ERIC Number: ED418168
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Children at Risk Program [of the] Department of Public Instruction. An Evaluation. Report No. 97-12.
Wisconsin State Legislative Audit Bureau, Madison.
The Children At Risk program was created in Wisconsin in 1985 with the broad goal of reducing the number of students at risk of failing in or dropping out of school. The program requires all school districts to identify children at risk, including dropouts, truants, parents, or adjudicated delinquents, who are behind their age group in either basic skills or high school credits and to develop a plan to meet their needs. The program's purpose has not changed since its introduction, and funding has remained constant, but the structure did change significantly in 1993, when the state narrowed its definition of children at risk, and required that aid payments be based on the performance of individual students, rather than groups. An evaluation completed by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau indicates that the program as it exists today is not relevant to most districts. Of Wisconsin's 47 districts, only 16 have applied for and received funding since the changes went into effect, and only 2 districts, both urban, have been required to apply for aid in each year since the program was modified. Milwaukee has received two-thirds of the money distributed in the past 3 years, and it is clear that the program is no longer a state-wide program. It is difficult to determine whether the program has had any effect on student achievement. The average dropout rate declined in the 10 districts that received program funding for at least 3 years, but the dropout rate increased in Milwaukee. The amount allocated per student is very small, and the program has become little more than a way to pass general purpose revenues from the state to a limited number of districts. A discussion of contracting with private agencies for at-risk services, as is done in Milwaukee, is included. (Contains 12 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin State Legislative Audit Bureau, Madison.
Identifiers: Milwaukee Public Schools WI; Wisconsin