Nationally Recognized School

A national publication recognized four McAllen ISD high schools among America’s best.

This includes Achieve Early College High which is ranked the highest in the Rio Grande Valley, No. 15 in Texas, and No. 125 in the country.

U.S. News & World Report has published the rankings of the “2023-24 Best High Schools.”  This is the ninth straight year McAllen ISD has had high schools recognized by either U.S. News & World Report or The Washington Post.  The McAllen ISD schools are:

  • Achieve Early College High School                
  • McAllen Memorial High School                                             
  • James “Nikki” Rowe High                              
  • McAllen High School             

 “These rankings are the result of a total team effort,” McAllen ISD Acting Superintendent Dr. Rosalba De Hoyos said. “They reflect the hard work, talent and dedication of our students, teachers and staff. I want to thank all our parents for their support and our Board of Trustees for their leadership.”

 Achieve Early College High, a two-time national Blue Ribbon Award winner, jumped 33 spots from last year when they were ranked No. 48 in Texas. Its No. 15 ranking this year places the campus in the top one percent among the state’s 2,144 high schools ( In the national rankings, they improved by an incredible 153 spots from last year, going from No. 278 to No. 125.

 The top-ranked schools have a high rate of students who scored above expectations in state testing, passed an array of college-level exams, and graduated in four years.

The U.S. News High School Rankings include data on nearly 25,000 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to traditional high schools, the rankings encompass charter; magnet plus STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused schools.

 There were 17,680 schools ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

 The six factors are:

  • College readiness (30%)
  • State assessment proficiency (20%)
  • State assessment performance (20%)
  • Underserved student performance (10%)
  • College curriculum breadth on AP and/or IB exams (10%)
  • Graduation Rate (10%)

 McAllen ISD is a district of choice, offering STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) in Pre-K-12, International Baccalaureate in grades 1-12, Advanced Placement courses, Career Technical Education (CTE) in 13 career clusters where students earn professional licenses or certifications plus four dual enrollment academies. McAllen ISD also offers students the chance to earn any of five endorsements (career paths) recognized in Texas.

McAllen High, McAllen Memorial and McAllen Rowe high schools are traditional schools offering multiple educational paths and electives including opportunities in fine arts, athletics, CTE and more. 

Achieve Early College High has earned many accolades since it first opened in 2008. The school has earned two national Blue Ribbon Awards. The campus was named a top ranked high school in the Valley by Children at Risk and is a five-time member of the State Honor Roll. Through its relationship with South Texas College, Early College High students can earn an Associates Degree before they graduate high school.

According to the US News & World Report web site, this year, US News adjusted its calculations to account for the cancellation of state testing in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because assessment data from the 2019-20 year was not available, US News incorporated assessment results from both 2018-19 and 2020-21, depending on the availability for each state. For the AP and IB assessment data, US News used scores from 2020-21, the most recent school year for which this information was available.

All the data is collected from third-party sources. US News receives Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate data from the College Board and International Baccalaureate, respectively. The state assessment data and graduation rates are from each state, and other data comes from the US Department of Education Common Core of Data.

About McAllen ISD McAllen ISD is a three-time winner of the state’s highest rating, an “A,” and a four-time winner of the state’s Post-Secondary Readiness Distinction. In 2022, McAllen ISD was named the Best Large District in Texas through the H-E-B Excellence in Education awards. The district is home to 30 campuses and approximately 20,500 students. To learn more about McAllen ISD’s schools and programs, contact Student Outreach at 956-687-MISD (6473).     

On the web "2023-24 Best High Schools Rankings”

PHOTO CAPTION: Three students enjoy a moment at the McAllen ISD graduation celebration  for Lamar Academy, which is home to Options in Education High, on May 31, 2023. 

Article Written by Mark May