Children at Risk unveils Mount Carmel Academy is ranked No. 1 Houston-area high school on its 2021 rankings

See the full rankings by Houston’s Children at Risk

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HOUSTON – The nonprofit research and advocacy organization Children at Risk said Wednesday that Mount Carmel Academy is the No. 1 high school in the Houston area.

Mount Carmel Academy was among the area’s ranked schools as nonprofit revealed its full school rankings for the 2021 school year.

For 15 years, Children at Risk has ranked Texas public schools to help parents, educators, and community members better understand how their local schools are performing. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the public education landscape. Children at Risk says nearly 5.5 million students were affected.

While the organization would normally announce the top schools in the city, changes were made due to COVID-19. This year, the statewide nonprofit released what they call the “2021 School Rankings: PANDEMIC EDITION II.” With the limited amount of academic data available due to the pandemic, this analysis will be very different from previous years, representatives from CAR said.

“To provide new and meaningful metrics that can be used to understand the impact of the pandemic CAR chose to conduct analysis comparing Academic Performance during the 2020-21 school year with the 2018-19 school year,” a news release from the organization said.

This year, schools were measured by:

Pandemic Resilient Schools: This sub-list honors schools that have maintained or improved academic performance between the 2018-19 and 2020-21 academic years. Pandemic Resilient Schools are school campuses with 75% or more students classified as economically disadvantaged and also have a history of high performance (A or B CAR Rating in 2018-19). These schools experienced either increase or no change in academic performance scores during the pandemic.

Here are pandemic resilient schools ranked:


  1. Step Charter Elementary
  2. Brookline
  3. Morgan Elementary Magnet
  4. Roosevelt Elementary
  5. Park Place Elementary


  1. Step Charter
  2. Sharpstown International School
  3. Project Chrysalis Middle
  4. Baylor College of Medicine Academy
  5. Kipp Poder Academy


  1. Mount Carmel Academy
  2. Long Academy
  3. Pasadena High School
  4. Alief Early College HS
  5. Houston T-Stem and Early College High School

Red Flag Schools: This sub-list calls attention to schools that were expected to be resilient, based on previous academic achievements. These schools experienced decreases in academic performance during the pandemic. By identifying these schools that had different outcomes than what were expected, CAR said they hope to further identify characteristics of practices during the pandemic. Red Flag schools are schools that have a history of good academic performance (A or B CAR rating in 2018-19) and experienced the highest decreases in academic performance between academic years 2018-19 and 2020-21, of all schools.

Here are the red flag schools ranked:


  1. Beta Academy
  2. Campbell Elementary
  3. Wells Elementary School
  4. League City Elementary
  5. Donald Leonetti Elementary


  1. Energized for STEM Academy Middle
  2. Stockdick Junior High
  3. Beta Academy
  4. Energize for Excellence Academy
  5. Yes Prep - West


  1. Energized for STEM Academy High School
  2. Kingwood High School
  3. Memorial High School
  4. Manvel High School
  5. Stratford High School

The 2021 school year analysis covers 1,347 public schools in Houston: 864 elementary schools, 279 middle schools, and 204 high schools.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.