Parents always ask me which Houston schools are the best. And while I never answer that question because the best education is the one that fits each individual child, I do encourage them to use performance data as ONE factor when considering schools. (If you want to know the other factors, you'll have to come to a Navigating Houston Schools workshop).
Today, I come bearing gifts! Parents who are served by Houston ISD and will be considering schools for the 2016-17 school year will be happy to know that 29 of the district's schools received the highest commendation issued by the Texas Education Agency. In terms of standards, the acceptable baseline is that a school "met standard". All schools that meet the standard are eligible to earn five additional distinctions. Think of these distinctions like the stars we used to get in elementary school: the green star, which represents the schools that "met standard" are okay, but everybody knows that the best star is the gold one, which in this case represents the schools with the best academic results. Most of the parents I've worked with want gold star schools as well as additional noteworthy details (which I aptly call ANDs).
The five distinctions each of the 29 schools earned in addition to having met the baseline standard are below:
HISD's Gold Star Schools:
6 middle schools: Lanier, Pin Oak, and Project Chrysalis middle schools, T.H. Rogers School, Wharton K–8 Dual Language Academy. Baylor College of Medicine Academy was also honored, with a distinction in math instead of science.
6 high schools: DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Eastwood Academy, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, and Challenge Early College high schools.
This might be a great place to begin your school selection search. Remember: performance data is only one sliver of what you should keep in mind when finding the best school for your son or daughter. Great, well-rounded kids do more than score well on standardized exams.