A-Plus Education

2 Austin high schools go to head of the class in prestigious ranking of best in U.S.

2 Austin high schools go to head of the class in prestigious ranking

AnnRichardsSchoolForYoungLeaders_charity_Austin
The Ann Richards School received excellent marks. Courtesy of Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders Facebook

A few of Texas high schools have been working hard on extra credit, or so says the latest ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Its list of the Best U.S. High Schools, released April 21, includes two Austin public among the state's best.

Liberal Arts and Science Academy shows up fifth in Texas, followed by the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders at No. 18. Nationally, LASA ranked 34th overall. Both schools are part of Austin Independent School District.

Overall, Texas has 2,075 high schools across the state.

This is the most expansive edition yet, with the consumer advice outlet evaluating more than 17,700 public high schools on how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on AP and IB exams.

"The Best High Schools rankings provide the most comprehensive, data-based information on nearly every public high school in the country," says Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News. "Families can use this information to see how their local schools compare on graduation rates and state assessments, as well as academic performance by students who are traditionally underserved — those who are black, Hispanic, or from low-income households."

Nationally, two Dallas public schools ranked in the top 10 in the U.S., with several other Texas learning institutions popping up in the top 100.

The School for the Talented and Gifted earns a coveted No. 6 spot, followed by Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School at No. 10. Last year's No. 12, Science and Engineering Magnet School, slips slightly to No. 17 this year. All three are in the Dallas ISD.

Also appearing on the national list are six more Texas schools within the top 100:

  • No. 29, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD
  • No. 34, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin ISD
  • No. 44, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston ISD
  • No. 61, Early College High School, Laredo ISD
  • No. 82, Young Women's Leadership Academy, Fort Worth ISD
  • No. 91 Basis San Antonio- Shavano Campus, Basis Texas Castle Hills

The report also shows that the highest-ranked schools are scattered throughout the country, showing that the best schools are not concentrated in any one geographic area. Nine different states are represented among the top 10 schools. More broadly, the top 100 schools span 29 states.