K-12 Education

Only 1/3 of Economically Disadvantaged 3rd Graders are Reading On Grade-Level In Texas


One in ten children in the U.S. is born in Texas. Providing 10% of our country’s population with a quality education is critically important to the future of our local, state, and national economies. CHILDREN AT RISK conducts research to understand trends, inequities, resources, and opportunities in public education. To address challenges and maximize opportunities, we use that research to advocate for policy change at the local, state, and federal level.

Our Latest k-12 EDUCATION Research & Resources

NEW 2019 School Rankings

Every year, CHILDREN AT RISK (C@R)  ranks and grades Texas public schools to help parents, educators, and community members understand how schools in their community are performing and spark dialogue on the quality of public education across Texas. Schools are assigned ranks and grades based on student achievement on standardized tests, student growth year-to-year, and how well schools support economically disadvantaged students. High Schools are also evaluated on how well they prepare students for college and career.


With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CHILDREN AT RISK analyzed data on the supply and demand for child care in every zip code across the state to identify child care deserts, as well as subsidized and Texas Rising Star child care deserts. You can explore the interactive map and read our in-depth analyses and methodology here.


With funding from the Meadows Foundation, researchers at CHILDREN AT RISK engaged in a study to examine how participation in Texas public Pre-K is associated with performance on the 3rd Grade STAAR Reading assessment. Pre-K in Texas: A Critical Component for Academic Success, is the first statewide Texas study that examines the relationship between Texas Pre-K and 3rd Grade reading performance on the STAAR assessment.


With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CHILDREN AT RISK undertook a year-long effort to study the subsidized child care system in Texas, which provides over $500 million per year for child care assistance to low-income working families. This study includes an in-depth analysis of the system’s local and state partners, key findings, and policy recommendations.


For 13 years, our School Rankings have served as an accessible guide for parents, educators, and community members on the performance of local schools and has sparked important community dialogue on the quality of public education in Texas.


Our 2018 School Rankings are hosted on our sister website TexasSchoolGuide.org.

Questions or comments? Please email SchoolRankings@childrenatrisk.org .


In partnership with the Rainwater Foundation and the Walton Foundation, the CPFWB is proud to produce the Texas School Guide: Parent Action Guide publication (accessible below) for parents in the Houston ISD, Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD areas. This publication provides parents with information about their school options, how to get involved in their child’s school, and how to support their children during their early education and after high school.


The CPFWB also produces a similar online resource for all parents, TexasSchoolGuide.org, to provide parents throughout Texas with campus-level data for all schools across the state.


CHILDREN AT RISK hosts parent and community workshops on how to use the resource, which are held throughout the year.  If you would like to request a workshop in your community, please email TexasSchoolGuide@childrenatrisk.org.


CHILDREN AT RISK  assesses the quality of life for children in Houston and across Texas  in the biennial publication Growing Up in Houston. This book provides a collection of graphic representations of more than 75 quality of life indicators. By focusing on the critical issues facing our children, we are able to provide a wealth of information concerning youth in our community.


Growing Up in North Texas delves into issues facing local youth from birth to 18 and recommends key solutions. The report provides extensive statistical data on four community indicators: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health and Safety. Each section includes information on proven solutions to help guide resource investments, and features insights from a variety of local experts. The report provides data for Tarrant County, along with comparative data for five other metropolitan areas.


We know many community organizations are working hard to improve the quality of life for children in Texas and that now, more than ever, data is important to their efforts. To increase access to our research, the Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation (CSME) at CHILDREN AT RISK has launched a monthly data newsletter that provides analysis about the status of children in Texas and how we can make a difference. To sign-up to receive our newsletter, please click here (it takes 1 minute).



  • Extend the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council for four additional years to examine the efficacy of a longer school day/longer school year and to examine best practices for public/private partnerships.


  • Sustain the High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Grant Program at $236 million for the biennium.
  • Create sustainable funding for quality Pre-K through formula funding.
  • Expand Pre-K eligibility to children whose parents are whose first responders and have been killed or injured during duty
  • Limit Pre-K classrooms to a maximum of 22 students, allowing no more than 11 students for each teacher or aide in Pre-K classes with more than 15 students.
  • Increase inter-agency coordination of child care and Pre-K data systems through the Early Childhood Database System to improve outcomes for children and maximize efficiency of taxpayer dollars.
  • Increase public/private partnerships between school districts and high quality child care centers.


  • Increase coordination of state-funded child care and public Pre-K data systems at the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission through the Early Childhood Database System to improve outcomes for children and maximize taxpayer dollars.
  • Increase transparency by requiring the Texas Workforce Commission to report how state dollars are being spent, including the number and percentage of children receiving subsidies that are participating in high quality child care settings to parents and policy makers.
  • Increase local coordination of early education programs by supporting public/private partnerships between school districts and high quality child care centers.