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Best High Schools In Texas

The 2020 best Texas public high schools lists on this page identify the traditional open enrollment, selective enrollment and charter high schools that currently rank highest in both the learning success of all of their students and preparing their college-bound students for the next step in their educational experience.

Most Texas high schools offer a four-year curriculum at a single campus, but some school districts have chosen to operate separate campuses for ninth grade students or for ninth and tenth grade students. In this analysis, the performance metrics for Texas high schools that are a part of these multiple campus arrangements are combined and the schools are evaluated in the same manner as the four-year, single-campus high schools. Other independent school districts and some charter districts operate schools that teach more than four grades. The STAAR assessment student performance metric used in this best Texas high schools ranking is for all grade levels taught at those schools.

About 80 percent of the 1,620 high schools included in the comprehensive public high schools in Texas ranking analysis presented on this Texas high schools page are open enrollment schools operated by local independent school districts. The remaining schools are pretty evenly split between selective enrollment schools, also by operated by local school districts, and charter schools operated by non-profit corporations, higher education institutions and governmental entities, including independent school districts. Clicking on these 2020 top Texas open enrollment high schools, 2020 top Texas selective enrollment high schools and 2020 top Texas charter high schools jump links displays those rankings.

Each of the Texas high schools included in this ranking analysis was evaluated using three metrics: students' performance on the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) evaluations administered by the Texas Education Commission, participation in and successful completion of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and percentage of students taking the SAT and ACT college admission tests and their performance on those tests. Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings were not considered in this analysis since these ratings also take into account factors that generally have no meaningful linkage to the learning success of individual students, such as student demographics and changes in student performance on the STAAR evaluations from one year to the next.

Unlike some other best Texas high school rankings, this analysis examined only the most credible and most current student performance data available and no consideration was given to student demographics, changes in student performance over time on the STAAR tests, and other such factors or to subjective factors such as anonymous self-selected reviews and statistically invalid online opinion surveys.

Additional information about how the performance of these high schools was evaluated and ranked in this analysis, how overall academic performance was graded, and the 2020 rankings for all 1,620 high schools included in this study are available by clicking on this complete Texas public high schools rankings link.

Open enrollment high schools

Open enrollment high schools are single campus and multiple campus traditional public high schools operated by independent school districts at which the only requirement for admittance is residency in the district and school attendance area.

