ERIC Number: ED498110
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration: Final Impacts
Schirm, Allen; Stuart, Elizabeth; McKie, Allison
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
From July 1995 through September 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Ford Foundation (Ford) operated a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP). QOP offered intensive and comprehensive services to help at-risk youth graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education or training. QOP was mainly an after-school program providing case management and mentoring, supplemental education, developmental activities, community service activities, supportive services, and financial incentives. These services were provided year-round for five years to enrollees who had not graduated from high school, and were designed to be comprehensive enough to address all barriers to success and to be intensive. To estimate QOP impacts on high school performance and graduation, postsecondary education or training, and risky behaviors, four surveys were conducted using a group of youth enrolled in QOP and a non-participating control group. The current document presents impacts on outcomes measured using data from the fourth survey. In addition to features of the QOP model, the impacts of the QOP demonstration are influenced by how well demonstration sites implemented the QOP model, how much they spent on the program, and the extent to which QOP enrollees participated in the program. It is noted that due to the overall comprehensiveness, intensity and complexity, sites generally did not meet enrollee needs for education or support services. It was also found that most enrollees attended fewer program activities than was stipulated by the participation goal. Primary objectives of QOP were to increase the likelihood of graduating from high school with a diploma, to increase engagement and persistence in postsecondary education, training, or military service, and to improve employment-related outcomes and earnings. Secondary objectives of the program included improving high school grades and achievement test scores, and reducing a broad range of targeted risky behaviors, including as binge drinking, illegal drug use, crime, and teen parenting. Impacts were found to vary significantly on a site-by-site basis but overall, it was found that QOP did not achieve its primary or secondary objectives, although that these shortfalls mask some suggestive evidence of promising effects for particular types of students, especially among younger enrollees. Eight appendixes are included: (A) Obtaining an Evaluation Sample and Conducting Random Assignment; (B) The Baseline Data; (C) Follow-Up Data from the Third Telephone Survey;(D) Outcomes and Subgroups; (E) Weighting, Impact Estimation, and Variance Estimation; (F) Sensitivity Analysis; (G) QOP and Control Group Means for Subgroups; and (H) QOP and Control Group Means for Sites.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, High Risk Students, High Schools, Telephone Surveys, Integrated Services, Incentives, After School Programs, Program Evaluation, Continuation Students, Program Implementation, Program Costs, Cost Effectiveness, Graduation Rate, Economic Impact, Control Groups, Participation, Performance Based Assessment
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 609-799-3535; Fax: 609-799-0005; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
WWC Study Page: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/study/30710
IES Cited: ED506465; ED502502