Tools, References, & More Resources
Putting together, updating, and expanding this website is tough work! Below are some of the resources that we use that you can also generally access at no charge. Have you found something great not listed below? Share your knowledge in our discussion forum.
The resources below are categorized by:
Harris County Appraisal District
Use HCAD to research property property values including details like size, structure types, and construction quality. Use it for schools and homes you're interested in buying or leasing.
Houston Association of Relators (HAR)
HAR.com is an excellent resource for learning more about neighborhoods in which you might live or attend school. Of course you can also find houses for sale or lease!
Houston is a driving city and that means traffic. While you can get current traffic information from just about anywhere, only Houston Transtar has detailed historical data, which can help you make better decisions about where to live or what school to attend.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
The NCES is "the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education." Here, you'll find mostly demographic information like total enrollment, minority enrollment, and number of teachers.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)
The NMSC is a non-profit best known for its annual scholarship competition paired with the PSAT. You can find out more about this competition on the organization's website, but you can only find individual names from the media.
GuideStar is a non-profit organization that aggregates information on other non-profits. In particular, we use Guidestar to look up IRS form 990 tax returns for schools. Note that religiously affiliated schools do not have to file form 990.
Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST)
A public website of the Texas Comptroller's office, FAST makes state-wide data on Texas schools easy to find, understand, and manipulate. It even includes data at the campus (school) level.
Children at Risk (CAR)
A Houston-based non-profit, CAR is really the only non-governmental organization that analyzes lots of data to rank the city's public and charter schools. Access their full rankings and data here.
Houston Independent School District (HISD)
HISD's website is very informative in many areas. Here are some highlights:
Texas Education Agency (TEA)
Unlike HISD, the TEA's website is pretty difficult to navigate. Here are some highlights:
Pearson Education is the private firm that administers the STAAR tests. On their website, you can find very detailed STAAR test results for each public and charter school in Texas.
Article last updated on January 15, 2015.