Jack D. Johnson Elementary in Southlake is Tarrant County’s top public elementary school — one of five Carroll district schools ranked among Fort Worth-area high performing schools by the Texas nonprofit Children at Risk.
Fort Worth’s Tanglewood was the second-best-performing public elementary school in Tarrant County and Carroll’s Robert H. Rockenbough Elementary School was third, according to Children at Risk’s 2017 Annual School Rankings. The education-focused nonprofit released rankings of all schools in counties throughout Texas.
Children at Risk analyzed 457 public schools in Tarrant County, including 314 elementary schools, 94 middle schools and 49 high schools and assigned them an A through F. Schools were measured by achievement on STAAR reading and math standardized tests, student growth or improvement on standardized tests over time and college readiness.
The analysis also looked at how schools perform when they serve low-income or working-class communities with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students.
“The idea is to give parents a better idea of how our schools are doing,” said Robert Sanborn, president and CEO of Children at Risk.
The rankings include high-performing elementary, middle and high schools.
Smithfield in Birdville, George Dawson and Carroll middle schools were the top three middle schools. Among Tarrant-area high schools Westlake Academy, Keller High and Carroll Senior High were the top three. The rankings also listed high schools with top STEM programs, an analysis that included participation and performance on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams in math and science.
Sanborn said Fort Worth’s rankings indicate the district’s Gold Seal and Schools of Choice programs are offering a high-quality education. He said it is critical to raise the performance of neighborhood schools that serve low income families.
Sanborn said one answer may emerge with the district’s planned leadership academy program that will bring strong educators to five struggling campuses. That pilot program includes pre-kindergarten and expanded school hours so students can have more opportunities to learn, he said.
The organization also recognized as Top Gold Ribbon Elementary Schools — schools that are high performing and serve high-poverty communities with 75 percent or higher economically disadvantaged children.
“These are schools that as a parent you would be proud to send your children to,” Sanborn said, adding that the rankings also aim to help school districts figure out what programs to replicate at low-performing campuses.
Ten schools are recognized as Top Gold Ribbon Elementary Schools, including Fort Worth’s Charles Nash, Oakhurst, Moore and Westcliff elementary schools. White Settlement’s Liberty Elementary, Azle’s Liberty Elementary, Hurst-Euless-Bedford’s Bellaire Elementary, Birdville’s W.T. Francisco Elementary, Arlington’s Hale Elementary and Everman’s E. Ray Elementary were also recognized at Top Gold Ribbon campuses.
The top five elementary and middle schools, top 10 high schools and top performing Gold Ribbon schools will be recognized at a press conference at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts on Monday.
Blanca Galindo, principal at Fort Worth’s Charles Nash Elementary, said parents, teachers and staff working together to help students is the key to the school’s success. The school, located in the downtown Fort Worth area, has about 280 students from working-class families from diverse backgrounds.
“Once we have reached their hearts, then we reach their minds,” Galindo said, adding, “When you come to Nash there is just a spirit of togetherness. We are here for our students.”
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Top Tarrant Schools
Top elementary schools
Johnson (Southlake Carroll), Tanglewood (Fort Worth), Rockenbaugh (Southlake Carroll), Carroll (Southlake Carroll), Walnut Grove (Southlake Carroll), Eubanks (Southlake Carroll), Porter (Birdville), Glenhope (Grapevine-Colleyville), Heritage (Grapevine-Colleyville), Neal (Mansfield)
Top middle schools
Smithfield (Birdville), George Dawson (Carroll), Carroll (Carroll), Westlake Academy (Westlake Academy Charter School), Harwood (Hurst-Euless-Bedford), Colleyville (Grapevine-Colleyville), Keller (Keller), Daggett Montessori (Fort Worth), Bedford (Hurst-Euless-Bedford), North Ridge (Birdville)
Top high schools
Westlake Academy (Westlake Academy Charter School), Keller (Keller), Carroll Senior (Southlake Carroll), Texas Academy of Biomedical (Fort Worth), Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts (Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts), Colleyville Heritage (Grapevine-Colleyville), Central, (Keller), Timber Creek (Keller), Birdville, (Birdville), Fossil Ridge (Keller)
Top STEM high schools
Westlake Academy (Westlake Academy Chater School), Bell (Hurst-Euless-Bedford), Colleyville Heritage (Grapevine-Colleyville), Trinity (Hurst-Euless-Bedford), Keller (Keller), Timber Creek (Keller), Martin (Arlington), Richland (Birdville), Paschal (Fort Worth)
Gold Ribbon elementary schools
Liberty (White Settlement), Liberty (Azle), Nash (Fort Worth), Oakhurst (Fort Worth), Moore (Fort Worth), Bellaire (Hurst-Euless-Bedford), W.T. Francisco (Birdville), Hale (Arlington), Westcliff (Fort Worth, Ray (Everman)
Source: Children at Risk