Texas, or the lone star state, is larger than life. This trait doesn't just apply to its size but also to the fact that it is among the best states in the country for family life.
Texas' quality of education is among its notable attractions. From Fort Worth to Dallas, the state is home to numerous lending institutions reputable nationwide and internationally. But not all of them can be the best.
In this review, we'll take you through some of the worst schools in Texas, from prekindergarten to college. Our elementary, middle, and high school rankings are based on the respective schools' test scores on GreatSchools.org and their latest rankings in statewide examinations. For the college section, we've prioritized the institution based on their graduation rates and average starting salaries.
Let's get straight into it!
Jubilee – Lake View University Prep
325 Castroville Rd, San Antonio, TX 78207
Jubilee – Lake View University Prep opens our list of the worst elementary schools in the state. The reputable charter school is in the San Antonio city setting in Bexar County and serves PK-12 scholars. Of these, they constitute 49%male scholars, while the female population is 51%. In addition, 97%of students come from minority communities.
Jubilee Lake View boasts a GreatSchools Summary Rating of 2/10 and scores 1/10 in the test score category. These ratings are incredibly low, indicating learners are less likely to perform at their respective grades.
The school's performance in test scores is significantly below the state average across various subjects. For instance, just 12% of students passed reading proficiency, compared to the state average of 45%. Lake View also lags behind in math, science, and writing, with only 13%, 14%, and 9% of students performing at proficiency levels, respectively. The state averages are 48% for math and science and 36% for writing.
According to the latest statewide examinations, Jubilee-Lake View University Prep ranks 3965 in the state and eighth in the district.
The school is committed to educational excellence to make up for this performance. It provides a structured, safe, and welcoming setup prioritizing a balance of mind and body, academics, and leadership.
3350 Blanchette St, Beaumont, TX 77701
The next item in our elementary school section is Fehl-Price Elementary in Beaumont. The institution caters to 392 students between prekindergarten and fifth grade. This populace comprises 51% male students, and female learners 49%.
Compared to its peers, Fehl-Price El lags in the general quality of education. The institution has a 2/10 GreatSchools Summary Rating, and the website awards it a rating of 1/10 in Test Scores.
The school's performance in test scores falls below the state average in multiple subjects. Only 13% of students in reading meet proficiency levels, compared to the state average of 46%. Similarly, the school's performance in math is 11% proficiency, while the state average is 50%. The school also needs to improve in writing, with only 8% of students performing at proficiency levels compared to the state average of 33%. The school's performance in science could be better, with only 6% of students meeting proficiency levels, while the state average is 48%.
This performance is below expectations for most parents, but Fehl-Price still has some good news. For instance, the school ranks better than its peers on this list in student progress, scoring a 3/10. In addition, faculty members and staff collaborate to accelerate academic achievement by nurturing global-minded learners, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens.
4826 Seabreeze Dr, San Antonio, TX 78220
Finally, San Antonio's Hirsch Elementary closes our list of the worst elementary schools named after the beloved, famous educator Herman Hirsh. Today, the school serves 576 learners from kindergarten to fifth grade, a population of 49% males and 51% females.
Hirsch Elementary isn't among the best-scoring institutions on GreatSchools.org, ranking in a summary rating of 3/10. In addition, the reputable review site rates it at 1/10 for test scores, which means students are less likely to excel at core subjects in their respective grade levels.
More precisely, Hirsch Elementary's test scores show mixed results compared to the state average. For instance, only 21% of students passed reading proficiency levels, higher than the state average of 46%. Moreover, students perform below expectations in math, with 24% meeting proficiency levels in the latest examinations.
Also, the school's performance in science and writing needs to improve, with only 13% and 11% of students, respectively, meeting proficiency levels, compared to the state averages of 48% and 33%.
Fortunately, the faculty members, staff, and administration are doing something about this performance. The institution has revamped its programs to meet each learner's specific needs, and the faculty work to ensure a supportive environment that fosters whole growth.
Lighthouse Charter School – B Campus
8138 Westshire Dr, San Antonio, TX 78227
Lighthouse Charter School is the first on our list of the worst middle schools in Texas. The institution opened its doors in 2003 in San Antonio and serves 203 scholars between the second and eighth grades.
GreatSchools.org awards Lighthouse Charter School – B Campus a 5/10 summary rating, with a 3/10 rating in Test Scores. More precisely, just 27% of students passed reading proficiency levels, way lower than the state average of 45%. But the school performs better in math, with 39% of students meeting proficiency levels, compared to the state average of 48%.
