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Best School Districts In Texas

This objective fact-based analysis examines the most credible currently available academic performance data for all 1,020 Texas independent school districts awarded 2019 TEA accountability ratings to identify the 2020 top school districts in Texas. Evaluation factors included both broad-based and college-bound student performance measurements. Key performance metrics and the most recent Texas Education Agency accountability ratings for all of these districts are presented on this 2020 Texas school districts rankings page.

The five highest ranked districts in this 2020 Texas independent school districts academic performance analysis were also the five top ranked districts in the last year's study with only change being that Highland Park ISD and Lovejoy ISD switched positions.

2020 top Texas school districts

The performance data in this top Texas school districts rankings table can be sorted by clicking on the table headings. You also can limit the display to the top ranked districts in a metropolitan area by typing the name of the area in the Search box.

% students met criteria
AP / IBSATACTmetro area
1Carroll ISD1096.4A9656.8%68.2%71.4%Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Westlake
2Eanes ISD1096.3A9466.8%75.4%59.9%Austin, Rollingwood, West Lake Hills
3Highland Park ISD
(University Park, TX)
1094.5A9465.6%54.3%71.2%Dallas, Highland Park, University Park
4Lovejoy ISD1094.1A9562.6%65.3%55.8%Fairview, Lucas, Allen, McKinney, Wylie
5Coppell ISD1093.1A9457.2%65.6%67.6%Coppell, Irving
6South Texas ISD1089.9A9466.9%66.6%26.2%Rio Grande Valley
7Lake Travis ISD1084.7A9247.7%64.1%48.1%Austin, Bee Cave, Dripping Springs, Lakeway, Spicewood, The Hills
8Allen ISD1081.7A9345.0%57.5%32.1%Allen, Lucas, McKinney, Parker
9Grapevine-Colleyville ISD1081.0A9148.3%58.9%36.2%Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine, Hurst
10Friendswood ISD1080.6A9338.1%63.9%32.0%Friendswood
11Plano ISD1080.5A9146.7%59.9%35.1%Allen, Dallas, Lucas, Murphy, Parker, Plano, Richardson, Wylie
12Round Rock ISD1079.4B9143.2%68.8%25.5%Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock
13Frisco ISD1079.1A9339.7%49.3%33.0%Frisco, Little Elm, McKinney, Plano
14Leander ISD1078.0B9142.6%52.5%33.7%Austin, Cedar Park, Jonestown, Leander, Volente, Georgetown, Round Rock
15Boerne ISD1077.6A9140.3%55.9%31.9%Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch
16Katy ISD1077.2A9239.4%55.3%23.5%Brookshire, Fulshear, Houston, Katy
17Dripping Springs ISD1077.0A9132.2%58.4%42.0%Austin, Driftwood, Dripping Springs
18Port Aransas ISD1077.0A9234.4%61.0%26.6%Port Aransas
19Aledo ISD1076.4A9228.0%60.7%35.5%Aledo, Annetta, Cresson, Fort Worth, Hudson Oaks, Weatherford, Willow Park
20Prosper ISD1076.2A9233.9%45.2%37.9%Celina, Frisco, McKinney, Prosper
21Alamo Heights ISD1076.1A8938.4%64.6%34.3%Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, San Antonio, Terrell Hills
22Rockwall ISD1075.3A9138.5%54.3%22.0%Fate, Forney, Heath, McLendon Chisholm, Rockwall, Rowlett, Royse City, Wylie
23McKinney ISD1075.0B9040.5%50.7%27.8%Fairview, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, McKinney, New Hope
24Sabine Pass ISD1074.9A8937.9%60.4%31.0%Port Arthur, Sabine Pass
25Keller ISD1073.9B9134.1%50.3%25.7%Colleyville, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Hurst, Keller, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Watauga, Westlake
26Pearland ISD1073.6B9136.8%51.3%16.7%Manvel, Pearland
27Randolph Field ISD1073.2A9227.2%54.8%21.1%JBSA-Randolph, Universal City
28Argyle ISD1072.7A9214.3%56.6%41.8%Argyle, Bartonville, Denton, Flower Mound
29Tomball ISD1072.6A9232.3%43.9%17.8%Cypress, Pinehurst, Magnolia, Spring, The Woodlands, Tomball
30Northwest ISD1072.3A9034.2%54.3%18.7%Aurora, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Haslet, Justin, New Fairview, Newark, Northlake, Rhome, Roanoke, Southlake, Trophy Club
31Wimberley ISD1072.0A8836.2%55.9%27.8%Driftwood, Wimberly
32Jim Ned CISD1071.7A9030.9%40.5%35.3%Buffalo Gap, Lawn, Tuscola, Ovalo, Wingate
33Barbers Hill ISD1071.3A9231.2%22.3%33.4%Baytown, Beach City, Cove, Mont Belvieu
34College Station ISD1071.2B8933.3%53.5%22.0%College Station
35Sharyland ISD1070.8A9133.0%37.9%19.2%McAllen, Mission
36Archer City ISD1070.6A9128.1%28.1%37.5%Archer City, Holliday, Loving, Scotland, Wichita Falls
37Lewisville ISD1070.3B8832.5%53.2%26.7%Carrollton, Coppell, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Frisco, Lewisville, Little Elm, Plano, The Colony
38Knippa ISD1070.3A9114.3%61.9%28.6%Knippa
39Conroe ISD1070.2B9030.2%43.4%23.8%Conroe, Montgomery, Shenandoah, Spring, The Woodlands
40Klondike ISD1070.1A956.3%78.2%Lamesa
41Comal ISD1070.0A9124.5%55.6%13.0%Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Fischer, Garden Ridge, New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Wimberly
42Clear Creek ISD1069.5B8930.2%50.9%19.8%Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Shores, Dickinson, Friendswood, Houston, Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Taylor Lake, Taylor Lake Village, Webster
43Midway ISD1069.3A9123.1%41.2%25.4%Hewitt, McGregor, Waco, Woodway
44Groom ISD1068.9A9150.0%60.0%Groom, Pampa
45Liberty Hill ISD1068.9A9026.4%49.4%16.3%Georgetown, Leander, Liberty Hill
46Wylie ISD
(Wylie, TX)
1068.5A9222.1%39.1%15.8%Lavon, Murphy, Sachse, St. Paul, Wylie
47Lindsay ISD1068.2A9216.7%38.9%25.0%Gainesville, Lindsay, Myra
48Celina ISD1068.2A9127.6%13.5%36.8%Celina, McKinney, Weston
49Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD1068.0A9030.5%38.3%13.3%Arlington, Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Fort Worth, Hurst, North Richland Hills
50Fort Bend ISD1068.0B8829.5%53.0%17.3%Elm Grove, Fresno, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosharon, Sugar Land

