Liberal Arts and Science Academy, KIPP Austin Collegiate top list of 15 best Austin-area high schools

ByWill Anderson

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Austin Independent School District’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy is the best high school in Central Texas and one of the top schools in the state, according to a new national ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

LASA, a magnet school, ranked No. 7 in Texas and No. 43 nationally on the list, which came out Tuesday. KIPP Austin Collegiate, a public charter school, came in second in the Austin area and was No. 10 in the state. We have compiled the top 15 Austin-area schools in a map embedded below — charter schools were well represented and the suburbs were home to more top schools than the urban core. Colors are used on the map to differentiate the types of schools: green is for magnet schools, blue is for charter schools and red represents traditional public schools.

Quality schools drive homebuilding trends, influence where incoming CEOs will settle themselves and their companies, and they are necessary to economic development — especially STEM-focused schools such as LASA, which are deemed critical to filling employment gaps in a technology sector struggling to fill posts.

While lists such as these cannot come close to measuring all of a school’s worth, they are a handy comparison tool. U.S. News’ annual high school report is one of the most-watched in the nation because of its longevity and breadth.

The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas was ranked No. 1 in the entire U.S., leading a Texas delegation that placed three schools in the national top 10 and 19 in the top 100. Houston had the most schools in the top 10 of any metro in the state with seven.

U.S. News & World Report compiled the ranking by examining the nation’s top 6,218 high schools and comparing them on key metrics to gauge how well they served students, especially minorities. The study was completed with North Carolina-based RTI International — go here to see the complete methodology.