Thursday, October 14, 2010

9th grade bulge is disappearing from Dallas ISD enrollment, and the number of boys compared to girls is more balanced

Beginning with the Dallas ISD enrollment for 2005/2006 the 9th grade enrollment bulge began to go down.

For the decade ending with the 2005/2006 school year the 9th grade enrollment had averaged over 14,700 students. Meanwhile the average 8th grade enrollment had only been 11,025.  This made the "9th grade bulge rate" to be 33.3% more students than were in the average 8th grade class for DISD during these years. This was caused by students being poorly prepared for high school who then repeated the 9th grade in exceptionally large numbers. The bar chart below illustrates this pattern in Dallas ISD, a pattern repeated in most school districts in Texas. For all of Texas, from 1997 to 2008, the average "9th grade bulge rate" was 18%.

The above bar chart illustrates the 9th grade bubble/bulge which is now less than half as severe as the above graph indicates.  With the Dallas ISD enrollment as of 10-14-10, taken from, the "33.3% bulge" of the decade prior to 2005/2006, has been lowered to below 12% with the current 20010/2011 enrollment!  This is a significant reflection of the reasons our dropout rates are going down!  Below is the graph showing this progress by year:

Ninth grade bulge history in Dallas ISD
 In the process of the above documented progress, the number of girls related to the number of boys has also become significantly more balanced combined with the lowering of the dropout rate.

The 9th grade enrollment for Dallas ISD in 2004-2005, as reflected in the TEA data base online, shows that  52.7% of 9th grade enrollment was male.  This was probably mostly due to the higher retention rate for boys. That was 6 years ago. As of 10-14-2010 the current Dallas ISD enrollment indicates that only 51.7% of the 9th grade enrollment is male. This represents a 41% improvement.  The 5.4 percentage point difference between the male and female numbers in 2004/2005 is now lowered 41%, to a 3.2 percentage point difference as of the 10-14-2010 enrollment.

The 12th grade enrollment change is even more significant. In 2004/2005 the 12th grade enrollment was only 45.9% male in Dallas ISD. Since then the male 12th grade enrollment has grown to 48.2% of the senior class enrollment as of 10-14-2010. Thus the 8.2 percentage point spread between male and female senior class enrollment from the years before 2005/2006 has shrunk 61% within the past 5 years to a spread of only 3.6%. This 61% improvement within 5 years, in equalizing the balance between the number of boys and girls, is significant progress! 

The dropout rate progress in Dallas ISD is positively affecting many factors in the lives of our students, and in the life in our city.  The many positive results from lowering the DISD dropout rate will be much more valuable to our city that any other single civic improvement that is possible.

(Since the above post it was discovered that progress in Dallas ISD is now moving it in front of the average schools in the state of Texas relative to the 9th grade bulge. See )