Children at Risk names Valley’s best schools

The research and advocacy nonprofit Children at Risk on Tuesday announced its annual list of the Rio Grande Valley’s Best Schools, naming Brownsville Early College High School and IDEA Frontier College Preparatory in Brownsville to its Top 10 list of Valley public high schools.

Each year, Children at Risk, in partnership with the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and, produces statewide rankings to “provide parents with the information they need to navigate today’s complex public education system. Serving parents across the state, helps parents understand how their local schools are performing, what their school choice options are, and how to support their child’s education from cradle to career. This information empowers parents to make informed decisions about their child’s education and advocate for change when needed.”

Children at Risk announced its Rio Grande Valley school rankings on Facebook, calling this year’s rankings the Pandemic Edition in deference to the challenges school districts across Texas and the nation have faced during 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The groups also released rankings for other parts of the state

The Top 10 Valley high schools, according to Children at Risk, include:

>> Achieve Early College H S, McAllen ISD

>> Brownsville Early College H S, Brownsville ISD

>> Jimmy Carter Early College H S, La Joya ISD

>> IDEA Quest College Preparatory, IDEA Public Schools

>> Thelma Rosa Salinas STEM Early College H S, La Joya ISD

>> IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, IDEA Public Schools

>> The Science Academy of South Texas, South Texas ISD

>> Early College H S, Harlingen CISD

>> Mission Collegiate H S, Mission CISD

>> Vanguard Rembrandt, Vanguard Academy

In an explanation of the project, Children at Risk said it aims to help parents, educators and community members understand how their schools are performing and spark dialogue on the quality of public education in Texas.

The organization said it has shared its annual school rankings with the public for the past 13 years. School rankings are calculated using these measures:

>> Student Achievement Index – Student performance on STAAR Reading and Math tests

>> Campus Performance Index – A school’s overall campus performance is compared to other campuses statewide with similar levels of poverty. This adjustment is made to eliminate bias toward campuses with low percentages of economically disadvantaged students.

>> Growth Index – Student-level improvement over time on standardized test scores in Reading, English, and Math.

>> College Readiness Index – High school graduation rates, SAT/ACT participation rate and scores, and AP/IB participation rate and scores (high schools only).

Children at Risk also named the top five middle schools and top five elementary schools in the Valley. Olmito Elementary in Los Fresnos and Ortiz Elementary in Brownsville made the elementary school list.

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