The Washington Post’s 2017 list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools features 35 Houston ISD schools, led by Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men in the No. 2 slot.
This year’s list recognizes the top 12 percent of campuses across the nation. HISD schools also accounted for 23 of the top 100 schools in Texas. The rankings are based on the number of seniors taking college-level Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge tests.
This year, HISD’s highest-rated high school is Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men, an all-male college preparatory academy for grades 6-12. Students who attend Leland College Prep are offered a rigorous pre-Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement academic program and a complement of STEM elective offerings.
The seven other HISD schools making the national top 100 list include: Carnegie Vanguard (No. 14), Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (No. 19), Challenge Early College High School (No. 54), Eastwood Academy (No. 61), DeBakey High School for Health Professions (No. 88), North Houston Early College High School (No. 92), and Jones Futures Academy (No. 98). Twenty of HISD’s comprehensive neighborhood high schools also appear on this year’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools.
“I am so proud of the students and teachers at our specialty and neighborhood high schools for maintaining a rigorous academic environment and continuing to raise the bar of success,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We have some of the finest schools in the nation, and it’s gratifying to have others take notice of the excellence being fostered in our classrooms.”
HISD’s strong showing in the Washington Post rankings is due largely to 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. In 2016, HISD students passed a record 8,765 college-level Advanced Placement exams, a 103% percent increase from 2007.
In addition to the national recognition, HISD had 23 schools rank among the top 100 Texas schools, including 12 that were among the top 50 schools in the state and four that were among the top 20.
HISD National Rankings (schools marked with * are among Texas’ top 100)
*2 – Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men
*14 – Carnegie Vanguard High School
*19 – Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy
*54 – Challenge Early College High School
*61 – Eastwood Academy
*88 – DeBakey High School for Health Professions
*92 – North Houston Early College High School
*98 – Jones Futures Academy
*114 – High School for Law and Justice
*152 – Lamar High School
*171 – South Early College High School
*175 – Houston Academy for International Studies
*279 – High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
*564 – Sharpstown International
*614 – Heights High School
*633 – Bellaire High School
*692 – Washington High School
*807 – East Early College High School
*880 – Westside High School
*883 – Northside High School
*894 – Waltrip High School
*908 – Sterling High School
*930 – Westbury High School
1,164 – Sharpstown High School
1,377 – Chavez High School
1,553 – Mt. Carmel Academy
1,593 – Scarborough High School
1,669 – Sam Houston MSTC
1,673 – Milby High School
1,686 – Jordan High School
1,706 – Wisdom High School
1,785 – Madison High School
1,882 – Austin High School
2,258 – Yates High School
2,272 – Worthing High School