2022 Best Public High Schools in Texas

September 2305:00 AM
 

The 2022 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings. Read more on how this ranking was calculated.    (23) view article arw

Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy and Trinidad Garza Early College High School at Mountain View have earned National Blue Ribbon School status for the second time in less than a decade.National Blue Ribbon status is one of the highest U.S. Department of Education recognitions for campuses where students perform at very high levels or where exemplary progress is being made toward closing achievement gaps.  Both campuses are among the first Early College High Schools (ECHS) built by Dallas ISD. Each ECHS partners with a higher education institution to offer students the opportunity to earn credit for both high school and college courses. College tuition fees are waived, allowing students the possibility of earning an associate degree or up to 60 hours of college credit – which can be applied toward a four-year degree – upon high school graduation. view article arw

Out of the 30 Houston-area school districts to make the Texas list in Niche's 2022 Best Schools and Districts rankings, 11 made the national list. view article arw

Katy ISD was ranked the number 1 school district in the Houston area out of 1,018 districts ranked in Texas. “This recognition reflects the deep commitment of our staff and support of our local community to provide exceptional educational experiences to our more than 88,000 students,” says Dr. Ken Gregorski, Superintendent of Schools. view article arw

Stephen F. Austin State University announced the inclusion of Central Heights ISD into its Distinguished High School program at the high school campus. University president Dr. Scott Gordon told a group of seniors that the announcement offers several financial benefits for those who choose SFA to continue their education. view article arw

Katy Independent School District has been ranked as the No. 1 school district in the Houston area, according to Niche’s Best Schools list. Out of 1,018 Texas school districts, Katy ISD was ranked No. 1 in the Houston area and No. 13 in Texas, Niche’s list stated. view article arw

If you talk to new Midland ISD Associate Superintendent Charlie Garcia, it is easy to hear that he sees opportunities where others might not.  STAAR tests? While many see them as an unfair assessment and a punishment for teachers and students, he sees them as an opportunity for a school district on the rise to show how much improvement has taken place. view article arw

No Houston-area school district cracked the top 10 statewide on Niche's 2022 Best Schools and Districts rankings, but two made the top 20 statewide. Out of the 30 local school districts to make the Texas list, 11 made the national list. Katy Independent School District came in at No. 1 in the Houston area and No. 13 in Texas. Friendswood ISD was the second Houston district on the list at No. 15 in Texas, followed by Tomball ISD at No. 26. Those were the only three local districts to receive an "A-plus" grade from Niche. Pearland, Clear Creek, Conroe, Cypress-Fairbanks, Humble, Fort Bend and Montgomery around out the rest of the top 10 in Houston, each with an overall grade of A. Eanes Independent School District in the Austin area was ranked No. in Texas. view article arw

McAllen ISD’s Achieve Early College High School became the only high school in the Rio Grande Valley that has been recognized twice as a Blue Ribbon campus Tuesday, when the U.S. Department of Education announced six Valley winners. view article arw

I’m old enough to recall a time when powers that be demanded we lower academic standards in public schools. It was a clarion call for the ostensible purpose of granting parity to a larger percentage of our population, so more students could graduate from high school. It’s no surprise that the product of the changes that followed are every bit as visible today as they were predictable then. It wasn’t an accident. I remember the catalysts for it, like a perfect setup. Perhaps not satisfied with the pace of societal degradation, we’re now being introduced to an equally destructive catalyst for change called “equity” — begging the question, how insidious is a motive that wittingly makes victims or oppressors out of people only to be sacrificed on an altar of self-interests? Moreover, what is it called when the target of the motive is the easy prey of malleable young minds? view article arw

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland ISD students may have noticed an earlier start to the school year this year. One major reason for that is the school district planned to have two intersessions, one extra week of learning and enrichment in the fall and spring, for the students who may need it. The first intersession will run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21. Students attending will have Friday, Oct. 22 off. According to MISD, the reason it has implemented the intersessions is to allow students with gaps in their learning to catch up. view article arw

Debate took place Monday night as the Little Elm ISD Board of Trustees discussed the prospect of removing two ethnic studies course electives from its 2022-23 class catalog. This action was ultimately withdrawn by its presenter, Trustee DeLeon English, almost two hours after it entered discussion, but disagreement regarding the inclusion of African American studies and Mexican American studies courses has all but dissipated. view article arw

Six high school seniors in Corpus Christi ISD were named semifinalists for the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The students are among 16,000 semifinalists in the nation and have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million to be offered next spring. The six semifinalists in CCISD include Nathan Alanmanou of King High School; Abigail Fields and Evan Hsiang of Ray High School; and Ruiqi "Sophie" Deng, Skyler Kim and Zhihui "Jeffrey" Zhu of Veterans Memorial High School. Every semifinalist had to take the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as a junior to qualify for the program. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes the student’s academic record, community activities, leadership abilities and other accolades, as well as an essay from the student. view article arw

Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school, Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School, in Palatine, Illinois.  The five El Paso area schools honored are:  Clendenin Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.  Hawkins Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.  Lamar Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.  Ramona Elementary School, Ysleta Independent School District.  Vista Hills Elementary School, Ysleta Independent School District.  Ysleta ISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre shared his thoughts about the honor. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, where the administration discussed the Texas Education Agency‘s recent accountability ratings. The administration is working to help teachers catch up some students after distance learning and missed classes made school more difficult because of the pandemic. view article arw

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans Tuesday to end the Florida Standards Assessments testing for students across the state, a move applauded by the state’s largest teachers union.  “We need to measure results, and we will continue to do it. We will continue to set high standards,” DeSantis said. “But we also have to recognize that it is the year 2021 and the FSA is, quite frankly, outdated.” view article arw

Despite the pandemic, Executive Director of Assessment Donna McAda said Mesquite ISD has grown in college and career readiness. McAda updated the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees on Monday regarding last year’s student performance and some of the programs in place to recover from the learning loss experienced during the pandemic. The number of students who passed an advanced placement (AP) test rose from 532 to 557 between 2020 and 2021. Students who passed dual credit classes rose from 610 in 2020 to 670 in 2021. view article arw

Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to drop standardized testing and replace it with “progress monitoring.”  The devil is in the details. How will the state monitor “progress” without standardized testing? Is he trying to hide the poor performance of charter schools?  Florida blogger Billy Townsend explains what’s happening here. He says Ron is ditching Jeb. view article arw

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) featured a new report that highlighted the Alice Independent School District (AISD), for a level of excellence in implementing strategies for states and school districts to strengthen mentoring programs for new teachers. Teacher mentorship programs, where new teachers are paired with veterans, are a research-based practice, but they often lack clarity and can turn into more of a “buddy system” than a true learning opportunity. In the new report, NIET shares research and experience that point to greater success when mentorship programs center on instructional improvement and provide deeper support for mentors. view article arw

Dallas Schools launched a new program this school year to change how the district approaches discipline. School leaders want to eliminate out-of-school suspensions for middle and high school students. Across campuses, they’ve established what’s now known as Reset Centers. Pierre Fleurinor is a believer in the program. His classroom doesn’t look like a typical detention hall because it’s not. Students come to Fleurinor’s classroom for misbehavior, but the corrective action is different. His classroom is equipped with beanbags and ‘positive affirmation’ stress balls that smell like lavender. “When the kids come in, we pop a spot on these bean bags together. I get side by side with them,” said Fleurinor. “Our whole focus was restorative practices. We want to attack the real issue that’s bothering kids.” view article arw

Clear Creek ISD earned a top spot in Forbes’ annual list of America’s Best Employers By State, coming in at 13 out of a total of 101 companies and organizations in Texas. The list was released Aug. 24. CCISD is one of two Houston-area districts to make the list; Katy ISD was ranked eighth, one spot above H-E-B. The list can be viewed here. “The teachers and staff in CCISD are committed to the success and emotional well-being of every student. Our employees understand the impact they have on our community,” said Dr. Casey O’Pry, assistant superintendent of human resources, in a Sept. 7 district media release. “The district continues to pursue and retain the very best team to serve our more than 40,000 learners.” view article arw

The Bryan school district is reconsidering opening a virtual academy for elementary and intermediate school students after new legislation gives school districts the option. The district shifted its priority to younger students from the original focus on secondary students due to parent requests. “We’re seeing more parent requests for a virtual setting for those students who are ineligible for a vaccination right now,” Barbara Ybarra, associate superintendent for teaching and learning in the district, said during the district’s Sept. 7 board workshop. view article arw

VICTORIA, Texas – The Bloomington I.S.D. received a $400,000 grant to help elementary and middle school students catch up in this COVID-19 pandemic. Many students fell behind last year so the district is tackling the issue with its T-Class grant. Toi Tippin is a licensed crisis counselor and grant writer, he said the funds come from the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden in March 2021. “And how we kind of get them back in the schools and get them caught up with what they need. Where they need to be for their grade level. Many students got behind, just with the remote learning and being closed down because of COVID-19,” she said. view article arw

