Part 4: Nearly 50 Houston-area schools beat the odds and received top rankings in new report

Children at Risk’s 2019 school rankings report shows how Texas public schools fared on math and reading state standardized tests while also taking into account student population demographics.

The Houston-based research and education advocacy nonprofit used 2017-18 math and reading STAAR scores, as well as college readiness metrics to assign each school a letter grade and region rank.

Previous reports showed that campuses serving students from wealthier families and specialty schools often performed higher than schools located in high-poverty areas, according to the Chronicle’s analysis.

This year brought a more positive overall result, though. Data shows some Houston schools bucked that trend and received an "A" or "B" grade while serving at least 75 percent "economically disadvantaged" students.

Children at Risk awarded these schools "Gold Ribbon" status to highlight their accomplishments. Using this data, the Chronicle compiled a list of all of the schools in the Greater Houston area that received the designation.

Click through the photos above for the Houston schools that are beating the odds and achieved Golden Ribbon status from Children at Risk.

The Chronicle visited five of these schools to see how educators are beating the odds there. Read more on what they found on HoustonChronicle.com.

RELATED: These Houston high schools are not preparing students enough for college, new report shows

Children at Risk’s overall report analyzed 1,425 Houston-area schools spanning eight counties including Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.

According to a Houston Chronicle analysis, the majority of Houston-area schools — 28.6 percent, or 406 schools — received a "B" grade from Children at Risk. Approximately 232 schools, or 16.3 percent, received an "A" grade; 369 schools, or 26 percent received a "C" grade; 300 schools, or 21.1 percent, received a "D" grade and only 114 schools, 8 percent, received a failing grade.

School ratings were based on three factors: raw scores, year-over-year progress and expected performance relative to student poverty levels.

High-school ratings were also based on a fourth metric of college readiness. Children at Risk uses participation and performance on American College Testing (ACT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests to calculate college readiness levels, according to the Chronicle’s methodology.

The Chronicle compiled lists of the top-rated schools in the state, worst-performing elementary schools, worst-performing middle schools and worst-performing high schools. See which schools made each list on Chron.com.

To see how your local school or district fared, and how it compared to others throughout the region, search the Chronicle’s online School Report Card.

Rebecca Hennes covers community news. Read her on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | rebecca.hennes@chron.com | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message

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