Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Best Five Years for Dallas ISD Graduation Rate: 2008-2012

Best Five Years for Dallas ISD Graduation Rate on Record: 2008-2012
(Click on above chart to enlarge and/or print.)
The above chart contains data taken from the two charts below that together cover the past 18 years.  One confusing factor is that the above chart contains a sixth measurement that the first chart below did not contain: the comparison of current 12th grade enrollment with current 9th grade enrollment.  This measurement is a short hand way to look at school enrollment and know how their graduation rate is doing.   See more details below these two charts.

Click on either of the above charts to enlarge them and/or to print them. 
Please note that the CPI measurement for the Class of 2013 is lower in the above chart than it is in the first chart above.  This is due to two different counts for the 12th grade enrollment for 2013.  The DISD Data Portal gives a count, that is 50 students higher than the TEA count.  The Data Portal count was used in the third chart, immediately above.
Record Setting Dallas ISD Graduation Rate Progress 2008-2012, then it stopped!

1.      From 2007 to 2012 Dallas ISD enjoyed the five most progressive years of achievement in memory!  While DISD "college ready" rates edged up far too slowly, all of the graduation rate measurements soared!  Here is a 2008 report given to the DISD Board the shows the plans made in cooperation with Dallas Achieves for DISD.  They will sound very familiar.  2008 was the first year of 5 record years of progress!

2.      This combination increased the number of college ready graduates over 60% from 1996 to 2012, during years that Anglo-non-Hispanic enrollment in Dallas ISD dropped 60%.

3.      Dallas ISD graduation rates improved faster than the rest of the state of Texas in all demographic groups served from 2007 to 2011.  See the set of 12 graphs posted on the Dallas ISD web site in 2012. They are linked from the bottom of the page at the first hit when you google "Dallas ISD's graduation and dropout rates"

4.      Since 2012, under Mike Miles, the graduation rate progress has stopped.  This is illustrated by 6 measurements related to graduation rate and student movement on the above chart, and the fact that this year DISD suffered the greatest drop in 12th grade enrollment suffered in 29 years!

When any of these six measurements are in a cell with a red, or grey, background in the chart that means the number has gone down and progress has been lost since the previous school year. 

Six measurements: row 6 to row 11 in the first chart above

·         Row 6: “% 9th Grade Bulge Gone” reflects how well 8th graders are prepared for 9th grade work, and how well 9th graders are managed, so as to not repeat 9th grade.   For over 30 years the so-called “ninth grade bulge” has cursed school districts across Texas, especially urban districts.  For decades DISD would have only 11,000 students in the 8th grade but would then have more than 14,000 9th graders due to failures.  This bulge was slowly eliminated from 2007 to 2011! That progress stopped during the 2012/13 school year! It appears DISD is going backward according to measurements for the current 2013/14 school year.  The formula used is the 8th grade enrollment as a percentage of 9th grade enrollment (8th grade enrollment/9th grade enrollment).

·         Row 7: “Last year’s 9th now in 10th reflects the reality that for decades most dropouts never made it to the 10th grade. That is no longer true! DISD passed the 70% barrier in 2009 for this measurement for the first time, and has never gone back that low. This is a measurement that continued to improve though this year.  It is now over 89%!  The formula used is 10th grade enrollment as a percentage of the 9th grade enrollment (10th grade enrollment/9th grade enrollment). 

·         Row 8: “Current 12th as % 9th" is a short-hand measurement of how a school is doing with their graduation rate.  Just compare 12th grade enrollment with 9th grade enrollment at any school any time.  The bigger the difference the greater the problem.  For decades DISD had total senior enrollment that represented less than half the 9th grade enrollment.  DISD passed this 50% barrier during the 2007/08 school year, zoomed up to 73.8% by 2011/12, but has now reverted back to pre-2010 levels! The formula use is the current 12th grade enrollment as a percentage of current 9th grade enrollment (12th grade enrollment/9th grade enrollment).

·         Row 9“Promotion Rate” is a measurements widely used by the John Hopkins University Professor John Balfanz and colleagues who established the term “Dropout Factory” back in 2007 using this measurement formula.  At that time all DISD non-magnet high schools were classified as “dropout factories.”  That is no longer true due to significant progress made! The formula used is the current full 12th grade enrollment as a percentage of the original full 9th grade enrollment the year that cohort was in the 9th grade (current 12th grade enrollment/original full 9th grade enrollment).

·         Row 10: “Graduation Rate” passed the 50% barrier for the first time with the Class of 2011.  Due to the progress eliminating the 9th grade bulge, the 60% barrier will probably be passed this year in DISD unless progress deteriorates more than anticipated.  The formula used is the number of diplomas given out as a percentage of the original full 9th grade enrollment the year that cohort was in the 9th grade (Diplomas given/original full 9th grade enrollment

·         Row 11: "CPI - Cumulative Promotion Index" is the most valuable measurement.  It’s the most timely, complete, and predictive.  It shows what is happening now, and what may happen in the near future. The CPI only uses measurements collected within one calendar year for each of the four student groups in any high school: 9th graders moving to 10th grade, 10th moving to 11th, 11th moving to 12th and 12th graders who graduate.  The DISD CPI rose from 40.7% for the Class of 2006 to 66.1% for the Class of 2012!  After six years of constantly higher CPI measurements, the 3.6 percentage point drop to 62.5% for the Class of 2013, a measurement lower than any class since 2009, is a stern warning that things are not well now in Dallas ISD.  (CPI also dropped over 15 percentage points under Mike Miles in Harrison!)  The formula only uses enrollment and graduation numbers from the current 12 month period comparing last years enrollment with this years in the following formula: (current 10th grade enrollment/last years 9th grade enrollment) x (current 11th grade enrollment/last years 10th grade enrollment) x (current 12th grade enrollment/last years 11th grade enrollment) x (last years graduation numbers/last years 12th grade enrollment) = Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) for last years graduation class.

If there are any comments or questions about any of the above data please email Bill Betzen at   Your comments are valued.
Bill Betzen