In Dallas County, Just 15 Percent of Eighth-Graders Go on to Graduate from College, Data Show

GraduationCaps.jpg
j.o.h.n. walker
Dallas ISD graduation rates are up. The percentage of kids dropping out keeps going down.

That's undeniably good news, but what about the bigger picture? Are local kids going on to get college degrees that will allow them to compete for decent jobs in an increasingly knowledge-based economy?

The answer, provided by a new Texas Tribune tool tracking higher ed outcomes, is a resounding no.

The Tribune's data track the collegiate achievement of about 1.8 million students who started eighth grade at Texas public schools between 1996-2001. Statewide, the results are discouraging, with a shade more than half of the kids (51.6 percent) enrolling in a Texas college or university in 2001, with just 19.4 percent of the total completing a degree.

The numbers are worse for Dallas County (the app doesn't drill down to individual school districts). In the same cohort here, 45.4 percent of 31,351 kids enrolled in college, while 15.4 percent actually made it through.

There are predictable disparities based on income and ethnicity. Only 7.3 percent of disadvantaged Dallas County kids completed college, 10.4 percent of African-Americans and 6.5 percent for Hispanics.

It's worth keeping in mind that the numbers reflect kids who, for the most part, last attended public school around 2005, so any improvements in the educational system since then aren't reflected. The data also don't account for students who attended or graduated from schools out of state, unless they subsequently settled down in Texas.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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114 comments
Subnx
Subnx

The trustees of the DISD view it as a jobs and contract program for their political supporters. Combine that with a "pants on the ground" culture and you have the train wreck that is the DISD. Vouchers and good charter schools (not Prime Prep) would help.

ruddski
ruddski

In closing, my solution.

Pay kids a competitive hourly wage to attend school, with performance bonuses. This is a proved strategy in the private sector.

They are kids of course, they would need certain guidance, etc not part of the working world.

If they cannot function in that environment, chances are they won't function well when out competing in the real world beyond school.

Except perhaps in government, academia, or journalism.

bmaxjackson
bmaxjackson

So to qualify as a college graduate they had to enroll the year after high school ended and then complete their degree before the study expired? That's a nice thought, but altogether unreasonable. I would consider comparing the numbers of students that enroll and graduate in this prescribed time frame versus the reality of how long it takes to get a degree when you are working, going to school, changing majors, accidentally starting families, etc.

moore583
moore583

DISD needs to be broken up into smaller districts. I've watched it flounder around for over 30 years now. Nothing works. Break it up and let smaller districts try and work this out. The culture of failure that has infected it can't be cured.

thannguyen123
thannguyen123

Truly educating each generation of students with the essential skills (math, science, reading, writing, and critical thinking), we will increasingly, at best, become spectators, only able to watch the rest of the educated and trained world achieve what we once dreamed possible.

Than Nguyen

http://www.protectivepackaging.net/military-packaging

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

I'm confused:

Wikipedia - Dallas Independent School District

Dallas ISD was reported in April 2008 to have the 7th highest dropout rate of any urban school district in the US.

reference: Stutz, Terrence and Tawnell D. Hobbs, Grad rate formula to be uniform: Spellings issues order; dropout rate report puts DISD 7th worst, Dallas Morning News, 2008-04-02, retrieved 2009-01-24

All 6 cities with higher dropout rates than Dallas in this study were smaller cities with under a million population. From 1998 to 2008 Dallas ISD had a pattern of having an average of 14,600 9th grade students but only giving high school diplomas to an average of less than 6,300 students four years later. Using these 9th grade numbers indicates that roughly 56% of students are consistently missing at graduation. The graduation rates (percentage of 9th grade students represented by the number of diplomas given to that class at graduation) for the classes of 2006, 2007 and 2008 have been 41.4%, 40.5% and 41% respectively.

reference: Standard reports, Texas Education Agency retrieved 2009-01-24, select the reports for the Dallas Independent School District

With the graduation of the Class of 2009 the graduation rate went up to 43.5%.

reference: Standard reports, Texas Education Agency retrieved 2009-01-24, select the reports for the Dallas Independent School District. 2009 graduation numbers are from Dallas ISD.

Using four major indicators for dropout rate patterns, the Dallas ISD is improving as of November 2009 in all four indicators. This progress has been consistent for almost four years for all measurements.

