Carnegie Vanguard earns top spot in Children at Risk’s annual rankings

The research and advocacy nonprofit Children at Risk released its annual school rankings with several Houston ISD campuses earning top spots. For the 2022-2023 school year, HISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School was ranked the number one public high school in the Greater Houston area.

“We are very appreciative of this recognition,” said Carnegie Principal Ramon Moss, who has been with the campus for 20 years. “We have a wonderful parent population, an exceptional PTO. We have an exceptional, phenomenal administration here, a wonderful staff, faculty that is just spectacular. I want to give a big shoutout to all of our students, who are so intrinsically motivated to do well.”

Every year, Children at Risk grades and ranks Texas public schools to give parents, educators, and communities an overview of how the schools in their neighborhood are performing.

Rankings for all grade levels are based on student achievement (STAAR scores), campus performance (test scores compared to schools with similar levels of poverty), and student growth (STAAR testing improvement). High schools are also graded on college readiness, which measures how many students are graduating on time and participating in college-readiness activities.

The goal, according to the organization, is to encourage greater accountability and transparency in the education system as well as start conversations around improving schools and providing better educational opportunities for all students.

“When we look specifically at demographics in Houston, 70% of the students in the Greater Houston area are coming from low-income families,” said Dr. Bob Sanborn, President and CEO of Children at Risk. “When we look at original language, 21% of students attending public schools in the Houston area are emergent bilingual or English language learners. When we look at children who are immigrants or children of immigrants, we’re talking about 50% of our children.”

Children at Risk also highlights high-performing, high poverty schools in its Gold Ribbon Schools rankings. These are traditional neighborhood campuses that receive an “A” or “B” and are more than 75% economically disadvantaged.

The number one Gold Ribbon School in the Greater Houston area for 2022-2023 was HISD’s Pleasantville Elementary.

“We are a small but mighty elementary school in East Houston,” said Pleasantville Principal Samyra Rogers. “I’d like to give all the credit to my team—my teachers, my staff, my students—we are truly a school family, and that energy is exuded by the performance of our students.”

Overall, HISD high schools earned four of the top five spots, including Young Women’s College Prep Academy (#2), Eastwood Academy (#4), and Challenge Early College High School (#5). See the full list of Greater Houston High School Rankings here.

HISD middle schools earned three of the top five spots, including T.H. Rogers School (#1), Mandarin Immersion Magnet (#2), and Briarmeadow Charter (#4). See the full list of Greater Houston Middle School Rankings here.

T.H. Rogers School also ranked number five for top elementary schools. See the full list of Greater Houston Elementary Rankings here.

To learn more about Children at Risk and the 2022-2023 school rankings, click here.