Houston is home to a few of the highest-ranked high schools in the nation. Getty Images

Three Houston high schools are continuing their streak of top appearances on a prestigious annual list of the country's best public high schools.

The 2023 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, released August 29, put Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School at No. 35 nationally (up from No. 40 last year) among the country’s best high schools. The school also ranks No. 248 nationally among the best STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) high schools and No. 12 among the best magnet high schools.

Also in the top 100 are two other Houston ISD high schools.

DeBakey High School for Health Professions ranks No. 66 nationally among the best high schools (down from No. 50 last year) and No. 18 among best magnet high schools for the second consecutive year.

Young Women's College Prep Academy comes in No. 94 nationally among the best high schools (up from No. 148 last year), and No. 26 among best magnet high schools.

Topping the national list for 2023 is the Early College at Guilford in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Each year, U.S. News evaluates about 18,000 high schools on six factors: college readiness, reading and proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates.

"Having access to a strong high school program is paramount for students as they face an ever-changing world," said U.S. News' managing editor of education Liana Loewus in a release. "Making data on our high schools available helps parents ensure their child is in the educational environment that best sets them up to thrive."

Elsewhere in Texas
Around the state, these Texas high schools also made it into the top 100 nationally:

  • Dallas ISD's The School for the Talented and Gifted, No. 6 (up from No. 8 last year and No. 13 in 2021). No. 8 nationally among the best STEM high schools for the second consecutive year and No. 2 among the best magnet high schools (up from No. 4 last year).
  • Dallas ISD's Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, No. 18 (up from No. 20 last year) and No. 8 nationally among the best magnet high schools for the second consecutive year.
  • Dallas ISD's Science and Engineering Magnet School, No. 23 nationally among the best high schools (down from No. 22 last year), No. 24 nationally among the best STEM high schools (down from No. 7 last year), and No. 2 nationally among the best magnet high schools (up from No. 10 in 2022).
  • Austin ISD’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy, No. 32 (up from No. 34 last year and No. 41 in 2021). No. 34 nationally among the best STEM high schools (up from No. 70 in 2022).
  • BASIS San Antonio - Shavano Campus, No. 81 (down from No. 77 last year and No. 102 in 2021). No. 41 nationally among the best STEM high schools (down from No. 25 in 2022) and No. 17 nationally among the best charter high schools.
  • Dallas ISD's Trinidad Garza Early College at Mt. View, No. 91 (up from No. 118 last year).
  • Dallas ISD’s Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, No. 93 (down from No. 48 last year and No. 59 in 2021) . No. 25 nationally among the best magnet high schools (down from No. 17 in 2022).
  • Austin ISD's Richards School for Young Women Leaders, No. 95 (up from No. 128 last year).

When broken down just to Texas schools, Houston's Carnegie Vanguard High School (No. 5), DeBakey High School for Health Professions (No. 6), and Young Women's College Prep Academy (No. 10) are all in the top 10 best-rated public high schools in Texas this year, U.S. News says.

Other Houston-area schools that rank among Texas' 100 best are:

  • No. 12 – Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Houston ISD
  • No. 21 – Challenge Early College High School, Houston ISD
  • No. 24 – Kerr High School, Alief ISD, Houston
  • No. 29 – Eastwood Academy, Houston ISD
  • No. 37 – YES Prep - Southwest, Houston
  • No. 39 – Harmony School of Innovation - Katy, Katy
  • No. 40 – North Houston Early College High School, Houston ISD
  • No. 42 – Clear Horizons Early College High School, Clear Creek ISD, Houston
  • No. 46 – Seven Lakes High School, Katy ISD
  • No. 53 – Victory Early College High School, Aldine ISD, Houston
  • No. 54 – YES Prep - Southeast, Houston
  • No. 57 – East Early College High School, Houston ISD
  • No. 58 – Houston Academy for International Studies, Houston ISD
  • No. 64 – YES Prep - East End, Houston
  • No. 69 – Tomball Star Academy, Tomball ISD
  • No. 72 – Early College Academy at Southridge, Spring ISD, Houston
  • No. 73 – Tompkins High School, Katy ISD
  • No. 75 – Clements High School, Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land
  • No. 82 – YES Prep - North Central, Houston
  • No. 83 – Sharpstown International School, Houston ISD
  • No. 93 – YES Prep - North Forest, Houston
  • No. 95 – YES Prep - West, Houston
  • No. 97 – High School for Law and Justice, Houston ISD