Similarly, in science, the school's performance stands at 31% proficiency, trailing the state average of 48%. But students registered lower performance in writing, with only 15% meeting proficiency levels compared to the state average of 36%. Notably, the school's performance in social studies needs work, with only 8% of students meeting proficiency levels. Here, the state average is 35%.
According to the latest USNews rankings, Lighthouse ranks 192 among the charter middle schools in the state. The institution also ranks positions 1,131 and 1,445 for math and reading proficiencies.
Lighthouse Charter School's administration, staff, and tutors face the challenges typical of any tuition-free institution. But despite this, they constantly encourage learners to excel in and outside the classroom. The school also offers free breakfast and lunch to ease learning for the population of learners from financially limited households.
4301 Highland Ave, Beaumont, TX 77705
Beaumont's Pietzsch/MacArthur Elementary also makes it to our list, ranking as the second-worst middle school in the state. The institution serves 925 scholars from different corners of the mid-sized city, comprising 51% males and 49% females. In addition, about 98% of learners are minorities, and 97% of scholars face financial drawbacks.
These numbers could explain Pietzsch/Mac Arthur's low scores on GreatSchools.org, boasting a 2/10 Summary Rating. While this is quite low, the test scores at this school are particularly concerning, rating 1/10.
More precisely, the school's latest reading, math, science, and writing scores are significantly below the state average. For instance, only 13% of students meet proficiency levels in reading, way lower than the state average of 46%. In math, only 9% of students meet proficiency levels, and the school's science proficiency rate is 10%, compared to the state average of 48%. Finally, in writing, it is 9% compared to the state average of 33%.
Pietzsch/Mac Arthur's scores indicate a substantial academic gap. But fortunately, the school is working on it by nurturing solid relationships with students, equipping them with the right tools, and providing a rigorous curriculum prioritizing academic prowess.
4415 Concord, Beaumont, TX 77703
Smith Middle is among the lowest-performing magnet schools in statewide examinations and graduation rates. The school is in Beaumont and serves 581 scholars between grades 6 – 8. This population comprises 52% males and 48% schoolgirls, and almost all of them come from minority communities. In addition, the institution enrolls 93% of financially limited learners.
Looking at its GreatSchools.org review, Smith Middle has a 1/10 Summary Rating and boasts a 1/10 in test scores.
The school's test scores consistently fall below the state average across multiple subjects. Only 14% of students in reading meet proficiency levels, compared to the state average of 44%. Similarly, the school's performance in math is 10% proficiency, while the state average is 46%.
In addition, Smith Middle's writing scores also show a significant gap, as only 14% of students met proficiency levels in the latest rankings. This is way lower than the state average of 40%. On the contrary, the school's performance in science is slightly better than most institutions in the district, with 13% of students meeting proficiency levels.
From these scores, you can tell a notable disparity in academic achievement between the students at this school and their statewide peers. Fortunately, this trend of low performance isn't likely to persist as the school now sets high expectations to help learners advance onto critical thinking, well-rounded citizens. In addition, the school principal acknowledges setting data-informed goals, which aid all decisions.
Midland High School
906 W Illinois Ave, Midland, Texas
906 W Illinois Ave, Midland, Texas
Midland High School boasts a rich history that spans back to 1885, making it one of the oldest entries on our list. The institution started in a single-room schoolhouse catering to 64 scholars. Today, the institution serves 2,347 scholars between grades 9-12, a population of 49% females and 51% males. While there has been a substantial transformation in size, classrooms, and quality of education, the faculty members must invest more effort and resources in improving the school's competitiveness.
Midland High boasts a 3/10 summary rating on GreatSchools.org. In addition, the platform rates the school at 3/10 for its test Scores.
In English 2, the school's performance is significantly lower, with only 36% of students meeting proficiency levels, while the state average is 51%. However, in US History, the school performs relatively better, with a proficiency rate of 65% compared to the state average of 75%. In Biology, the school's performance stands at 42% proficiency, while the state average is 63%. English 4 shows a significant performance gap, with only 4% of students meeting proficiency levels compared to the state average of 49%.
The school's performance in Algebra is particularly low, with only 1% of students meeting proficiency levels, while the state average is 62%.
The school receives a rating of 2 out of 10 regarding college readiness, meaning the average learner might face challenges preparing for college-level coursework. Regardless, the school's four-year graduation rate is relatively high, at 92%. This indicates that a significant portion of students complete their high school education.