2020 Texas top open enrollment high schools

% students met criteria
AP / IBSATACTattended by students living in
1Highland Park High SchoolHighland Park ISD2,14878.0A9672.1%59.7%78.2%Dallas, Highland Park, University Park
2Westlake High SchoolEanes ISD2,76777.0A9666.8%75.4%59.9%Austin, West Lake Hills
3Carroll Senior High School / Carroll High SchoolCarroll ISD2,71276.29656.8%68.2%71.4%Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Westlake
4Lovejoy High SchoolLovejoy ISD1,52474.6A9662.6%65.3%55.8%Fairview, Lucas, Allen, McKinney, Wylie
5Seven Lakes High SchoolKaty ISD3,61772.8A9656.2%77.3%41.9%Katy
6Westwood High SchoolRound Rock ISD2,75672.5A9470.1%87.0%46.4%Austin
7Clements High SchoolFort Bend ISD2,54571.3A9558.6%83.5%39.4%Sugar Land
8Reedy High SchoolFrisco ISD1,88270.9A9654.4%60.9%46.0%Frisco
9Tompkins High SchoolKaty ISD3,75070.9A9557.3%72.9%34.6%Fulshear, Katy
10Wakeland High SchoolFrisco ISD2,06370.1A9549.4%65.2%46.3%Frisco
11Coppell High SchoolCoppell ISD3,59869.6A9458.1%66.5%68.3%Coppell, Irving
12Liberty High SchoolFrisco ISD1,96769.4A9553.1%66.8%45.1%Frisco
13Vandergrift High SchoolLeander ISD2,70869.0A9366.9%77.0%51.8%Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Volente
14The Woodlands High SchoolConroe ISD4,34267.5A9449.1%72.8%45.4%Conroe, Spring, The Woodlands
15Centennial High SchoolFrisco ISD1,98366.8A9547.4%60.3%39.9%Frisco
16Plano West Senior High School / Jasper High School / Shepton High SchoolPlano ISD5,61165.89355.8%70.2%45.6%Dallas, Plano
17Cinco Ranch High SchoolKaty ISD3,17165.1A9446.8%69.3%34.7%Katy
18Independence High SchoolFrisco ISD2,07065.1A9451.4%58.8%37.1%Frisco
19Reagan High SchoolNorth East ISD3,48064.6A9450.7%72.8%21.3%San Antonio
20Memorial High SchoolSpring Branch ISD2,61663.8A9256.8%82.1%47.5%Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Hunters Creek, Hunters Creek Village, Piney Point, Spring Valley
21Flower Mound High SchoolLewisville ISD3,61563.3A9342.1%74.5%42.8%Flower Mound, Lewisville
22Bowie High SchoolAustin ISD2,91462.7A9442.7%64.4%18.2%Austin
23Keller High SchoolKeller ISD3,07562.4A9438.0%58.8%48.8%Colleyville, Fort Worth, Hurst, Keller, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Westlake
24Lake Travis High SchoolLake Travis ISD3,21262.4A9347.7%64.1%48.1%Austin, Dripping Springs, Spicewood
25Johnson High SchoolNorth East ISD3,14962.2A9444.2%64.8%22.2%San Antonio
26Taylor High SchoolKaty ISD2,88461.6A9441.3%67.4%27.7%Houston, Katy
27Cypress Woods High SchoolCypress Fairbanks ISD3,42861.4A9441.3%50.9%41.4%Cypress
28Champion High SchoolBoerne ISD1,73861.2A9345.6%61.4%38.4%Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch, San Antonio
29Heritage High SchoolFrisco ISD1,99261.0A9440.3%51.9%34.0%Frisco
30Cypress Ranch High SchoolCypress Fairbanks ISD3,05460.5A9436.0%55.6%41.9%Cypress
31Cedar Park High SchoolLeander ISD2,08160.5A9252.1%67.7%47.4%Cedar Park
32Round Rock High SchoolRound Rock ISD3,50160.3A9346.8%76.1%28.0%Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock
33Allen High School / Lowery Freshman CenterAllen ISD6,82660.19345.0%57.5%32.1%Allen, Lucas, McKinney, Parker
34Friendswood High SchoolFriendswood ISD2,09559.9A9338.1%63.9%32.0%Friendswood
35Dawson High SchoolPearland ISD2,57659.7A9351.6%62.3%25.8%Brookside, Manvel, Pearland
36Tomball Memorial High SchoolTomball ISD2,31059.6A9439.9%54.6%21.7%Cypress, Tomball
37Nelson High SchoolNorthwest ISD2,49959.2A9344.8%66.5%28.8%Fort Worth, Northlake, Roanoke, Southlake, Trophy Club
38College Park High SchoolConroe ISD3,12259.1A9342.6%62.1%36.5%Conroe, Spring, The Woodlands
39Port Aransas High SchoolPort Aransas ISD18759.0A9434.4%61.0%26.6%Port Aransas
40Anderson High SchoolAustin ISD2,22458.8A9250.4%67.6%31.4%Austin
41Marcus High SchoolLewisville ISD3,19558.5A9336.9%58.2%40.9%Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville
42Kingwood High SchoolHumble ISD2,74258.3A9340.7%55.0%40.0%Houston, Humble, Kingwood, Porter
43Austin High SchoolFort Bend ISD2,19458.3A9343.0%66.9%22.7%Elm Grove, Richmond, Sugar Land
44Vista Ridge High SchoolLeander ISD2,38358.1A9248.7%56.9%36.8%Austin, Leander, Round Rock
45McKinney Boyd High SchoolMcKinney ISD2,83157.2A9245.2%58.9%35.0%McKinney
46Colleyville Heritage High SchoolGrapevine-Colleyville ISD1,97357.1A9155.5%65.2%40.1%Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine
47Dripping Springs High SchoolDripping Springs ISD1,95056.9A9332.2%58.4%42.0%Austin, Driftwood, Dripping Springs
48Prosper High SchoolProsper ISD3,44856.7A9333.9%45.2%37.9%Prosper, Celina, Frisco, McKinney
49Frisco High SchoolFrisco ISD1,56456.6A9241.7%51.7%34.4%Frisco
50George Ranch High SchoolLamar CISD2,67156.2A9332.1%60.7%18.4%Rosenberg, Richmond, Sugar Land, Thompson

Selective enrollment high schools

In addition to their traditional open enrollment schools, a number of Texas school districts also operate selective enrollment schools. Selective enrollment schools provide career-oriented or specialized curriculum in addition to academic subjects, and admittance typically is based on students' previous academic performance and interests demonstrated in student interviews, auditions, essays, and other similar faculty assessments. As would be expected, since admission to selective enrollment schools generally is highly selective and limited, the average standardized test results of the selective enrollment schools generally are much higher than results attained by the open enrollment schools that their students otherwise would attend.