Source: Texas Education Agency

In order to compare the academic performance of the districts in precise and meaningful way, an academic performance index for all Texas independent school districts was constructed based on their STAAR assessment results and multiple college readiness measurements, as described in the Methodology discussion provided below. Based on its relative position in the overall academic performance index, each district also has been assigned an academic performance score with the top 10 percent of Texas school districts receiving an academic performance score of 10, districts in the next lower, ninth decile districts received a score of 9, and so on.

The Texas Education Agency 2019 Accountability Manual describes the methodology used by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to award district and campus accountability ratings and explains specifically how the four metrics used in this study to rank the academic performance of Texas school districts are derived. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) metric is the cumulative scaled score of all STAAR assessments administered to district students during the 2018-2019 school year. The Advance Placement / International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) and the SAT and ACT college admission tests metrics are the number of students meeting college-ready criteria specified in the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), a state-legislated program to improve student success in college.

Accountability ratings awarded by the TEA in were not considered in this analysis since these ratings also take into account multiple factors that generally have no meaningful linkage to the academic performance of individual students, such as graduation rates, students enlisting in the military and changes in student performance on the STAAR evaluations from one year to the next. Those factors may be meaningful to administrators and teachers, but not to most parents or students. Also not considered in this study are frequently and sometimes purposefully misleading subjective factors such as opinions of self-selected contributors of anonymous parent and student reviews and "expert insights" regarding teacher quality.


Within each evaluation category, the top ranked Texas school district was awarded the maximum points allocated to that category and all other districts were awarded a proportional number of points based on how their individual scores compared to the score of the top ranked district. Scores from both evaluation categories were then added together to arrive at the district's academic performance index.

Performance on STAAR tests: 60 points

A maximum of 60 points was awarded based on the percentage of a district's students meeting the TSI achievement standards on the STAAR reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies subject assessments. As is explained in the Texas Education Agency Accountability Manual, the STAAR score shown in the table above is calculated by first adding equal weightings of the percentage of assessments on which students’ performance mastered grade level, met grade level and approached grade level, dividing the sum by 3 and rounding it to the nearest whole percentage. The TEA refers to this as the raw STAAR component score. This raw score is then adjusted or “scaled” by using a conversion table to align letter grades and raw component scores of Texas public school districts and campuses. Because the precision of the scaled STAAR score is significantly diminished but otherwise unchanged for comparison purposes by this process, the unrounded raw STAAR component score is used in this analysis to measure relative performance on the STAAR tests.

College readiness indicators: 40 points

A maximum of 20 points was awarded based on percentage of students in grades 11-12 participating and successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. The district with the highest scores on the College Board AP examinations or International Baccalaureate Foundation examinations in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies was awarded a maximum of 20 points. A maximum of 20 points also was awarded to the district with the top SAT and ACT scores. The college readiness index for each district was calculated by aggregating the scores for all high schools in the district, weighted by the number of students attending each school. A complete description of the college readiness evaluation methodology used in both this and the high schools ranking study, along with the AP, IB, SAT and ACT data used in these analyses, is provided on this Texas high school rankings page.

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