The SAT is an almost ubiquitous part of the American educational landscape, serving as a critical metric for gauging college and career readiness. Its influence extends to educators and institutions as well, offering valuable data that can guide curricular and instructional enhancements. While the test is divided into Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) sections, what is particularly noteworthy is the strong correlation between SAT scores and college performance. Students who meet or exceed the SAT benchmarks in these sections (480 in ERW, 530 in Math) have a 75% chance of earning at least a ‘C’ grade in relevant first-semester college courses. This not only underscores the SAT’s role in academic preparedness but also serves as a compelling lens through which to evaluate the efficacy of Houston’s top high schools in preparing students for higher education.
The tables below show three sets of numbers:
- Composite is a combination of EBRW and Math for a maximum of 1600 points
- EBRW stands for Evidence Based Reading and Writing, with a maximum score of 800 points
- Math is scored out of a maximum of 800 points
Top Houston ISD High Schools by SAT Score
The best high schools in Houston Independent School District (HISD) are Carnegie Vanguard, DeBakey, and Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. “Best” here refers to the performance of each school’s students’ performance on the SAT, which all 11th grade students in HISD can take for free every year in March.
This analysis uses the most recent data available. The HISD data are for the Class of 2022 and can be found on the Research and Accountability page on the HISD website.
Looking deeper into the data reveals some interesting facts:
- The average student at Carnegie tests better than 91% of all SAT test-takers.
- DeBakey and HSPVA also test well, with an average score in the 80th+ percentile.
- The average composite scores for HISD, for Texas, and nationally are as follows:
At first glance, HISD seems to be outperformed by its state and national peers. However, the numbers should be viewed in the context of family income, which has been shown to be inextricably linked to test scores. Nearly 80% of HISD’s students qualify for free or reduced meals, which is a primary measure of family income in public schools. By comparison, this number is 57% for all Texas students and just 46% for all students nationwide.
|3||Carnegie Vanguard HS||1375||683||692|
|4||Challenge Early College HS||1098||565||533|
|7||East Early College HS||1070||538||532|
|8||Eastwood Academy HS||1095||546||549|
|9||Energy Institute HS||1057||535||522|
|10||E-STEM Southeast HS||899||451||448|
Top Greater Houston Area High Schools by SAT Score
When we expand the list to include all public high schools in the Greater Houston area, Clements (Fort Bend), Seven Lakes (Katy), and Glenda Dawson (Pearland) take up the #3, #5, and #6 spots, respectively.
It is important to note that the most recent available data for the Greater Houston area are for the Class of 2021. The data set can be downloaded from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.
A few things one understands from the data:
- The TEA provides data on participation rate, so that column has been added below.
- The average composite scores for the Greater Houston area, for Texas, and nationally are as follows:
- Out of the 213 schools included in the analysis, 100 (47%) scored higher than the state average, and 57 (27%) scored higher than the national average. However, if you exclude schools with fewer than 50% participation rate, the number of schools that score higher than the state average is 48 (23%), and the number of schools that score higher than the national average is 39 (18%).
|wdt_ID||School Name||District Name||Composite||ERW||Math||Participation Rate (%)|
|1||Alvin HS||Alvin ISD||1008||506||501||37|
|2||Manvel HS||Alvin ISD||980||494||486||61|
|3||RISE Academy||Alvin ISD||831||414||417||92|
|4||Shadow Creek HS||Alvin ISD||1050||530||521||84|
|5||Angleton HS||Angleton ISD||990||507||483||40|
|6||Danbury HS||Danbury ISD||1044||519||525||26|
|7||Brazosport HS||Brazosport ISD||914||464||450||47|
|8||Brazoswood HS||Brazosport ISD||1042||534||508||45|
|9||Brazos Success Academy||Brazosport ISD||829||422||407||20|
|10||Sweeny HS||Sweeny ISD||968||494||474||82|
|11||Columbia HS||Columbia-Brazoria ISD||983||501||482||36|
|12||Pearland HS||Pearland ISD||1105||560||545||49|
|13||Glenda Dawson HS||Pearland ISD||1210||603||607||68|
|14||Robert Turner College And Career HS||Pearland ISD||1093||552||541||49|
|15||Anahuac HS||Anahuac ISD||993||491||502||46|
|16||Barbers Hill HS||Barbers Hill ISD||1054||523||531||75|
|17||Lamar Cons HS||Lamar CISD||914||460||454||90|
|18||B F Terry HS||Lamar CISD||891||452||439||94|
|19||Foster HS||Lamar CISD||1033||521||512||94|
|20||George Ranch HS||Lamar CISD||1074||543||531||94|
|21||Fulshear HS||Lamar CISD||1029||519||510||98|
|22||Needville HS||Needville ISD||1001||514||488||73|
|23||Dulles HS||Fort Bend ISD||1128||558||570||99|
|24||Willowridge HS||Fort Bend ISD||866||436||430||50|
|25||Clements HS||Fort Bend ISD||1278||625||653||82|
|School Name||District Name||Composite||ERW||Math||Participation Rate (%)|