We should help further better graduation rates

Published 6:21 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

After reporting on the increasing graduation rates for our local school system, I am proud to say that we are on track to become a better community.

It felt great to report this week that the high school graduation rates for Dallas County Schools has increased in the past year. I am proud to live in a community that is continually bettering it’s education system.

Dallas County Superintendent of Education Don Willingham said the graduation rate in the county in 2012 was 71 percent, while the 2013 rate was 73 percent. While the increase was small, the accomplishment was big.

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I’m sure that you’ve heard time and time again that education is the key to success. That common phrase rings true.

Education gives individuals the opportunity that others won’t be afforded, because of their lack of knowledge. It goes beyond job opportunities. You learn things in schools that you can apply to life situations.

For example, school requires a lot of hard work and dedication, traits that everyone could benefit from adopting.

We often place the duty of relaying the message of education being the key to success on our school leaders. While they should take on the bulk of responsibility to encourage our youth to get the proper education, I think we all should contribute.

All of us should make an effort to encourage young people to get their high school diplomas and much more. That can easily be done through mentoring students, sending them words of encouragement, explaining the importance of an education and other tasks.

The community can also contribute by showing the youth how fun and exciting school can be and has great relationships that can be built while attending.

We need to expose the younger generation to lessons that will take them far in life.

We should break down any barriers preventing our young people from walking across that stage in May to receive a diploma that represents all of their hard work.

Little things like listening to them talk about their life problems can make a big difference. You don’t have to be a parent to be concerned about a young person experiencing life problems. All the children in Dallas County should be perceived as our children.

The increasing graduation rate for Southside High School should stand as a testimony that we all have the potential to get better, no matter how much we may initially struggle.

Southside High School showed the biggest improvements between 2012 and 2013.

In 2012, Southside was at a low and disturbing 56 percent, but recorded an 86 percent graduation rate in 2013

Obviously, the school administration and the community took the time and effort to better coach students to earn their diploma.

Although we all may not have a child in the local school systems, a low graduation rate affects all of us. An educated community translates to a group of people fully prepared to handle what life throws at us.

It’s no doubt that we are headed in the right direction, but we can always do better.