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

St. John's School is ranked the No. 2 private high school in Texas. St. John's School.org

7 prestigious Houston-area high schools rank among best in Texas for 2021

report card

Several Houston-area school are among the top of their class among public and private high schools in Texas.

New rankings from education website Niche put three local institutions among the top public high schools in the state and four among the top private high schools in the state.

Carnegie Vanguard High School (in Houston ISD) leads the area best public high schools, while our prestigious St. John's School leads the private academies.

Niche ranks public high schools based on factors such as state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and Niche user ratings.

Meanwhile, Niche ranks private high schools based on factors like SAT/ACT scores, quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, and Niche user ratings.

"Our 2022 rankings come at a time when so many parents are curious about the different options for their children's education, including some they may never have considered before," Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release.

Other local schools also ranked well:

  • Top-ranked School for the Talented and Gifted (Dallas ISD).
  • Second-ranked Liberal Arts & Science Academy (Austin ISD).
  • Third-ranked School of Science and Engineering (Dallas ISD).
  • Fourth-ranked Westlake High School (Eanes ISD).
  • Fifth-ranked Carnegie Vanguard High School (Houston ISD).
  • Sixth-ranked DeBakey High School for Health Professions (Houston ISD).
  • Seventh-ranked Carroll Senior High School (Carroll ISD).
  • Eighth-ranked Westwood High School (Round Rock ISD).
  • Ninth-ranked Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Houston ISD).
  • 10th-ranked Vandegrift High School (Leander ISD).

The top private high schools in Texas are:

  • Top-ranked St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas.
  • Second-ranked St. John's School in Houston.
  • Third-ranked Greenhill School in Addison.
  • Fourth-ranked The Hockaday School in Dallas.
  • Fifth-ranked St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin.
  • Sixth-ranked The John Cooper School in The Woodlands.
  • Seventh-ranked The Awty International School in Houston.
  • Eighth-ranked Keystone School in San Antonio.
  • Ninth-ranked Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving.
  • 10th-ranked The Kincaid School in Houston.

As for the best school districts in Texas, they are:

  • Top-ranked Eanes ISD in Austin.
  • Second-ranked South Texas ISD in Mercedes.
  • Third-ranked Highland Park ISD in Dallas.
  • Fourth-ranked Carroll ISD in Southlake.
  • Fifth-ranked Coppell ISD in Coppell.
  • Sixth-ranked Lovejoy ISD in Allen.
  • Seventh-ranked Frisco ISD in Frisco.
  • Eighth-ranked Argyle ISD in Argyle.
  • Ninth-ranked Grapevine-Colleyville ISD in Grapevine.
  • 10th-ranked Allen ISD in Allen.
------
This article originally ran on CultureMap.
Here's what Houston schools have been lauded for training the city's future leaders. Photo by skynesher/Getty Images

These are Houston's 4 best high schools in 2021, says recent report

REPORT CARD

t's report card time, and four Houston high schools have made the grade, earning top 100 spots in this year's prestigious U.S. News & World Reportrankings of the Best U.S. High Schools. One even merited a special distinction.

Houston's Carnegie Vanguard High School ranked highest on the list at No. 42. The school is ranked fifth within Texas. The Advanced Placement coursework participation rate there is 100 percent; total minority enrollment is 77 percent, and 31 percent of students are economically disadvantaged.

