ERIC Number: ED424261
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Project YES! Pilot Program. Publication Number 97.13.
Sharkey, Suzanne A.
Project YES! (Yes to Education and Skills) is a gang violence and drug prevention curriculum created in part from funding from the California Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning. It has been implemented in California schools since 1991, and was introduced to the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in 1998. The program, which is delivered primarily by law enforcement officers, can also be taught by classroom teachers or others as a stand-alone program or as part of a school's core curriculum. In Austin, the 5-week stand-alone curriculum was taught by police officers to five fourth-grade classes and three sixth-grade classes from five elementary schools and three middle schools. Most of the participating students were Hispanic Americans, and most were from low-income families. A large percentage (46% of the middle school students) were special education students, and one-fifth of the middle school students were of limited English proficiency. With the exception of the discipline rates for the semester in which the program was given, which were higher for students in the program, academic and behavioral data showed only small differences between the program participants and all AISD middle school students and elementary school students. Pretest and posttest data about student attitude changes were available only from the middle schools and one elementary school, and they showed only two significant attitude changes. The police officers who administered the program thought that there were many positive aspects of the program, among which was an improved attitude toward the police on the part of the students. Officers made a number of suggestions for program improvement, including expanding it to all AISD middle schools. They also thought that the effectiveness of the curriculum would be enhanced if it became part of the core curriculum. The long-term impact of Project YES! has not been definitively established, but it may become a viable method of addressing the problems of gangs and violence. (Contains one figure and two tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Curriculum, Drug Use, Elementary School Students, Elementary Schools, Hispanic Americans, Intermediate Grades, Juvenile Gangs, Limited English Speaking, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Police, Prevention, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Student Attitudes, Violence
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Austin Independent School District, TX. Office of Program Evaluation.