ERIC Number: ED317928
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Evaluating a Model Middle School Dropout Prevention Program for At-Risk Students.
O'Sullivan, Rita G.
The high school dropout rate is a matter for serious concern. Nationally, dropout prevention programs for at-risk youth have emerged and are increasing. In response to this situation a model middle school dropout prevention program was implemented for a small city public school system. This study assessed the effectiveness of the first year of the program. A variety of outcome measures are used to determine the program's impact. The results of the evaluation were then used as the base for program modifications in the second project year. The program encouraged students toward academic success. Students were paid wages in script for attending class, completing assignments, and behaving themselves. For the at-risk middle school sixth grade students (N=22) participating in the program, attendance, perceived competence, achievement test scores, and course grades were compared to test for significant differences at the end of the school year. The results indicated that students in the program did not demonstrate change on achievement criteria. No significant differences in self-perception between at-risk and not at-risk students were found. The consensus was that the positive aspects of the 9-month program were not sufficient to counterbalance the years of learned failure experienced by students in the program. It was concluded that if dropout prevention programs are to succeed they must increase their intensity of treatment. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Babcock (Mary Reynolds) Foundation, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC.; North Carolina Univ., Greensboro. Center for Educational Research and Evaluation.; North Carolina Univ., Greensboro. Center for Educational Studies and Development.; Reidsville City Schools, NC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 16-20, 1990).