By Foti Kallergis / KVUE News and Photojournalist Kenneth Null
AUSTIN -- A list of the best schools in Central Texas has been released, and many charter schools have made the cut.
The list was released Monday by children's advocacy and research group Children at Risk during a ceremony. Plaques were given to the top schools who made the list.
Children at Risk graded about 300 schools in the area. The non-profit looked at 14 criteria for the high schools, including state testing scores, graduation, attendance rates and course work.
For middle schools, Children at Risk looked at STAAR test performance, reading and math gains, and attendance.
For elementary schools, topping the list was Spicewood Elementary. Canyon Creek Elementary came in second and Bryker Woods came in at number three.
In the middle school category, Canyon Vista in Round Rock came in first place. KIPP Austin College Prep came in second place. Third was given to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.
Two charter schools topped the list of best high schools in Central Texas. Harmony Science Academy came in at number one, while Nyos Charter School came in at number two. Third place went to Westlake High School.
"Now what [we] see in Austin is what we see happening in other cities, where these high-performing charters are starting to rise in the rankings. It really doesn't mean that Westwood and Westlake aren't doing less better, it just means that there are some other schools that are performing at higher levels," Dr. Bob Sanborn with Children at Risk said.
During the ceremony Monday, Westwood High School in Round Rock was given a Shell Oil Company award for Best Math and Science High School. Harmony Science Academy was given a Shell award for Best Math and Science High School which houses a high concentration of economically disadvantaged students.
For a complete list of schools and to see their rankings, click here.