The 2020 Jay Mathews Challenge Index was recently published, ranking three South Texas Independent School District (STISD) high schools among the best in the state of Texas and within the top 1 percent of high schools in the nation.
In the national rankings, South Texas ISD Medical Professions (now Medical Professions, and previously South Texas Academy for Medical Professions, or Medical Academy) in Olmito ranked 48th, South Texas ISD Science Academy (Science Academy) in Mercedes ranked 62nd, and South Texas ISD Health Professions (now Health Professions, and previously South Texas High School for Health Professions, or Med High) in Mercedes ranked 67th. In the state rankings, Medical Professions ranked 22nd, Science Academy ranked 27th and Health Professions ranked 29th.
According to the website, the Challenge Index is the oldest high school ranking system in the country, beginning in 1998 in both Newsweek and The Washington Post. It is the only list that does not rely on test scores for its ranking, and the only list that compares private and public schools. It ranks high schools by a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Schools ranked no. 220 or above are in the top 1 percent of America’s 22,000 high schools, no. 440 or above are in the top 2 percent and so on.
STISD is comprised of four magnet high schools – South Texas ISD Health Professions, South Texas ISD Medical Professions, South Texas ISD Science Academy, and South Texas ISD World Scholars– as well as two middle schools – South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy and South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy. All campuses are tuition-free and serve students from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. For more information, visit www.stisd.net.
- High School