From today's Dallas Morning News: "More than 81 percent of the Class of 2012 graduated within four years. It’s an increase of four points from the Class of 2011 and more than 18 points from the Class of 2007. Meanwhile, fewer Dallas ISD students dropped out of school."

However, 81% (2012) minus 41% (2007) is an actual increase of 40%!

What's the difference?

The TEA took over the reporting numbers in 2008/9.

Does anyone have an idea what's going on here?  Are these numbers believable?

GAA214
GAA214

I went to two Dallas ISD high schools and there is a culture of incompetence from the top down.  Teachers, students and parents don't care about education.  It is a daily grind and pupils are eaten alive.  My biggest complaint though is that most of the teachers (99%) are WASPy and really don't care about Brown and Black upward mobility.  

lebowski300
lebowski300

Graduate everyone from college based on good intentions or attendance or something fair. Problem solved.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

I went to a trade school and paid $2500 cash.

I'm self employed, work less than 40 a week, and make over 70k.

One doesn't need a degree to make a good living.

Hell my high school now is $18000 a year.

Not worth it.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

What is the percentage of DISD ninth graders who graduate from High School four years later?

DISD has dropped that trend line for some reason.

I think it has improved to over 50%, but I'm not sure.

That's the stat that tells the most with regard to progress, and plus or minus 50% is abysmal. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Texas can end the wide disparity in education that it suffers from by eliminating local school districts, which doom most disadvantaged children from the start.  All Texas schools, all equal resources.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bmaxjackson  "accidentally starting families"  umm car wrecks are accidents, getting pregnant when you don't want to is stupidity

ruddski
ruddski

And just how many do?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Do you think this had anything to do with the DISD's improvement?

In 2009 state representative Yvonne Davis proposed a bill which would force the state to divide any school district that meets several parameters. The parameters include the district having more than 150,000 students, the district residing in a county with more than two million residents, and the resident county being adjacent to at least one other county with more than one million residents. The bill does not name any particular school district, but the parameters of the bill may only apply to Dallas ISD.

The bureaucracy did what it had to do in order to save itself from wage slave emancipation (getting fired).

they cooked the books

ROFLCopter
ROFLCopter

@GAA214  Upward mobility starts with personal responsibility.  The teachers will care when the parents start giving a rip.  Not a moment before.

ruddski
ruddski

But it makes up for that weakness by posting some comments multiple times

amlafrance1918
amlafrance1918

@Sharon_Moreanus  Sharon, if you don't mind I would like to ask what you do (Job)?? I am wanting to do something else, and 70K sounds appealing :)

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@holmantx The problem with DISD's numbers is they equate "got handed a diploma" with "graduated" which is why so many of their "graduates" can't finish college, trade school, boot camp or anything else.

jdahland
jdahland

@holmantx  Dallas ISD's 4-year graduation rate for 2012, which is the latest year on record with TEA was 81.3%. Here's how it has progressed in recent years:


Class of 2007 62.5

Class of 2008 65.2

Class of 2009 67.6

Class of 2010 74.6

Class of 2011 77.3

Class of 2012 81.3


Up nearly 19 percentage points in 6 years.


ruddski
ruddski

If there is no cultural imperative to pursue higher education, then all the programs and monies won't change that.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  great, I just eliminated school districts, 


1.  how did that end disparity?

2.  How did that no longer doom disadvantaged children?

bmaxjackson
bmaxjackson

You're right. Most 19 year olds are borderline genius. It's not likely that they would ever do something that stupid. It almost never happens.

ruddski
ruddski

The wheat harvest for those years cited followed a similar trend.

GAA214
GAA214

@ROFLCopter @GAA214  Upward mobility starts with an environment conducive to success.  DISD, TEA and the Texas Legislature only care about their kids.  Cuts to funding and lack of discussion on the deplorable 3rd world conditions of our education system make that point clear. 

ruddski
ruddski

The students will give a rip when their parents give a rip.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Dallas Chair Massage Program has been involved with Whole Foods for over 20 years. Come see us sometime.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

The only state you can get a degree for massage is Nebraska.