Following close behind is the prestigious DeBakey High School for Health Professions at No. 46 overall. The renowned medical prep school boasts an AP participation rate of 98 percent, total minority enrollment is 88 percent, and 44 percent of students are economically disadvantaged.

Farther down the list is Challenge Early College High School, at No. 89 overall. The AP participation rate here is 100 percent, total minority enrollment is 92 percent, and 76 percent of students are economically disadvantaged.

At No. 97 overall is Young Women's College Prep Academy. The AP participation rate here is 100 percent. The total minority enrollment is 97 percent, and nearly all students — some 96 percent — are economically disadvantaged.

The 2021 edition is U.S. News' most comprehensive survey yet, with the consumer advice outlet evaluating more than 17,800 public high schools on how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

To determine rankings, they focus on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates. College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

Notably, the data used in this edition is from the 2018-2019 academic school year, so it was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Families can use the Best High Schools rankings to see how schools compare at the national, state and local level on factors like graduation rates and college readiness," said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, in a statement. "The rankings also provide insight into academic performance among underserved groups showing how well schools are supporting these students."

Eight more Texas schools also appear on the national top 100 list:

  • No. 13, School for the Talented and Gifted, Dallas
  • No. 15, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, Dallas
  • No. 39, The Science and Engineering Magnet School, Dallas
  • No. 41, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin
  • No. 42, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston
  • No. 46, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston
  • No. 59, Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Dallas
  • No. 68, IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, Brownsville
  • No. 89, Challenge Early College High School, Houston
  • No. 96, Health Careers High School, San Antonio
  • No. 97, Young Women's College Prep Academy, Houston
  • No. 98, Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Austin

Just over the top 100 threshold is Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, coming in at No. 101.

Texas had 1,524 schools ranked this year, of which 42 placed in the top 5 percent, 79 in the top 10 percent, and 157 in the top 25 percent nationally.

Statewide, the top 10 highest ranking schools were:

  1. The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG), Dallas
  2. Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, Dallas
  3. Science and Engineering Magnet School (SEM), Dallas
  4. Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), Austin
  5. Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston
  6. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston
  7. Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Dallas
  8. IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, Brownsville
  9. Challenge Early College High School, Houston
  10. Health Careers High School, San Antonio

So, which school throughout the country ranks as this year's valedictorian? Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia was deemed the best in the country, as well as among magnet schools. Read the full report and search for schools here.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Three Houston schools crack the top 10 high schools in Texas. Photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Here's what Houston high schools shine brightest in the state, according to a new report

A+ education

A couple of Texas schools have been working hard on extra credit, or so says the latest ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Its list of the Best U.S. High Schools, released April 21, includes two Dallas public schools in the national top 10, with several other Texas learning institutions popping up further down.

The School for the Talented and Gifted earns a coveted No. 6 spot, followed by Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School at No. 10. Last year's No. 12, Science and Engineering Magnet School, slips slightly to No. 17 this year. All three are in the Dallas ISD.

On a state level, this trio takes the top three spots. Houston's DeBakey High School for Health Professions is No. 4 in Texas, with Carnegie Vanguard High School at No. 6 and Eastwood Academy at No. 10.

This is the most expansive edition yet, with the consumer advice outlet evaluating more than 17,700 public high schools on how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on AP and IB exams.

"The Best High Schools rankings provide the most comprehensive, data-based information on nearly every public high school in the country," says Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News. "Families can use this information to see how their local schools compare on graduation rates and state assessments, as well as academic performance by students who are traditionally underserved — those who are black, Hispanic, or from low-income households."

