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Dallas ISD's Bold Initiatives for Economic Mobility


The Dallas County Economic Mobility awards celebrate bold, students-first policies in public education that result in success among students experiencing economic disadvantage. Dallas ISD is one of three recipients of the 2023 awards.

Dallas Independent School District, the largest school district in Dallas County and the second-largest in Texas, is making significant strides in creating economic mobility for its students.

Dallas ISD supported 11% of its 2023 graduating class in obtaining associate degrees from Dallas College before high school graduation. This achievement is a testament to the district's commitment to providing advanced educational opportunities for its students, and it outpaces the state and county.

Dallas ISD's decision to establish six early college high schools and offer P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) programming with industry partners at all comprehensive high schools demonstrates a significant investment in preparing students for college and careers. These programs bridge the gap between education and industry, offering students practical skills and insights.

Dallas ISD is also in the process of establishing four state-of-the-art career institutes across the district. This visionary move aims to provide approximately 14,000 students with high-quality career and technical education (CTE) training. The focus on aligning this training with high-demand, living-wage jobs ensures that students are well equipped for success in the workforce.

In the state's most recent reporting, Dallas ISD achieved the highest percentage growth (4 percent) in college, career and military readiness (CCMR) outcomes-funding among the 10 largest districts in Texas. This remarkable growth outpaced the state average, which remained flat overall. The district's strategic initiatives are clearly yielding positive results in student outcomes.

As a trailblazer in the region, DISD recently became the first public ISD in Dallas County to implement a school board policy mandating annual reporting on enrollment, college and career readiness and completion success of its graduates. This commitment to transparency ensures accountability and allows the governing board to track the district's progress in fulfilling its mission.

“Dallas ISD is committed to serving as the economic mobility driver in Dallas County as we work to ensure our students graduate college or career ready,” explained Brian Lusk, deputy superintendent for academics and transformation at Dallas ISD. “Approximately 10 percent of our seniors are graduating with associate degrees annually, preparing them to continue with their four-year degrees upon high school graduation. This also prepares students to enter the workforce and earn living wages. We have seen a continual improvement year-over-year, and this is, in part, attributed to the strong systems and leadership provided within our schools in and from our central team. We are confident that outcomes will continue to grow through this collaboration.”

Dallas ISD's multifaceted approach, encompassing early college programs, strategic partnerships, career-focused institutes and transparent reporting, exemplifies a commitment to creating economic mobility for its diverse student population. By bridging the gap between education and industry needs, Dallas ISD is not only preparing students for successful careers, but also contributing to the overall economic prosperity of our region.

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