These factors, probably to a large extent, enabled the two Dallas Independent School District schools that rank highest among Texas selective enrollment high schools to frequently be recognized in national surveys as two of the best high schools in the U.S. In any event, they also top this 2018 Texas best public high schools ranking.

2020 Texas top selective enrollment high schools

% students met criteria
1School for the Talented and GiftedDallas ISD359100.0A9998.5%98.5%100.0%
2School of Science and EngineeringDallas ISD49795.4A9899.0%98.6%95.6%
3Carnegie Vanguard High SchoolHouston ISD80894.4A9897.9%100.0%83.8%
4Liberal Arts and Science AcademyAustin ISD1,23894.4A9998.8%91.8%58.2%
5Rangel Young Women's Leadership SchoolDallas ISD54991.6A9890.8%93.9%83.1%
6DeBakey High School for Health ProfessionsHouston ISD89190.8A9897.8%100.0%55.0%
7Health Careers High SchoolNorthside ISD86285.1A9878.9%94.8%39.5%
8Kinder High School For Performing And Visual ArtsHouston ISD75277.2A9665.1%91.6%25.7%
9Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsDallas ISD99973.7A9570.0%74.9%56.3%
10Challenge Early College High SchoolHouston ISD46373.6A9576.9%81.2%9.4%
11Lassiter Early College High SchoolDallas ISD24573.5A9650.9%82.7%50.9%
12Garcia Early College High SchoolLaredo ISD42072.8A9592.0%55.5%22.0%
13Sanders Law MagnetDallas ISD40971.7A9653.3%72.3%26.7%
14Eastwood AcademyHouston ISD43271.7A9578.1%83.4%4.8%
15Clear Horizons Early College High SchoolClear Creek ISD44371.7A9560.4%91.7%34.4%
16Kerr High SchoolAlief ISD79671.5A9561.0%88.2%13.3%
17The Science Academy of South TexasSouth Texas ISD77471.3A9474.0%81.2%37.7%
18School of Health ProfessionsDallas ISD54971.0A9738.8%76.1%31.7%
19Richards School for Young Women LeadersAustin ISD85670.9A9376.3%84.4%57.0%
20Sharyland Advanced Academic AcademySharyland ISD38569.1A9464.5%73.1%41.4%
21School of Business and MagementDallas ISD50568.5A9643.3%75.8%23.5%
22Garza Early College High SchoolDallas ISD43867.5A9631.7%73.3%21.3%
23Achieve Early College High SchoolMcAllen ISD48366.6A9567.9%47.5%17.9%
24International School of AmericaNorth East ISD49466.5A9456.3%71.5%37.1%
25Sorrells School of Education and Social ServicesDallas ISD30666.2A9454.8%71.5%20.2%
26Mansfield Frontier High SchoolMansfield ISD12866.1A9731.7%49.5%23.1%
27East Early College High SchoolHouston ISD47666.0A9551.4%83.8%9.5%
28Silva Heath MagnetEl Paso ISD74966.0A9537.4%81.3%12.2%
29Young Women's Leadership AcademyFort Worth ISD41665.4A9286.1%75.0%22.2%
30North Houston Early College High SchoolHouston ISD48465.3A9462.4%74.8%4.6%
31Victory Early College High SchoolAldine ISD39964.0A9365.6%72.1%25.3%
32Grand Prairie Fine Arts AcademyGrand Prairie ISD83063.6A9452.2%70.1%16.9%
33Texas Academy of Biomedical SciencesFort Worth ISD39763.5A9348.9%89.7%21.2%
34Alief Early College High SchoolAlief ISD40163.3A9532.4%74.0%13.2%
35New Tech High School at CoppellCoppell ISD31962.4A9347.6%55.6%60.3%
36Talkington School for Young Women LeadersLubbock ISD46562.3A9352.5%71.3%22.5%
37Valle Verde Early College High SchoolYsleta ISD40361.7A9442.0%72.7%17.1%
38Brownsville Early College High SchoolBrownsville ISD39461.6A9345.5%77.3%19.3%
39Arlington Collegiate High SchoolArlington ISD40761.5A9535.1%70.6%3.1%
40High School for Health ProfessionsSouth Texas ISD79161.5A9358.4%62.7%32.3%
41Mission Collegiate High SchoolMission CISD40661.4A9363.4%46.6%18.3%
42Spring Early College High SchoolSpring ISD42061.3A9355.6%72.8%25.6%
43Steele Accelerated High SchoolNorthwest ISD18660.4A9427.3%65.9%27.3%
44Obama Male Leadership AcademyDallas ISD46160.3B9342.0%79.0%35.0%
45Judson Early College AcademyJudson ISD48160.2A956.0%90.0%10.0%
46Transmountain Early College High SchoolEl Paso ISD41659.6A9431.7%68.3%4.8%
47Harlingen School of Health ProfessionsHarlingen CISD42159.4A9436.5%65.6%14.9%
48Houston Academy for International StudiesHouston ISD49559.2A9431.3%74.1%7.6%
49Business, Education and Technology AcademySouth Texas ISD59858.5A9171.7%57.6%25.2%
50Early College AcademyClint ISD29758.4A9351.1%57.4%1.1%

