Lamar, Bellaire Make List Of Nation’s Top High Schools

June 29, 2009

Lamar High School and Bellaire High School are among the nation’s best high schools, according to a recently released list from Newsweek. The schools were two of seven Houston Independent School District Schools to make the list of the best 1,537 schools, which were chosen from about 27,000 public high schools.


Bellaire High School came in close to the top at number 138, and Lamar made the list at number 859. The other HISD schools include Carnegie Vanguard High School, which came in the top 100 at number 98, Westside High School at number 186, DeBakey High School at number 198, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts at number 608 and Austin High School at number 1,377.


“We are proud to represent HISD and the Houston community with our school’s college-bound culture of academic achievement,” said Bellaire Principal Tim Salem.


Newsweek came up with its list of the nation’s best high schools by taking the total number of AP tests, International Baccalaureate tests, and Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2008 divided by the number of graduating seniors.  


The ranking system has been criticized by placing too much weight on AP examines, which some say causes districts to push students into AP exams in the hopes of increasing their national rank.


Newsweek does not include magnet or charter high schools that draw such a high concentration of top students that their average SAT or ACT score significantly exceeds the highest average for regular-enrollment schools. This year schools had to have an average SAT score below 1950 or an average ACT score below 29 to be included on the list.  


According to Newsweek, The Challenge Index is designed to honor schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests. It does not work with schools that have no, or almost no, average students.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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