ERIC Number: ED368818
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Center School: An Alternative for the Dropout.
McNeely, Sonja R.; Mertz, Norma T.
In 1989 the Knox County (Tennessee) Schools opened The Center School as an answer to the dropout problem. The Center School was to feature open entry and exit, self-paced work schedules, flexible scheduling, a school-to-work component, on-site counselors and social workers, and individually designed graduation programs through which dropouts aged 17 to 19 could earn a regular high school diploma. In the first 3 years, approximately one-third of the students dropped out, but no appreciable differences could be seen between these students and those who continued when background, credits, success, and skill levels were compared. A 2-item survey was developed to study student perceptions of the school and the values they put on the diploma, as well as future plans and their views of beneficial program components. Ninety-one graduates returned the survey and 52 dropouts responded. Results indicate that both leavers and graduates had pleasant experiences at The Center School. The only difference in perceptions was that graduates, who appeared to hold better jobs, perceived that they had a future with their present employers and could work long-term for them. In general, the factors that caused students to leave were beyond the control of the school. Seven tables present study findings. (Contains 11 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Counseling, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Economic Factors, Educational Background, High School Graduates, High School Students, High Schools, Individual Differences, Institutional Characteristics, Nontraditional Education, Program Evaluation, Social Influences, Social Workers, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Knox County Schools TN
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, November 10-12, 1993).