John F Kennedy High School
1922 S General Mcmullen Dr, San Antonio, Texas
John F Kennedy High School ranks as the second worst school on our list. The institution is part of the Edgewood Independent School District in Bexar County and caters to 1,100 students. About 47% of this group constitutes females, while male scholars form 53%. In addition, the school has a 99.3% Minority Enrollment rate and 93% face economic hurdles.
On GreatSchools.org, John F Kennedy High School achieves a 2/10 summary rating. The school's test scores stand at 3/10, which is below the state average in most subjects. For instance, in English, only 31% of students meet proficiency levels, pretty lower than the state average of 49%. The school's performance in Biology I is 40% proficiency, while the state average is 63%.
In English 2, the proficiency rate is even lower at 29%, compared to the state average of 51%. But the school isn't all bad, as the school boasts a proficiency rate of 67% in US History, quite close to the state average of 75%.
In Algebra I, the school's performance is also below average, with only 31% of students meeting proficiency levels, while the state average is 62%.
According to the latest USNews ratings, John F Kennedy High School ranks 919 in the state and 65 in the San Antonio metro area. The school also boasts a College Readiness Index of 26.4/100 and a 88% Graduation Rate.
Franklin D Roosevelt High School
525 Bonnie View Rd, Dallas, Texas
The last item in our high school section also boasts a big name. Franklin D Roosevelt High School is home to 690 scholars. However, there may be better options for parents and job seekers looking for educational and work opportunities.
Franklin D Roosevelt High has a 2/10 Summary Rating on GreatSchools.org and achieves a 2/10 based on its test score performance. The school's test scores, rated at 3 out of 10, indicate a range of performance compared to the state average. In English, only 24% of students meet proficiency levels, significantly below the state average of 49%. Similarly, English 2's proficiency rate is 28%, while the state average is 51%. In Biology I, the school's performance stands at 37% proficiency, compared to the state average of 63%.
In Algebra I, the proficiency rate is slightly higher at 38% but still falls below the state average of 62%. However, in US History, the school performs relatively better, with a proficiency rate of 43% compared to the state average of 75%. These scores suggest variations in academic achievement across different subjects, with some subjects showing lower performance than others, particularly in English and Algebra.
902 College Ave, Brenham, TX 77833
Blinn College opens our list of the worst colleges in Texas regarding graduation rates. The institution was established in 1883 and has grown tremendously since then. Currently, Blinn College serves 17,000 students. The facility's education opportunities include academic transfer, workforce training, and continuing education programs.
However, the college needs help in terms of graduation and retention rates. The graduation rate currently stands at 7%, the full-time retention rate is 54%, and the part-time retention rate is 50%. Additionally, the transfer-out rate is 50%. Among entering students, 50% are full-time first-time undergraduates.
Fortunately, Blinn College has some good news. The school boasts a wide range of online courses and five distinct campuses; Blinn offers a diverse academic environment for students. As the top two-year college in Texas, Blinn excels in transferring students to prestigious four-year universities and has gained national recognition for its affordable and high-quality education.
1601 Botham Jean Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215
Dallas College also makes it to this list and boasts the lowest graduation rate in the state. The institution boasts a short yet impactful history and is reputable for providing quality post-K12 education opportunities.
Over the years, it has evolved and expanded in size, population, and programs. The institution offers diverse academic programs and serves the global student population.
However, despite its long-standing presence and wide range of offerings, Dallas College faces the unfortunate challenge of a low graduation rate, currently standing at a mere 5%. Consequently, there's a need for further examination and efforts to address the actual factors that contribute to student attrition.
Dallas College in the News!
Although Dallas College has been struggling in recent times, there is some good news. As of 2023 and at the time of writing Dallas College has been making strides to improve some of its educational access and programs. Take a look at these recent headlines from Dallas College.
It's Time For The Worst Schools To Improve
Understandably, many factors contribute to the above schools' rankings as the worst in the state. But this isn't a permanent fate, as the tutors and administrators can leverage some best practices to reverse the situation.
Generally, you can't improve a school's quality of education isn't possible overnight. Instead, this process requires you to implement a multifaceted approach where all stakeholders play their part. Your first step should be prioritizing the professional development of teachers and providing ongoing training and support. This will include their instructional strategies. These schools should also foster a positive, inclusive culture promoting student engagement and motivation.
Finally, institutions need data-driven assessments and advanced technology to facilitate personalized instruction and timely interventions. By combining these strategies, schools can strive towards continuous improvement and provide a high-quality education for all students.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©James R. Martin/Shutterstock.com.