Choosing where to send your child to high school can be a difficult decision, one made all the more challenging lately, thanks to tectonic shifts in the field of education. Which is to say that if you think high school means roaming the halls with a backpack full of books and notebook paper, you haven’t visited one lately.

Students these days barely need a backpack—let alone a locker—to accommodate the few school supplies they still possess; everything is stored in a cloud. Forget roaming the halls between classes with impunity; schools are under surveillance like never before. And when it comes to private high schools, there are experts who will tell you not to bother unless you’ve been coaching Junior since the womb.

For our inaugural Top Schools feature, we looked at the issues facing high schoolers today—from bullying to the ever-confusing TAKS test—and ran down the statistics for nearly every public and private high school in the greater Houston area. How do institutions match up in terms of SAT scores? Student-teacher ratios? Teacher education? You’ll find the answers to those questions and more in our Best High Schools grid.

Every child is different, and no set of statistics can determine the right high school for your child. But the information on the following pages may well make the decision easier. After all, you and your kids still have to decide on which languages to take, which fine arts to enroll in, which athletics to play, and plenty more. School’s in session.

In This Feature:

2013’s Best High Schools List

We’ve rated the best 130 high schools in Houstonia, public or private.

10/31/2013 By Katharine Shilcutt

Electronic Devices: From Banned to Subsidized

Ten years ago, the teacher would take cell phones away. Oh, how quickly things change.

10/31/2013 By Catherine Matusow

Cy-Fair ISD’s Very Own Police Department

Safety, not privacy, is their top priority.

10/31/2013 By Michael Hardy

Prep School Prep

Competition for entry into Houston’s elite schools spawns an industry.

10/31/2013 By Peter Holley

Bullying: When Should Schools Step In?

Are anti-bullying initiatives doing enough to protect our kids, or are we robbing them of conflict resolution skills?

10/31/2013 By John Lomax

TAKS Under Attack: Does Standardized Testing Actually Work?

Or are testing companies trying to trick us?

10/31/2013 By Kerry H.