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The most important goal for Dallas ISD is to achieve a 50% graduation rate, then go well beyond that goal. 

Achieving this 50% goal will add 975 students to each Dallas ISD graduating class compared to the average graduation class size for the past 8 years, the classes of 2001-2008. The resulting enrollment increase will also eliminate the Dallas ISD budget problems faced the summer of 2008 due to the decreasing enrollment, a decrease caused mostly by our growing dropout rate.

A 50% graduation rate has not been achieved by Dallas ISD in well over a decade, if ever.

With the first three years of the Archive Project behind us it appears that, with the increase in 10th grade student numbers at the two high schools attended by Archive Project students, these schools will go past the 50% graduation goal when this 10th grade class graduates in 2010! (See the bar graph to the right.)

Currently between 35% and 45% of the students at these two schools have had the Archive Project experience.  If 90+% of students had participated in the Archive Project, it is possible we could see the percentage of 9th grade students enrolling in the 10th grade increase another 10%, possibly up to the average for all of Texas of 81.7%! That would put us on track to achieve the same graduation rate as the rest of Texas, 64.9%! That is an unheard of achievement for an urban school district in the US.

Student enrollment numbers by grade & diplomas given annually for 11 academic years in Dallas ISD: 1997-1998 to 2007-2008 Average change 1997-08 from previous grade
Updated 7-17-08 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 11 yr Avg
Eighth Grade 10,468 10,678 11,050 11,708 11,367 11,223 11,190 10,929 10,936 10,769 9,921 10,931 -4.5%
Ninth Grade 14,916 14,838 14,421 14,566 15,096 15,314 14,486 14,890 14,680 14,079 13,637 14,629 33.8%
Sophomores 8,389 8,895 8,998 9,250 9,638 9,771 9,701 9,173 9,821 9,441 9,561 9,331 -36.2%
Percent of last yrs 9th grade in 10th 59.6% 60.6% 64.1% 66.2% 64.7% 63.3% 63.3% 66.0% 64.3% 67.9% 64.0%
 
Juniors 7,339 6,554 6,993 7,265 7,708 8,033 8,261 7,909 8,064 8,212 8,051 7,634 -18.2%
Seniors 5,945 6,138 5,941 5,949 6,307 6,458 6,937 7,114 7,238 6,960 7,183 6,499 -14.9%
Diplomas given 5,659 5,509 5,837 6,008 6,532 6,696 7,080 6,832 6,343 5,874 6,102 6,225 -4.2%

 
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 11 yr Avg
 
9th grade Cohort Graduation Rate for this year's graduating class 40.3% 44.0% 46.4% 48.6% 45.3% 41.4% 40.5% 41.0% 43.4%
 
Increase in graduates if 50% of original 9th grade class had graduated with their class: 1450 887 515 203 716 1314 1369 1343 975 A 50% graduation rate would be 975 more graduates a year!
Increase if 60% graduated: 2942 2371 1957 1660 2226 2845 2818 2832 2456 A 60% graduation rate would be 2400 more graduates a year.
Total Enrollment 157,719 159,990 160,581 161,670 163,743 163,347 160,584 158,027 161,244 159,144 157,804 160,250 Remember, the rest of the Texas has a graduation rate that is just above 65%

 
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 11 yr Avg

A 50% graduation rate will lower the Dallas crime rate and result in an additional $10,000,000 in spendable annual income in Dallas from these 975 additional graduates. These benefits will be annual benefits from each graduation class with a 50% graduation rate. They will be for each year for the next 40 years!  Combined with lower expenditures for crime prevention, and increases in taxes collected, a 50% graduation rate for one Dallas ISD graduating class will generate over a half billion dollars in ultimate monetary benefit for the people of Dallas compared to the current 41% graduation rate from the class of 2008. This does not include the non-monetary benefits from a lower crime rate and an improved quality of life that will be achieved for everyone!

A 60% graduation rate would multiply these benefits for Dallas.  Once the 10-year class reunions begin, if the 60% goal has not yet been obtained, it will be! The wisdom alumni will be able to share with students 10 years younger than them may become the most valuable mentoring ever done in the history of Dallas ISD! It will be the most current, timely and accurate feedback possible both for students, and for teachers.

Remember that a School Archive Project costs taxpayers almost nothing. Each School Archive Project only needs one or more dedicated teachers in each school to manage it. The communities supporting our schools are eager to contribute to such simple projects with a record of success. People can easily identify with the value of focusing students onto their own futures in such a realistic and physical way.  It is powerful. Everybody wins!

Monday, March 16, 2009
Bill Betzen
bbetzen@aol.com


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