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Austin’s LASA Scores High In National School Ranking

Students in the Liberal Arts and Science Program at LBJ High School
Photo by Austin ISD
Students in the Liberal Arts and Science Program at LBJ High School

The magnet program at LBJ High School, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), is the highest ranked Austin high school in a new national ranking.  LASA placed 29th out of more than 1,900 public schools nation-wide. 

The Washington Post’s Jay Matthews ranked high schools across the country using the so-called Challenge Index, which the Post says is a relatively simple measure.

Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. While not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.

The LASA ranked high with its 100 percent graduation rate, average SAT score of 1,877, and 90 percent rate of students attending four year colleges. But students must pass an admissions test to be granted entry.

Among open admissions high schools in the area, Westlake High scored the highest at 58th place.

Two Dallas schools topped the national ranking. DISD’s School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center scored first and the School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center scored second.

See the entire national ranking here.

KUT News interviewed the Latin teacher at LASA earlier this year. He and his wife, also a teacher at the high school, are both losing their jobs under AISD's "reduction in force" program. The school district eliminated more than 1,000 positions because of a projected $94.4 million deficit, which is largely the product of anticipated state cuts to public education.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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