The great news is that Sunset High School in Dallas gave 483 diplomas to their Class of 2010. That is 76 more graduates than were in the Class of 2009, and the largest graduation class ever! The "raw" graduation rate, based on total 9th grade enrollment four years earlier, went from 49.4% last year to 60.8% for the Class of 2010 based on the 483 number. It is wonderful progress!! (This 483 number was taken from the 483 names that were listed on the Sunset graduation program. It will probably not exactly match the number that will ultimately be the official number of graduates, but it will be close.)
Due to the decreasing number of 9th grade failures and the growing upper grade class enrollments, it is almost certain Sunset will achieve a 70% graduation within the next few years. It is now possible to see an 80% graduation rate is even being within sight!
The reason these achievements are so significant is that during the 8 year period, from the Class of 2000 to the Class of 2007, the average graduation rate (calculated as the percentage of the 9th grade enrollment four years earlier who received a diploma) was 34% for Sunset High School. The graduation rate for the Class of 2010 is now 60%! That is over 25 percentage points higher!
Does anyone know of another Texas public high school who has made this much progress?
The reasons for the progress are multiple. A dynamic principal and staff are the central reason. They are future focused. They have emphasized that focus on the future by starting their own School Archive Project in 2009, but their future focus was present long before that happened. As of 2009 all the feeder middle schools sending students into Sunset now also have School Archive Projects. Once Sunset achieves the 70% raw graduation rate they will have doubled what had been their average graduation rate for the eight years up to and including the Class of 2007. That is amazing!!! (See http://www.studentmotivation.org/DallasISD/#sunset for the enrollment by grade history for Sunset. It is not yet updated with the most recent 2010 numbers.)