Charter high schools

Generally speaking, any student can apply for admission to a Texas charter school, though the charter district's charter can specify certain restrictions. A typical example of this would be that a student must reside in a specific town or city in order to apply for admission. In most cases, the school's admissions policy also will describe its lottery process. A charter school must use a lottery process when the number of applications to the school exceeds the number of available spaces.

2020 Texas top charter high schools

% students met criteria
1BASIS San Antonio Shavano CampusBASIS Texas1,05886.6A96100.0%100.0%42.4%
2Uplift North Hills Preparatory High SchoolUplift Education53185.4A9590.8%81.7%85.2%
3Westlake AcademyWestlake Academy Charter School87983.1A9496.9%73.1%78.5%
4Imagine International Academy of North TexasImagine International Academy of North Texas1,40679.2A93100.0%86.0%53.1%
5Young Women's Leadership AcademySan Antonio ISD49578.7A9671.4%91.7%31.0%
6Meridian SchoolMeridian World School1,64871.7A9186.4%77.1%58.5%
7IDEA Frontier College PreparatoryIDEA Public Schools78769.9A9192.3%65.4%45.6%
8Grand Prairie Collegiate InstituteGrand Prairie ISD31066.4A9440.0%90.0%10.0%
9Harmony School of Innovation - KatyHarmony School of Science58966.3A9359.5%75.7%8.1%
10Travis Early College High SchoolSan Antonio ISD38165.8A9536.5%78.7%12.5%
11Harmony School of Innovation - Sugar LandHarmony School of Science68964.1A9345.5%77.7%19.0%
12Chaparral Star AcademyChaparral Star Academy38564.0A9350.0%69.7%19.7%
13Richland Collegiate High SchoolRichland Collegiate High School59263.9A9523.9%74.9%23.9%
14TCPA Founders Classical AcademyTexas College Preparatory Academies92163.6A9151.8%74.1%50.0%
15IDEA Toros College PreparatoryIDEA Public Schools14162.0A9277.3%2.3%31.8%
16Uplift Summit International High SchoolUplift Education48462.0B8579.7%65.6%41.2%
17Harmony School of Innovation - Fort WorthHarmony Science Academy89361.1A9057.1%87.8%21.4%
18YES Prep - SoutheastYES Prep Public Schools99961.0A8972.9%67.4%23.7%
19Gateway College Preparatory SchoolOrenda Charter School1,30060.9A9242.9%68.8%25.0%
20NYOS Charter SchoolNYOS Charter School65560.2A9061.1%62.1%33.3%
21Harmony Science Academy - El PasoHarmony Science Academy86359.6A9166.1%62.5%10.7%
22IDEA College PreparatoryIDEA Public Schools75559.6A8391.0%21.7%46.3%
23Harmony Science Academy - CarrolltonHarmony Science Academy49959.6A9150.0%84.8%1.4%
24IDEA Edinburg College PreparatoryIDEA Public Schools72259.2A9171.7%4.3%33.7%
25Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts High SchoolFort Worth Academy of Fine Arts33958.7A9232.6%65.2%32.6%


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