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

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

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.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

As of this week, Lara Cottingham is the chief of staff at Greentown Labs. Photo via LinkedIn

The country's largest climatetech startup incubator has made a strategic new hire.

Lara Cottingham is the new chief of staff for Greentown Labs, a Boston-area company that opened in Houston earlier this year. Cottingham previously served as the city of Houston's chief sustainability officer and the chief of staff for the city's Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department for the past seven years. In her new role, Cottingham will oversee the day-to-day operations and communications for Greentown's CEO Emily Reichert, along with key stakeholder engagements and strategic initiatives for the incubator.

"Lara brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to our team from her dynamic leadership role at the City of Houston," says Reichert in a news release. "Her breadth of knowledge in sustainability, climate, and the energy transition, and her expertise in regulatory and stakeholder aspects of the energy industry, will be incredibly valuable to our team and community."

Under her leadership at the city of Houston, Cottingham was the chief author of Houston's Climate Action Plan, an initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Houston, and getting the city to a point where it meets the Paris Agreement goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Cottingham helped the city move to 100 percent renewable electricity, according to the release, and helped turn a 240-acre landfill into the nation's largest urban solar farm.

"In leading the Climate Action Plan, Lara helped spark Houston's leadership in what has become a global energy transition and was a passionate advocate for climate action in Houston," says Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in the release. "While she will be missed, this new role will only strengthen our partnership with Greentown. I look forward to working with Emily, Lara, and the Greentown team to meet our climate goals and make Houston the energy capital of the future."

Before her work at the city, Cottingham worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Houston office range of clients across the energy sector. Earlier in her career, she served as communications director for two congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives. She began her work with the city in 2014.

"In working with Mayor Turner and Climate Mayors across the U.S., I saw how important partnerships are to helping cities decarbonize," says Cottingham in the release. "There is no better partner or place for climate action at work than Greentown Labs. Greentown is 100 percent committed to attracting and nurturing the energy companies of the future and making Houston the energy transition capital of the world. I'm excited to join the team and see how climatetech can help cities reach their climate goals."

Greentown Labs first announced its entrance into the Houston market last summer. The new 40,000-square-foot facility in Midtown across the street from The Ion opened its prototyping and wet lab space, offices, and community gathering areas for about 50 startup companies opened in April. Greentown was founded in 2011 in Somerville, Massachusetts, and has supported more than 400 startups, which have raised more than $1.5 billion in funding.

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