Also appearing on the national list are six more Texas schools within the top 100:

  • No. 29, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston ISD
  • No. 34, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin ISD
  • No. 44, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston ISD
  • No. 61, Early College High School, Laredo ISD
  • No. 82, Young Women's Leadership Academy, Fort Worth ISD
  • No. 91 Basis San Antonio- Shavano Campus, Basis Texas Castle Hills

The report also shows that the highest-ranked schools are scattered throughout the country, showing that the best schools are not concentrated in any one geographic area. Nine different states are represented among the top 10 schools. More broadly, the top 100 schools span 29 states.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Early-stage accelerator returns to Houston, announces finalists

prepare for take-off

CodeLaunch, a traveling seed-stage accelerator, is returning to Houston for its latest cohort.

The startup competition sponsored by software development company Improving will have its ultimate showdown on February 28. The final competition pairs six startups with six startup consulting companies.

Jason W. Taylor, CodeLaunch president and founder, says CodeLaunch isn’t your typical startup showcase, as it incorporates music acts, comedy, and crowd networking. Mirroring the set-up of a TV show, the six finalists all present their working products in front of an audience amid these performances.

“I would describe CodeLaunch as the next generation of venture-tainment in North America and the greatest startup show on earth,” Taylor explains.

The 2024 Houston CodeLaunch participant startups — and their mentor partners — are as follows:

Prior to pitch day, all six teams will receive hands-on instruction from CodeLaunch mentors on how to construct their pitches and free professional software development from their partners. Taylor says the strong relationships between CodeLaunch and these developers played a major role in setting the competition in Houston.

“We love Houston and we’re back for a third year in a row because the Houston startup ecosystem works together better than other major startup ecosystems I’ve seen,” Taylor says. “We have some great software development partners in Houston that are building code for those startups.”

Last year, Houston-based startup Energy360, with the mentorship and help of Honeycomb Software, took home the Championship belt and a $100,000 investment offer from Cyrannus VC fund for their energy management system Matt Bonasera, Energy360’s enterprise architect, says he is grateful for the entrepreneurial community CodeLaunch provides, in particular the team’s mentor Oleg Lysiak, Honeycomb VP of Partnerships and Business Development.

“I happened along this great community of people who are really passionate about supporting each other,” Bonasera says.

Lysiak agrees that CodeLaunch is an ideal opportunity for young entrepreneurs looking to hone their skills and expand their product capabilities. Lysiak says he is looking forward to defending Honeycomb’s title as top consultant development team.

“My whole philosophy is to connect people and have different collisions and collaborations,” Lysiak says.

Houston startup completes testing, prepares biosimilar insulin drug for clinical trials

next steps

A Houston biotech startup is one step closer to releasing its marquee drug for the global insulin market, which is projected to break the $90 billion threshold by 2029.

rBIO says it recently completed testing of the properties of R-biolin, an insulin drug that’s biologically identical to Novo Nordisk’s Novolin drug. The patent for Novolin about two decades ago. In March 2023, the Dutch drugmaker announced it was slashing the list price of Novolin by 65 percent to $48.20 per vial and $91.09 per FlexPen.

Executives at rBIO are now pursuing a partnership with a contract research organization to manage clinical trials of R-biolin. If those trials go well, R-biolin will seek approval to supply its insulin therapy to diabetes patients around the world.

Washington University in St. Louis is rBIO’s academic partner for the R-biolin project.

The rBIO platform produces insulin at greater yields that traditional manufacturing techniques do. The company is striving to drive down the cost of insulin by 30 percent.

About 38 million Americans have diabetes, with the vast majority being treated for type 2 diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many people with diabetes must take insulin to control their blood sugar levels.

Research company iHealthcareAnalyst predicts the global market for insulin will surpass the $90 billion mark in 2029.

“There has been a lot of talk in the media about reducing the cost of insulin for diabetic patients, but what is often overlooked is that the domestic demand for insulin will soon outpace the supply, leading to a new host of issues,” Cameron Owen, co-founder and CEO of rBIO, says in a news release.

“We’re dedicated to addressing the growing demand for accessible insulin therapies, and … we’re thrilled to announce the viability of our highly scalable manufacturing process.”

