Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Enrollment growth shows we have a dropout cure!

In December of 2009 it was discovered that, while only 2 out of the 32 high schools in Dallas ISD receive over 90% of the Middle School Archive Project students, those two schools account for 55% of the growth in 11th and 12th grade enrollment, within these 32 high schools, from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010.

This is the strongest indication to date that the School Archive Project, started in 2005, has a powerful effect in positively motivating students to stay in school.

From the 2005/2006 school year to 2009/2010 DISD made significant dropout rate progress. That progress included increasing 11th and 12th grade enrollments by 758 students or 5% during those 4 years. (At the same time the district itself lost 2.5% of it's total student enrollment.) However, when you look closely at the source of this 758 student increase you find that 417 of this increase, 55% of it, happened at two out of the 32 DISD high schools: Pinkston and Sunset high schools, the "Archive Project High Schools."

The data behind these indications can be studied at http://www.studentmotivation.org/.

It appears we may have found the dropout "silver bullet," a dropout cure. In 2010 we will celebrate as record numbers of students graduate within Dallas ISD. The School Archive Project will continue to spread! Schools in DISD who want to start such a project can have their principal send an email to Linda Johnson at the Dallas Educational Foundation at 3700 Ross. There is enough money left, after having started 4 other Archive Projects this year, to cover expenses for five more schools.

If anyone wants to give to the "Archive Project Fund" go to www.dallasisd.org/about/edfoundation/programs.htm and read about the School Archive Project mentioned at the bottom of that page. Donations can be designated and mailed to the Dallas Educational Foundation at the address given. $1,500 will install the needed vault, and cover other expenses for the first few years, to get the project started at your local school. Of course donations can always be made directly to your school if the principal wants to get a project started. Projects are now happening at the elementary, middle school and high school level at 5 schools within DISD.

Students benefit from time spent focusing on their own futures.