This morning a Dallas Morning News Columnist, Mr. Ragland, wrote an opinion piece on the facts surrounding the failure of Dallas ISD to win the Broad Award in 2010. He made a bet that DISD will also not win the Broad Award in 2011. I venture that there is about an 80% chance he is correct. However, by 2014 at the latest, Dallas ISD will win the Broad Award! DISD is heading in the right direction to win the Broad Award!
In his article Mr. Ragland quoted DISD leaders speaking about significant academic progress made within the past 4 years by DISD students. Dropout rate progress was not mentioned.
Other school districts on the "road to Broad" have pushed academic progress forward causing many struggling student to drop out under the pressure, thereby raising dropout rates. The greatest achievement within DISD is that record academic progress is NOT being made at the cost of a rising dropout rate. Instead, as DISD grades rise the graduation rates are also going up! Dropout rates are going down!
Three of the four most important positive measurements pointing toward rising graduation rates are now at the highest recorded levels in DISD for over a generation! The fourth measurement is also heading up, and will achieve the same "highest in over a generation" level within two years!
Study the graph at http://www.studentmotivation.org/DallasISD.htm#graph to see the documentation for this progress to date.
It shows that the 9th to 10th grade promotion rate has gone up to 75% this year, the Cumulative Promotion Index is now up to 54%, and the 9th to 12th grade promotion rate has now gone up to over 54%. These are all the best measurements in over a generation!
Finally, if you look higher on this same web site you will find the enrollment by grade spreadsheet that generated this graph. It shows that 9th grade enrollment has gone down from an average of over 14,000 students every year prior to 2007/2008, to just 12,300 this year. That reflects that fewer 9th graders are failing and repeating 9th grade, another significant achievement in the past 4 years!
In spite of the fact that total DISD enrollment has gone down over 2% since 2005/2006, the current 10th grade enrollment is one of the largest in a decade. The current 11th and 12th grade enrollments are the largest in DISD history!
While DISD still has a long way to go, there are many very good things happening! DISD students are to be congratulated! As this progress continues, within the next four years DISD students will win the Broad Award!