Gerre Cortez, a 29-year veteran educator at H. Grady Spruce High School, is among the 52 employees tasked with implementing Dallas ISD’s vision of eliminating out-of-school suspensions for students. The district this school year eliminated both in-school and out-of-school suspensions for middle and high school students, while still having any serious infraction go through the disciplinary alternative education program. “Suspensions and in-school suspensions (ISS) never really fixed why some students were continually misbehaving and doing things that got them sent to ISS or suspended,” said Cortez, the Spruce High School Reset Center Coordinator. “Now, we’re actually trying to fix the behavior.” view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) Socorro Independent School District educators will walk the district’s neighborhoods to reconnect with students who left school before graduating for the annual Walk for Success event on Sept. 11, 2021. District leaders, administrators and counselors will go to SISD neighborhoods, visit students and their parents/families to hear each situation case-by-case, and present solutions to their academic barriers. The Walk for Success team members will meet at their respective high schools and then will head out to the neighborhoods to encourage students to re-enroll in school. view article arw

Austin ISD’s Board of Trustees learned Sept. 9 that low-income Central Texas students are less likely to go to college than low-income students in the rest of the state. The trustees absorbed the data on post-secondary education during an information session. “We as a district have never really paid close attention to kids once they leave,” Trustee Arati Singh said. “And when you look at the data it’s not great” About 39% of Central Texas low income students enrolled in a university within a year of high school graduation in 2019, compared to 46% of low income students in Texas at large, according to data from local education data-focused nonprofit E3 Alliance. view article arw

Hyde Park signs point to future success

September 1008:25 AM
 

If early signs of classroom engagement and excitement are indicators of success down the road, then Hyde Park students are definitely on the right path. At every grade level in every classroom, the teaching methodology is 100% student-centered. A small group of 4th graders gather around veteran teacher Robin Petty, immersed in a challenging math session while classmates work at laptops before their turn with Mrs. Petty at the dry-erase desk. view article arw

Nancy Flanagan is a retired teacher with decades of experience. In this post, she remembers when she used to take standardized test scores seriously. Then she went to a state board meeting in Michigan, where the topic of discussion was setting cut scores. Cut scores are the lines that determine whether students scored “advanced,” “proficient,” “basic,” or “below basic.” What she learned was that the cut scores are arbitrary. There is no science involved in setting the cut scores. It’s guesswork. The cut scores can be moved up or down to produce good news or bad news. view article arw

ASHBY: No decision yet by TEA on STAAR

September 0808:30 AM
 

As our students return to the classroom, and with COVID-19 cases on the rise, my office has received numerous calls from parents requesting that the STAAR test not be used as a factor when determining academic promotion. read more arw

The South San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees will be placed under the supervision of a state-appointed monitor following a two-year state investigation, according to a letter sent Tuesday from Texas Education Agency officials to the superintendent and board president. In a final investigative report also issued Tuesday, TEA investigators found that school board members failed to cooperate with the superintendent and acted outside of their authority by contacting district staff to seek information and discuss district business, such as disciplinary issues and changing board agendas. Board members also demonstrated overreach of their duties by contacting vendors, consultants, and other educational organizations on the district’s behalf without informing the superintendent, according to the letter.    (07) view article arw

Many schools return to in-person learning Tuesday, but they still face challenges when keeping students and staff safe. view article arw

Hudson ISD announced Friday night that it would be implementing measures from stage 3 of its health mitigation protocol due to a decrease in attendance rate. The attendance rate dropped just below 85%, superintendent Donny Webb said. The district will know more next week, when students who initially were required to stay home begin to return, he said. The district had the following report of COVID-19 cases, both test-confirmed and presumptive positive, for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 3: view article arw

HARLINGEN, Texas – One of the most vocal supporters of remote instruction in the Rio Grande Valley is urging Gov. Greg Abbott to sign Senate Bill 15 into law. Ron Whitlock is a former educator and state president of the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA). He also served as part of a four-member cabinet appointed by the Corpus Christi ISD superintendent. SB 15, authored by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, allows Texas school districts and charter schools that provide remote instruction to be fully funded through the state’s Foundation School Program. However, the schools must have met state accountability standards. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - Northside Independent School District is adding online tutoring to its curriculum. District officials announced it Monday on its Facebook page that starting Tuesday, online tutoring will be available to support students. The post said "certified Teacher Tutors will be available to help students from kindergarten through 12th grade." Tutoring will be available from 4-8 p.m. for elementary students and 6-10 p.m. for secondary students. Classes covered will be Reading/English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Spanish. view article arw

As more and more Central Texas students miss school after testing positive for COVID-19, teachers and school administrators are increasingly having to address concerns regarding the loss of learning, in addition to implementing strategies to help students catch up. At the Killeen Independent School District, nearly 300 students reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district’s COVID dashboard. view article arw