DALLAS — For the fourth straight year, Dallas ISD has increased its graduation rates.
The district reports that last year, 77.3 percent of high school seniors graduated, more than 7,000 students. It's an increase of 15 percentage points from 2007, when the district saw 62 percent of its students receive diplomas.
In addition to the increased graduation numbers, the district also reports that it has cut its dropout rate in half over the last four years.
The news was released on the first official day of work for new DISD Superintendent Mike Miles, who celebrated the positive news, but added there's more work to be done.
"These figures show that Dallas ISD has made very good strides during the last four years," Miles said.
In Miles' goals for the district, spelled out in his Destination 2020 plan, the superintendent said he wants the graduation rates to grow to 90 percent over the next eight years.
The district credits its early college high schools for helping turn the numbers around. They are specialized schools that let students earn college credits while working toward their high school diploma.
Garza Early College High School graduated all 86 seniors last month.
The district also implemented a better truancy program over the last few years, which included tracking some students with GPS technology.
Miles acknowledged that cuts in public funding will make things harder moving forward, but he said he will not let that stunt the progress that has been made.