Since its launch in 2012, our Public Schools Explorer has been one of our most popular features. Updated annually, it details graduation rates, test scores, teacher salaries, demographic breakdowns and more for every Texas public school and school district. There’s no better one-stop shop to find the latest stats on your local school.

Today we’re augmenting the Explorer with a complementary data set, one that offers a deeper look into what happens to Texas students after they finish high school. It’s called Texas Higher Ed Outcomes. We’ve hosted this data on its own for more than three years, but by combining it with the Public Schools Explorer, we hope to offer richer insights into Texas’ education system.

Texas Higher Ed Outcomes documents the education outcomes of every student who started eighth grade in a Texas public school during eight academic years (1997 through 2005). Each student was anonymously tracked over 11 years to determine the percentage of Texas eighth-graders who earned a post-secondary certificate or degree from a Texas college or university within six years of their expected high school graduation date. These outcomes are tracked at county, regional and state levels.

Simply put, the Public Schools Explorer shows how a school or district looks today, and Texas Higher Ed Outcomes shows how our state's students fare over time. 

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Ryan Murphy and Annie Daniel, from our Data Visuals team, developed this project, and we'll keep it updated as new data comes out each year. Development of this project was supported by grants from the Greater Texas Foundation and the Houston Endowment.

We hope you find this a useful addition to the Public Schools Explorer. Tell us what you think. Send your comments to

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • At Coleman High School, the failure of legislation to raise teacher pay and fix the school finance system at the Capitol means another year of finding creative ways to attract new teachers and do more for the students. [Full story]

  • Though school districts in the Houston area have postponed classes at least until next Tuesday, their buildings and employees are central to providing relief for people needing shelter during the Hurricane Harvey floods. [Full story]

  • The Texas House voted Tuesday to swallow a bitter pill and accept a version of a school finance bill that had $1.5 billion less in funding for schools than the lower chamber initially approved. [Full story]

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