Diploma Program – however IB students can take AP exams also – and can earn enough credits to start college almost as a junior, since IB Diploma earns a minimum of 24 hours in Texas). However a large percentage of seniors do take AP exams. We are fortunate in that the district pays all exam fees.

    Woodrow also ranked highly in US News and World Report rankings, using different methods.

    And Woodrow is one only a handful of Metroplex high schools to earn all seven TEA stars of distinction – again.

  • Jeremy

    Yes, Dana, that’s the metric that the Washington Post used. Maybe not the best measure that you or I would have picked, but neither the Advocate nor Woodrow nor DISD picked it either. The Post chose it and reported it, so I guess we can take what we get. SOMEONE thought it was a valuable metric. And if the Post wants to publish that Woodrow is in the top 2% of schools in their opinion, then that can’t be bad. Now, let’s support the school and get all of those kids passing all of those AP tests so that when the Post catches on and changes their measurement that we still measure up. (And thanks for the story, Emily.)

  • Dana Morrow Mendoza

    So, if you find money to force all of your students to take AP/IB exams, regardless of the students ability to pass said exam, you climb to top spots in this poll?

  • Jeremy

    Not to knock Woodrow (Go, Wildcats!) or the reporting, but you misread the data. To clear it up, your headline says “Woodrow is Dallas’ SECOND-most challenging high school…” It’s only second on your list, but your list does not show the schools in order of their rank. Actually, your list shows that Woodrow is the 9th most challenging high school in Dallas at a rank of 329. Several Dallas schools are ranked much higher. In order of rank:

    44 Irma Rangel
    71 Rosie Sorrels
    94 School of Business and Management
    122 Uplift Williams Prep
    127 Highland Park
    214 Uplift Hampton Prep
    249 Uplift Luna Prep
    299 Dallas International
    329 WOODROW

    A positive takeaway is that DISD has 4 schools in the top 329 most challenging schools in the country. And 3 of those are magnets. So Woodrow would be the second most competitive regular public high school in Dallas County and the most competitive regular public HS in DISD. Of the other 5 on your list from Dallas, 1 is private (Dallas International), 3 are charter schools (The Uplift Schools), and 1 is Highland Park HS.