This week, the U.S. News & World Report released their annual rankings of the best public high schools in the nation for 2019. This year’s rankings again recognized many open-enrollment charter schools in Texas. In addition to the national list, US News also puts out a Top 100 Texas Public High Schools. Public charter schools took 35 of the Top 100 spots! A great accomplishment when you consider that we only make up 6 percent of public schools in Texas.

In determining its rankings, U.S. News and World Report considers many factors, including college readiness, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates.

Open-enrollment public charter schools continue to make great progress in preparing Texas students for life. The Texas Charter Schools Association is incredibly proud of the 35 public charter schools that have earned their spot in the Top 100 Public High Schools in the Lone Star State. Way to go!

Public charter schools in the Top 100 Texas Public High Schools 2019 Rankings (state ranking, national ranking):

• Imagine Academy of North Texas #11 in TX, #104 Nationally
• Uplift Education-North Hills Prep High School #12 in TX, #114 Nationally
• Westlake Academy #13 in TX, #116 Nationally
• IDEA Frontier College Preparatory #15, #119 Nationally
• IDEA Quest College Preparatory #16 in Texas, #112 Nationally
• IDEA College Preparatory San Juan #24 in Texas, #160 Nationally
• YES Prep – Southeast #25 in Texas, #163 Nationally
• KIPP Austin Collegiate #31 in Texas, #198 Nationally
• Uplift Summit International High #38 in Texas, #242 Nationally
• Meridian World School #39 in Texas, #249 Nationally
• YES Prep – East End #42 in Texas, #254 Nationally
• Harmony School of Innovation – Katy #44 in Texas, #259 Nationally
• YES Prep – North Central #46 in Texas, #270 Nationally
• YES Prep – West #48 in Texas, #291 Nationally
• Vanguard Academy #49 in Texas, #293 Nationally
• YES Prep – Southwest #51 in Texas, #297 Nationally
• IDEA College Preparatory Mission #54 in Texas #312 Nationally
• Harmony Science Academy (El Paso) #57 in Texas, #347 Nationally
• IDEA College Prep #59 in Texas, #359 Nationally
• KIPP Houston High School #60 in Texas, #363 Nationally
• Uplift Williams Preparatory HS #65 in Texas, #438 Nationally
• Harmony School of Science – Houston High #68 in Texas, #460 Nationally
• YES Prep – Gulfton #78 in Texas, #568 Nationally
• IDEA College Preparatory San Benito #79 in Texas, #590 Nationally
• Harmony School of Discovery – Houston #80 in Texas #591 Nationally
• International Leadership of Texas – Garland High School #81 in Texas, #640 Nationally
• Chaparral Star Academy #83 in Texas, #662 Nationally
• Harmony School of Innovation – Fort Worth #84 in Texas, #665 Nationally
• Founders Classical Academy #88 in Texas, #716 Nationally
• NYOS Charter School #91 in Texas, #776 Nationally
• Gateway College Preparatory School #94 in Texas, #797 Nationally
• Harmony Science Academy North Austin #95 in Texas, #827 Nationally
• Uplift Heights Preparatory High School #97 in Texas, #886 Nationally
• YES Prep – Brays Oaks #98 in Texas #904 Nationally
• Harmony School of Advancement – High #100 in Texas, #920 Nationally

For a complete list of the rankings, visit:

Texas Charter Schools Association’s Executive Director, David Dunn, and Director of Advocacy, Martha Fernandez, had the honor of touring El Paso Leadership Academy earlier this week. El Paso Leadership is in its second year of operation serving grades 6 and 7 with plans to expand up through grade 12 soon. EPLA has more than doubled their student enrollment from 80 to 180 after only one year in operation! The YWCA facilities they now call home is being continually rehabilitated and renovated to form the ideal innovative public charter school. 

Upon entering each classroom, visitors are approached by a class ambassador who bring them up-to-speed on what students are learning, what activities are taking place and what lies ahead. It was evident during our visit that students thoroughly enjoyed their new school. We witnessed plenty of teachers with smiles on their faces along with a handful of parents being readily welcomed into classrooms. 

TCSA is eager to see growth and renovations like EPLA’s throughout public charter schools across the state. Please share similar stories from your school with us. We hope to see your smiling faces as David and the rest of the TCSA staff continue to make school visits. 

Congratulations to EPLA on their continued success! 


From Kevin: Onto the Next Adventure. As some know, I will officially retire on November 30. I have to say that the years with Texas Charter Schools Association have been enjoyably fulfilling. I have had the opportunity to work with dedicated, committed professionals in the dynamic environment of Education.  I count these people among my friends. As I look forward to what will come next for me personally, I know that the Association and its mission are in very good hands. 

From Geanene: I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the team here at TCSA. The association combines the two things that I am passionate about: children and education. I have felt like part of the family since I began working here in October. I know that I have some very large shoes to fill and look forward to helping fulfill the mission of the association.

From TCSA: Although we are saddened to lose Kevin, he has left us in very capable hands. He recruited Geanene Trahan, a former colleague of his to take care of TCSA and its members. We hope to call on Kevin when we need someone to greet schools as they arrive for our TX Charter Revolution Rallies and for other volunteer opportunities that require a friendly and warm smile. We will miss him, but look forward to working with Geanene as our new Director of Financial Operations.  

Every day TCSA works to increase our membership’s reach at all levels of government: federal, state, and local. Did you think we got to take a break at the end of a Legislative Session? Oh no! At the end of each Legislative Session is when we take a moment to assess our work and then drive forward to build upon our previous efforts.

Our membership’s participation in TCSA is vitally important at all times, but I call upon you to be equally, if not more involved during the Legislative Interim – the time in between Legislative Sessions. There is a lot going on during this time; just a few examples include:

  • In collaboration with our TCSA member schools, we begin to develop and finalize TCSA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming Legislative Session;
  • In collaboration with our TCSA member schools, we provide feedback and engage in the rule-making process with the Texas Education Agency to help guide the drafting and implementation of rules and regulations;
  • In collaboration with our TCSA member schools, we engage in grassroots advocacy efforts to strengthen and empower our member schools’ parents so that they advocate on behalf of their charter school;
  • In collaboration with our TCSA member schools, we provide testimony before the Texas State Board of Education, advocating for charter-friendly SBOE policies; and
  • In collaboration with our TCSA member schools, we visit with our elected officials and guide them through school tours so that our elected leaders can see first-hand the difference our member schools are making in the lives of our students.

As you can see, there is a common theme throughout our work…collaboration. Yours are the boots on the ground, doing the work of educating our students day in and day out.   TCSA’s efforts are not meant to operate in a vacuum – we need the input of our member schools and your collaboration to facilitate and instruct our advocacy efforts. Partner with us – join your voice to our work today to move the charter school movement in Texas forward.

Veronica L. Garcia
VP of Government & Public Affairs
Texas Charter Schools Association

Join or renew today:

 Step 1:  Login into the Quality Member Portal
Applications will be completed in the Quality Member Portal. You will need your login information to access the application. Please contact Erin Tholen for assistance. Once logged in, click the ‘Membership’ tab at the top.

Step 2: Complete the 2015 Online Membership Application
Upon submission of the online application, an invoice will be automatically generated and sent directly to the accounting contact email listed on the application.

Step 3:  Remit your membership dues to:
Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA)
700 Lavaca Street, Suite 930
Austin, TX 78701

Or, call 512.584.8272 ext. 316 and speak with Erin Tholen to pay by phone.
Thank you for your continued support toward charter schools in the great state of Texas.