You must get ur massage on Harry Hines.

ruddski
ruddski

You just called her a whore, did you think whores need degrees, or are you just going on what all those guys told you?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bmaxjackson  you dont have to be a genius to know how not to have a kid.  But if he couldnt figure that out, maybe college wasnt for him

ruddski
ruddski

@cognito

I didn't call the parents lazy, in most cases they are anything but - working their asses off, etc.

The personal frame of reference is "make money ASAP"' because that was the *cultural norm* in country if origin and still is.

We actually agree in that, the question is will the "American ideal" be a stronger influence than old country ways?

I posit that is less likely, because when there is no push towards assimilation towards those ideals, and actually a cultural resentment, are the generations actually experiencing exposure to those ideals?

I know Peruvians, Mexicans, Salvadorans here for decades that speak no English. They don't have to, they're insulated. Why would they bother to even acknowledge these ideals?

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@ruddski  It's a cycle that can be broken, but it can't be explained by merely saying these parents are just lazy, irresponsible human beings. It's also that they don't know any better because their parents and their parent's parents didn't know any better. If you had no personal frame of reference, via family or peers, regarding how an education could change your ultimate situation, how likely would you be to pursue that education? Poverty is a huge determining factor here, as well as a lack of role models.

ruddski
ruddski

Maybe some humorless prig has gained the key to the blog kingdom.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@ruddski  

I posted a response to you last night and it is gone this morning.  I was commenting that I couldn't pass up a straight line.

ruddski
ruddski

That cracked me up not in the racial sense, but your double space bar was a rookie mistake, it wasn't the software at all. Now we question if your missing posts are "missing".

ruddski
ruddski

Where do you buy your tires, killer?

ruddski
ruddski

Is this the sole remaining local venue from which you've not been banned, or are there others that let you whore your bitch-ass out like this?

ROFLCopter
ROFLCopter

@bvckvs @Sharon_Moreanus  Liberals resort to petty name calling and disrespect when confronted with fact that don't support their warped reality.  Take this confused old guy for example.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

That's fancy for families fly me to their second homes, corporate accounts and chair massage inside Whole Foods @ $1.25 a minute.

Its trade school that isn't a degree.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz


"No wonder the world looks as Texas as a backward state.  You people are on negative auto-pilot... all the time!"


No we are not.

ruddski
ruddski

You never dispute them, you just throw insults.

Try debunking my arguments, or give it a rest.

ruddski
ruddski

"... A bunch of comments disappeared. What the hell is with this system?"

It's giving itself a rest.

ruddski
ruddski

Myrna, you of all people should read the series at Slate. And no, I won't give facts a rest just because they may upset some.

ruddski
ruddski

"If at first you don't succeed, don't give up."

Which, in regards to many liberal initiatives, becomes...

"Double down on failure"

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@everlastingphelps  I never advocated doing the same thing the same way over and over, nor did I put the blame on anyone.  Your problem is you accuse, try, then execute, even before you know any facts.  [Cats cheer in background]

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  No, we learn from our failures.  We've been having this discussion for decades.  We tried Robin Hood (which is what your program was) and it failed.  We've got a current court case going, but we sure as hell aren't going to repeat our prior failures because a carpetbagger came down and tells us that we just didn't try hard enough before.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz NO, you cant just some bullshit out there and expect us to not make you show some sort of your work on why thats a good idea.  Jeebus, it was your idea, you tell us how it works


MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@everlastingphelps @ScottsMerkin@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz It likely means a state property tax rate for education, now barred by constitution.  Jurisdictions could lower appraisals, but it would hurt other income streams.  Again, you would even more income segregated schools and even more reasons for middle class families with children to run to the suburbs.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

No wonder the world looks as Texas as a backward state.  You people are on negative auto-pilot... all the time!

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  It also won't work because of game theory.  The taxes come from school district taxing authorities.  If the funds they receive are all uncoupled from the tax rate, the tax rate will plummet through the floor, and everyone will end up with less in the budget.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ScottsMerkin If you are proposing every child gets the same bag of cash tied around her neck and then everyone get set up own schools, the urban areas would get killed.  You would perpetuate the idea of advantage accrued by where you live.  I am not saying the process is wrong, but it won't have the effect you desire.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin  Scotty, I can't do all your thinking for you.  Stop being so negative and hostile towards new ideas.

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