What makes DISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted the top in the nation?

Posted by Ronald | April 27, 2013  |  No Comment

Dynasties are rare yet they exist in arenas such as politics, sports and companies. Some people say that the Bushes and Kennedys resembled a dynasty in politics. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers of earlier years symbolized a dynasty in sports and companies such as Walt Disney and Walmart have provided excellent years of service.

However, little is written about high performing schools that consistently prepare students for college and careers in a global and competitive workforce. To gain an understanding of the commitment and characteristics of high performing schools, the critical question to be asked is: What makes Dallas Independent School District’s School for the Talented and Gifted the top in the nation for two consecutive years?

The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) places emphasis on the advanced placement curriculum requiring its students to take a minimum of 11 advanced placement courses for graduation. With an enrollment of 240 high school students (43 percent White, 30 percent Hispanic, 17 percent African-American, 11 percent Asian and 29 percent eligible for free or reduced lunch), TAG affords its students the opportunity for field research through partnerships with local universities, enroll in mini-courses such as ballroom dancing during interim terms and take electives such as web mastery.

With college-level course work being the benchmark, the school achieved 100 percent proficiency on its state test for reading and mathematics, as well as 100 percent proficiency for college readiness as measured by student participation rates in advanced placement and international baccalaureate exams, as well as pass rates on the exams.

The U.S. World and News Report recognizes America’s best high schools based on students’ performance on the state reading and mathematics exams, college readiness index-based participation rates in advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses, as well as the performance of students on the national exams. U.S. News also takes in consideration of those schools that effectively meet the needs of their students or successfully serve all of them well regardless of their socio-economic status.

Based on U.S. News criteria, TAG became the top school in the nation for two consecutive years. This school was selected from 22,000 public schools covering 49 states including the District of Columbia.

Principal Michael Satarino of the School for the Talented and Gifted said, “It is both humbling and gratifying to be named the top school in the nation. It is gratifying because it allows our incredible teachers, students and parents to receive recognition for the passion they bring to their educational ministry at TAG every day. I have been blessed with a forty year journey through an educational ministry that has been very satisfying.”

It is stimulating to learn of a high performing public school that consistently prepares students for college and careers in a global and competitive workforce. The School for the Talented and Gifted is an excellent model for other schools to benchmark and emulate. We sincerely congratulate principal Satarino and his students, parents, community, faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to education.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of three books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education” and “How to Eradicate Hazing.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]cationpost.com.

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