When Charles Dickens wrote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," there was an excellent chance he was not actually talking about the French Revolution, but rather high school. Area students, however, can find comfort in the knowledge that at least they're getting a great education during the four rollercoaster years.
According to a new report from Niche.com, one of Texas' — and the nation's — best high school is (or, rather, remains) right here in Houston. Carnegie Vanguard School is listed as the No. 1 standout school in the state (a ranking that recognizes schools making a key difference in their community); the No. 4 school overall in Texas; and also cracked the top 50 in the country, coming in at No. 37. Carnegie Vanguard High School also recently scored well in the U.S News & World Report list of best high schools in the nation, coming in at No. 15 overall. The Inner Loop vanguard school scores high marks for college prep and math proficiency.
Across the state, Austin Independent School District's Liberal Arts & Science Academy ranks No. 11 in the country and No. 1 in the state. (LASA, as it's better known, earned the same ranking last year.)
With a 99-percent graduation rate and 1400 average SAT score, it's not surprising that the East Austin school is the valedictorian of the statewide class. It also aced special categories, earning the top spot for Best Public High School Teachers in Texas and Best College Prep High School in Texas.
West Austin's Westlake High School also earned high marks, coming in as the fifth best public high school in Texas and the No. 41 best school in the U.S. Westlake also boasts a 99-percent graduation rate and 1330 average on the SAT.
In order to determine the rankings, Niche.com graded each school based on academics, diversity, parent/student satisfaction surveys, and teacher grades, among other factors. Academics were given the most weight at 60 percent while the rest of categories are each given a 10 percent weight. Clubs, health and safety, facilities, and sports are each factored in at 2.5 percent.
Other Lone Star State schools with good report cards include Dallas' School of Science and Engineering (No. 23) and School for the Talented & Gifted (No. 27).