Education News

Rankings Give More F’s Than A’s For Charter Elementary Schools

As we reported earlier this week, the advocacy group Children at Risk has ranked all the schools in the Greater Houston area. We take a closer look at how charter schools stack up.

Three charter schools rank among the top ten high schools in Houston.

But look at elementary schools and it’s a different story. None are in the top ten. And three are at the very bottom.

Bob Sanborn is president and CEO of Children at Risk.

“That’s one of the interesting things about charters, there doesn’t seem to be an average, right? There’s either really good or really bad.”

In elementary grades, there are more charter schools with an F than with an A.

In fact, most got a C or worse.

Click to explore KUHF’s Houston area charter school database.

“For parents, they need to understand that you know if you can get your kids into one of those KIPPS or YES’s, there’s some extraordinary learning going on there. But it’s sort of a buyer beware, you need to shop around a little bit and know what you’re getting before you choose a school.”

Children at Risk ranked Zoe Learning Academy as one of the worst elementary schools in the region.

Principal Lonnie Reynolds, Sr., says last year students didn’t take their standardized tests seriously and that dragged the school down.

“Being a former athlete, it’s a really challenge when you see things like that. We’ll be competing a little harder now.”

Reynolds says one challenge is that elementary school teachers are still trying to identify students with special needs or behavior problems.

“Once they get labeled and you get to high schools, they can either go to behavior schools — see, we don’t have the alternative school for the elementary school, kids that are acting out, where are you going to put them?”

Other elementary charter schools with failing grades include Northwest Preparatory and Victory Prep.




Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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