Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dallas Mayor Leppert working on dropout rates!

The work of Mayor Leppert is increasingly impressive.

I was at a meeting recently when Mayor Leppert very accurately spoke of the dropout crisis Dallas is facing. He described the dropout rate as "56% to 61% depending on the source of the statistics." He was speaking of the percentage of the 9th grade enrollment who do not make it to graduation. It was the first time I had ever seen a Dallas leader give such accurate numbers for our dropout crisis!

The graduation classes for Dallas ISD for the past 8 years, 2001 through 2008, had an average of 14,816 classmates enrolled in their 9th grade classes. Yet the average number of diplomas given out at the end of 4 years of high school, after that 14,816 enrollment in the 9th grade, was only 6,433 during these 8 years. This means the average graduation rate for the past 8 years has been only 43.4%. That also means that 56.6% of our 9th grade students were missing at graduation. (

It is very painful and hard on our city to admit how bad the dropout problem is. Fortunately it appears we finally have a leader who is facing this truth. Now change is finally possible! Our children, and our city, will be the ultimate winners!

Mayor Leppert sees that vision. He is willing to admit the hard truth of current dropout numbers. That is the only way to begin to work to change them so our children ultimately win!

Other positive news is that the 9th to 10th grade dropout rates at Pinkston and Sunset have actually gone down over 25% over the past 3 years! The power of the School Archive Project is slowly being manifested. In 2008-2009 it is planned to have 6 more Dallas ISD schools start School Archive Projects.