Culture / Newsy

Texas’ Best High Schools Make a Major Impact in New National Rankings

Lone Star State Puts More Schools in Top 20 Than Any Other State

BY // 04.30.19

When it comes to the best public high schools in the United States, the smart money’s on Texas. It’s one thing to have that Lone Star State pride, but it’s another to have it proven in facts and figures. And while our best and brightest could definitely crunch the numbers, U.S. News & World Report has already done the legwork.

The rankings bible revealed its new “2019 Best High Schools,” measuring public schools, in an upgraded edition of its annual rankings with an ultra-comprehensive approach and methodology.

For example, last year’s rankings topped out at 2,700 schools. This year, a whopping 17,000 schools are ranked.

North Carolina’s Academic Magnet High School might have taken the gold as the No. 1 high school in America, but Texas stood out from the crowd in that mammoth list.

Texas had three schools rank among the Top 20 best high schools — more than any other state.

Dallas’ Science and Engineering Magnet School and The School For the Talented and Gifted came in at No. 12 and No. 16, respectively, and DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston landed at No. 17.

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Meanwhile, the publication also broke down the highest ranked schools in Texas, with some of the highest rated coming from everywhere from San Antonio to Lubbock, Brownsville to Westlake.

And these schools didn’t only do well on the Lone Star State stage — they also made a major impact in the national rankings.

Try this on for size —  the 20th rated high school in all of Texas, Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio, was ranked No. 141 in the entire country.

U.S. News & World Report’s holistic approach covered six factors: college readiness — judged by AP and IB exam scores — reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

Of the Top 20 best high schools in Texas, five are in Dallas, four are in Houston, two are in Austin and one is in San Antonio.

Read on for the list of the Top 20 in Texas, a mixture of vanguard schools, charter schools and more.

1. Science and Engineering Magnet School, Dallas ISD

1201 East 8th Street, Dallas

Students enrolled at this school begin their AP courses freshman year and are able to earn college credit through dual-enrollment opportunities with several community colleges and universities in the area. SEM is located in a complex with five other magnet schools, and offers AP courses in biology, statistics, calculus and more.

2. The School For the Talented and Gifted, Dallas ISD

1201 East 8th Street, Suite 302, Dallas

TAG follows Texas’ Distinguished Achievement Program and focuses on AP curriculum, offering more than 30 courses. Students are required to take 12 in order to graduate. TAG students can conduct field research through partnerships with local universities, taking classes like fashion marketing and enrolling in mini-courses such as glass-blowing over the interim period.

3. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD

2545 Pressler Street, Houston

Located on the Texas Medical Center campus, DeBakey gives students access to academic programs and research facilities in the area. Graduates can enroll in the Houston Premedical Academy, an undergrad program through the University of Houston dedicated to students of the high school. Students who gain admission to the academy receive provisional acceptance to Baylor College of Medicine.

4. Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston ISD

1501 Taft Street, Houston

At Carnegie Vanguard, students find pre-AP and AP courses alongside a slew of honors electives. Most students take at least 10 AP courses before graduating. The school has a reputation for its extremely high SAT and ACT scores, which are consistently above the state and national averages. In addition, students must complete 100 hours of community service in order to graduate.

5. Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin ISD

7309 Lazy Creek Drive, Austin

At LASA, students compete for admission or are actually recruited by the school and are evaluated on test scores, prior achievements and recommendations by their teachers. The rigorous curriculum proffers 30 AP courses and 121 honors courses, and signature courses, or collaborative group classes where students research, design, implement and present projects in humanities and science subjets.

liberal arts and science academy
Liberal Arts and Science Academy offers signature, collaborative courses.

6. Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Dallas ISD

1718 Robert B Cullum Boulevard, Dallas

Students are welcome to take AP coursework and exams here, and the AP participation rate is an impressive 100 percent of the classes. Total minority enrollment makes up 93 percent of students, and 84 percent of students are economically disadvantaged.

7. Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, Lubbock ISD

415 North Ivory Avenue, Lubbock

Talkington is one of nine schools in Lubbock ISD. Students there can take AP courses and exams, with a 100 percent participation rate. The total minority enrollment comes in at 64 percent, while 47 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged.

8. Early College High School, Laredo ISD

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo

This school is one of five high schools in Laredo ISD, and offers students the opportunity to take AP courses. One hundred percent of the students take AP courses. The total minority enrollment is also 100 percent. The number of economically disadvantaged students comes in at 78 percent.

9. Eastwood Academy, Houston ISD

1315 Dumble Street, Houston,

At Eastwood, students can take AP courses and exams, and 100 percent choose to participate. The total minority enrollment comes in at a serious majority at 98 percent, and 83 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged.

10. Challenge Early College High School, Houston ISD

5601 West Loop South, Houston

Students at this school have the opportunity to take part in AP courses and exams, and 100 percent participate. Total minority enrollment is 91 percent, and the number of economically disadvantaged students comes in at 71 percent.

11. Imagine International Academy of North Texas, McKinney

2860 Virginia Parkway, McKinney

12. Uplift Education-North Hills Prep High School, Irving

606 East Royal Lane, Irving

13. Westlake Academy, Westlake Academy Charter School

2600 J T Ottinger Road, Westlake

14. Booker T. Washington SPVA, Dallas ISD

2501 Flora Street, Dallas

15. IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, Brownsville IDEA Public Schools

2800 South Dakota Avenue, Brownsville 

16. IDEA Quest College Preparatory, Edinburg

14001 North Rooth Road, Edinburg

17. Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Dallas ISD

1201 East 8th Street, Dallas

18. Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, Grand Prairie ISD

102 High School Drive, Grand Prairie

19. Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Austin ISD

2206 Prather Lane, Austin

20. Young Women’s Leadership Academy, San Antonio ISD

2123 West Huisache Avenue, San Antonio 

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