Professionals from the University of California San Diego and Johns Hopkins University established rBIO in 2020. The startup moved its headquarters from San Diego to Houston in 2022.

CEO Cameron Owen and Chief Scientific Officer Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam work on insulin purification in the Houston lab. Photo courtesy

How AI is changing product management and what you need to know

guest column

For the past 14 months, everyone has been talking about ways artificial intelligence is changing the world, and product management is not an exception. The challenge, as with every new technology, is not only adopting it but understanding what old habits, workflows, and processes are affected by it.

Product managers — as well as startup founders leading a product function — more than any other role, face a challenge of bringing new life-changing products to market that may or may not be received well by their users. A product manager’s goal is complex — bring value, stay ahead of the competition, be innovative. Yet, the "behind the scenes" grind requires endless decision making and trade offs to inspire stakeholders to move forward and deliver.

As we dive into 2024, it is obvious that AI tools do not only transform the way we work but also help product managers create products that exceed customer expectation and drive businesses forward.

Market research and trends analysis

As product managers, we process enormous amounts of market data — from reviewing global and industry trend analysis, to social media posts, predictions, competition, and company goals. AI, however, can now replace hours, if not days, of analyzing massive amounts of data in an instant, revealing market trends, anticipating needs, and foreseeing what's coming next. As a result, it is easier to make effective product decisions and identify new market opportunities.

Competitive analysis

Constantly following competitors, reviewing their new releases, product updates, or monitoring reviews to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses is an overwhelming and time consuming task. With AI, you can quickly analyze competitors’ products, pricing, promotions, and feedback. You can easily compare multiple attributes, including metrics, and identify gaps and areas for improvement — all the insights that are otherwise much harder to reveal quickly and efficiently.

Customer and product discovery

Of course, the most intuitive use case that comes to mind is the adoption of AI in product and customer discovery. For example:

  • Use AI for customer segmentation and persona creation to help visualize personas, prioritize user motivations and expectations, and uncover hidden behavior and needs. You can then create and simplify customer questionnaires for interviews and user groups and target customers more accurately.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data from surveys, support tickets, reviews, and in-person interviews to identify pain points and unmet user needs and help prioritize features for future updates and releases.

Roadmap and sprint management

AI provides value in simplifying roadmap planning and sprint management. Resource optimization is often a gruesome task and AI can help with feature prioritization and resource allocation. It helps teams focus on critical work and increase their productivity. You can even analyze and manage dependencies and improve results across multiple sprints months in advance.

Prototyping and mockup generation

There is no product manager’s routine without multiple mockups, wireframes, and prototypes that explain concepts and collect feedback among stakeholders. AI has become a critical tool in simplifying this process and bringing ideas to life from concept to visualization.

Today, you can use textual or voice descriptions to instantly create multiple visuals with slight variations, run A/B tests and gather valuable feedback at the earliest stage of a product life cycle.

Job search and job interviews

Consider it as a bonus but one of the less obvious but crucial advantages of AI is using it in job search. With the vulnerable and unstable job market, especially for product roles, AI is a valuable assistant. From getting the latest news and updates on a company you want to join, to summarizing insights on the executive team, or company goals, compiling lists of interview questions, and running mock interviews, AI has become a non-judgmental assistant in a distressing and often discouraging job search process.

Use AI to draft cold emails to recruiters and hiring managers, compare your skills to open positions’ requirements, identify gaps, and outline ideas for test assignments.

We already know that AI is not a hype; it is here to stay. However, remember that customers do not consume AI, they consume your product for its value. Customers care whether your product gets their need, solves their problem, and makes their lives easier. The goal of a product manager is to create magic combining human brain capabilities and latest technology. And the best result is with a human at the core of any product.

------

Natasha Gorodetsky is the founder and CEO of Product Pursuits, a Houston company that helps early stage and venture-backed startups build products and create impact.