Two Dallas magnet programs -- one for gifted students and the other for those interested in science and engineering -- led Newsweek's annual list of top U.S. high schools. The ranking of 1,500 public schools divides the number of students who take Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests by the number of seniors graduating, an approach that has prompted criticism as well as an explanation from the Washington Post columnist who designed the ranking system.

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