33 HISD high schools rated as best in nation in annual Washington Post rankings

More than two-thirds of the high schools in the Houston Independent School District made the Washington Post’s annual list of the Most Challenging Schools in America — and four schools cracked the top 100.

Carnegie Vanguard High School took home top honors for HISD, ranking 11th out of the 2,156 high schools from across the country that made the list. Energized for STEM Academy came in 32nd place, the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice ranked 52nd and Challenge Early College High School came in at 97th place.

These four schools are among 33 HISD high schools that made it onto the prestigious list, which represents the nation’s top 9 percent of schools.

“It is an honor to have so many HISD schools ranked among the best of the best across the country,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “These rankings are evidence of all the hard work going on in our schools. We have raised the bar and our students and teachers are rising to the occasion.”

Challenge index rankings are determined by taking the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given annually at each school and dividing that by the number of seniors who graduated in the spring.

HISD’s strong showing in the Washington Post rankings are the result of a 2009 decision by the HISD Board of Education to boost the number of AP course offerings in all schools, and to waive the AP exam fees for all students in those courses. Last year, HISD students passed 8,248 college-level Advanced Placement exams, an 80 percent increase from 2007. That is the equivalent of 25,000 college credits and a savings of $7.3 million in college tuition.

In addition to the national recognition, HISD had 21 schools rank among the top 100 Texas schools, including 10 that were among the top 50 schools in the state and three that were among the top 20. Carnegie Vanguard High School ranked in 4th place out of the 166 Texas schools, while Energized for STEM Academy ranked 12th and the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice ranked 17th.

HISD National Rankings

11 – Carnegie Vanguard HS

32 – Energized for STEM Academy

52 – High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

97 – Challenge Early College HS

129 – DeBakey HS for Health Professions

173 – Eastwood Academy

186 – Lamar HS

191 – High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

264 – Houston Academy of International Studies

266 – Bellaire HS

476 – Sharpstown HS

530 – East Early College HS

532 – Westside HS

563 – Sharpstown International School

756 – Westbury HS

830 – Furr HS

889 – Reagan HS

933 – North Houston Early College HS

950 – Davis HS

960 – Sam Houston MSTC

966 – Chavez HS

1,097 – Waltrip HS

1,209 – Lee HS

1,315 – Washington HS

1,607 – Mount Carmel Academy

1,705 – Barbara Jordan HS

1,711 – Jones High School (now the Futures Academies at Jones)

1,786 – Milby HS

1,799 – Madison HS

1,997 – Wheatley HS

2,045 – Kashmere HS

2,078 – Stephen F. Austin HS

2,129 – Worthing HS

For a complete list of schools, go online to: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2014/list/national/

For a complete list of Texas schools, go online to: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2014/list/texas-schools/