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HISD Schools Dominate Advocacy Group’s School Rankings

Houston schools sweep top-three spots ranking the 8-county region’s elementary, middle and high schools
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File photo of school bus. (credit: G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

File photo of school bus. (credit: G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

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Houston ISD boasts the eight-county region’s top three elementary, middle, and high schools, according to the 2012 Texas Public School Rankings announced Monday by Children at Risk. The rankings include schools from 58 school districts, plus charter schools.

The results mark HISD’s strongest showing since the non-profit child advocacy and research organization began issuing the rankings in 2006. The announcement was made during a ceremony at HISD’s High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, which is among the region’s top 15 high schools.

The news comes on the heels of this month’s announcement that HISD is among four national finalists for the county’s most prestigious public education award – The Broad Prize for Urban Education.  Selected from a field of 75 eligible school districts across America, HISD was chosen as a Broad Prize finalist because of Houston students’ strong academic performance since 2008 and the district’s shrinking achievement gap.

“HISD has a much-deserved reputation for offering some of the best schools in America,” Superintendent Terry Grier said. “These recent accolades show that our work to replicate this excellence in more schools serving neighborhoods throughout Houston is working. HISD is proving that great teachers working in schools led by great principals are more than capable of helping students overcome obstacles and eliminate excuses for failure.”

Half of the region’s top 10 elementary, middle and high schools for 2012 are HISD campuses. For the third year in a row, HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions earned the No. 1 spot. T.H. Rogers took the No. 1 spot on the middle school list for the second straight year, and also earned the No. 1 spot on the elementary school list after coming in fourth in 2011.

HISD’s top 10 schools for 2012

Elementary Schools

 T.H. Rogers (No. 1)

Lyons (No. 2)

River Oaks (No. 3)

West University (No. 5)

Condit (No. 6)

Burrus (No. 10)

 

Middle Schools

T.H. Rogers (No. 1)

Project Chrysalis (No. 2)

Energized for Excellence (No. 3)

Lanier (No. 10)

 

High Schools

DeBakey (No. 1)

Carnegie Vanguard (No. 2)

Eastwood Academy (No. 3)

East Early College (No. 8)

High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (No. 10)

Children at Risk also singled out several other HISD schools for special recognition.

 

  • Lee High School was named the Most Improved School in the region.  Lee is one of four high schools taking part in HISD’s ambitious Apollo 20 program that uses research-based strategies aimed at turning around schools with a long history of poor performance.  After one year, students in HISD’s Apollo 20 schools produced academic gains on par with the nation’s most prestigious charter schools.
  • DeBakey High School was named the region’s top high school for math and science.
  • Lyons Elementary School and Pilgrim Middle School were named Gold Ribbon schools.

 

The Children at Risk rankings consider multiple factors designed to tell whether schools are not just meeting minimum passing standards, including: percentage of students scoring at the “commended” level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, SAT scores, graduation rates, and the percentage of students earning college credit through AP, IB or dual credit courses. Student poverty rates also factor into the rankings. The rankings also consider the annual academic growth made by students in math and reading.

 

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 279 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees.

For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.

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