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Education News

What Do The Top Schools In Houston Have In Common?

This week, the group Children at Risk released its annual ranking of all the public schools in the Greater Houston area. For the first time, schools got letter grades, from A to F.


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The top ten high schools in Houston include Carnegie Vanguard, KIPP Houston and Kerr High School in Alief.

Those schools — and any other school with an A grade — share some common characteristics.

“I think what you find is an intellectually curious environment.”

That’s Bob Sanborn, the president and CEO of Children at Risk.

Bob Sanborn
Bob Sanborn, president and CEO
of Children at Risk

“You find an environment where kids are engaged, parents are engaged, teachers are excited to be there. And — this is very important — they all have a principal who’s a solid and good leader. Someone who has a vision for the school and is taking it places.”

The advocacy group crunched the data on more than a thousand schools in the Houston area.

They evaluated factors like academics, graduation and attendance.

Sanborn says they gave letter grades to make it easier for parents to check how their kid’s school is doing.

“So, an A school, that’s a school that’s top in the state, probably top in the country in many ways, that a parent can be completely relaxed about having a kid there.”

Schools that earn a B or a C are doing a pretty good job, too.

But then there are the D and F schools.

“Those are schools that need a little bit more attention — certainly the F’s. This is an indication to parents that they really need to take action, move their kids to a different school, and more importantly for districts, what do need to do in terms of these F schools, how can I change outcomes.”

Already the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District has promised to do exactly that, so more schools make an A grade next year.


The Best and Worst Schools in Greater Houston

Here are the top-ranked schools and the bottom-ranked schools in the Greater Houston area and their corresponding districts, according to Children at Risk’s rankings for 2013.

Top 10 High Schools

  1. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD
  2. Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston ISD
  3. Eastwood Academy, Houston ISD
  4. Kerr High School, Alief ISD
  5. KIPP Houston High School, KIPP Inc. Charter
  6. YES Prep Southeast Campus, YES Prep Public Schools Inc.
  7. East Early College High School, Houston ISD
  8. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston ISD
  9. Challenge Early College High School, Houston ISD
  10. YES Prep North Central Campus, YES Prep Public Schools Inc.

Top Five Middle Schools

  1. T.H. Rogers Secondary, Houston ISD
  2. Harmony School of Science – Houston, Harmony School of Science
  3. Ser-Niños Charter Middle, Ser-Niños Charter School
  4. Houston Gateway Academy, Houston Gateway Academy Inc.
  5. Briarmeadow Charter, Houston ISD

Carnegie students
Carnegie Vanguard named No. 2 high school in Greater Houston

Top Five Elementary Schools

  1. T.H. Rogers Elementary, Houston ISD
  2. River Oaks Elementary, Houston ISD
  3. Commonwealth Elementary, Fort Bend ISD
  4. Buckalew Elementary, Conroe ISD
  5. Bush Elementary, Conroe ISD

Worst Ten High Schools, with Children at Risk’s Official Rankings

  1. La Marque High School, La Marque ISD
  2. Westbury High School, Houston ISD
  3. Jones High School, Houston ISD
  4. Worthing High School, Houston ISD
  5. Hitchcock High School, Hitchcock ISD
  6. Sterling High School, Houston ISD
  7. Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe ISD
  8. Wheatley High School, Houston ISD
  9. North Forest High School, North Forest ISD
  10. Kashmere High School, Houston ISD

Bottom Five Middle Schools, with Children at Risk’s Official Rankings

  1. Forest Brook Middle, North Forest ISD
  2. Black Middle, Houston ISD
  3. Dominion Academy Charter School, Houston ISD
  4. Attucks Middle, Houston ISD
  5. Victory Prep, Victory Prep

Bottom Five Elementary Schools, with Children at Risk’s Official Rankings

  1. Northwest Preparatory, Northwest Preparatory
  2. Inter-City Elementary, La Marque ISD
  3. Zoe Learning Academy, Zoe Learning Academy
  4. Young Elementary, Houston ISD
  5. Victory Prep, Victory Prep



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