Children At Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborn says their rankings are based on a number of criteria, but the most important is the graduation rate.
"And what we found across Houston is that it's not an easy equation. There are many schools that are not graduating up to 50 percent of their kids. These top schools are obviously doing a very good job of graduating their kids, but that was a major criteria. We also looked at how they're doing on SAT tests and how they're doing on AP tests. We looked at national testing models rather than state.
HISD's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts ranks number one in all those categories. The DeBakey High School for Health Professions ranks fourth, and Stephen F. Austin High School came in tenth, out of nearly a hundred schools in the greater Houston area. HSPVA Principal Herb Karpicke says allowing kids to pursue their passion and learn at the same time really works.
"HSPVA is a dual program. It's a high powered academic program as well a program in the fine arts. But there's nothing like trying to figure out what kids like to do, and helping them do that while you're giving them everything else that they need."
The other top ten high schools are the YES College Preparatory, Memorial High, Clements High, James E. Taylor High, Friendswood High, and Clear Lake High. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.