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Practice Guide 6-12 1
Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools (September 2017)
This practice guide provides school educators and administrators with four evidence-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and high schools and improving high school graduation rates. Each recommendation provides specific, actionable strategies; examples of how to implement the recommended practices in schools; advice on how to overcome potential obstacles; and a description of the supporting evidence.
Intervention Report 9-12 1
Dual Enrollment Programs (Transition to College) (February 2017)
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take college courses and earn college credits while still attending high school. Such programs, also referred to as dual credit or early college programs, are designed to boost college access and degree attainment, especially for students typically underrepresented in higher education. Dual enrollment programs support college credit accumulation and degree attainment via at least three mechanisms. First, allowing high school students to experience college-level courses helps them prepare for the social and academic requirements of college while having the additional supports available to high school students; this may reduce the need for developmental coursework. Second, students who accumulate college credits early and consistently are more likely to attain a college degree. Third, many dual enrollment programs offer discounted or free tuition, which reduces the overall cost of college and may increase the number of low socioeconomic status students who can attend and complete college.
Intervention Report 9-12 3
Green Dot Public Schools (Charter Schools) (January 2018)
Green Dot Public Schools is a nonprofit organization that operates more than 20 public charter middle and high schools in California, Tennessee, and Washington. The Green Dot Public Schools are regulated and monitored by the local school district, but operate outside of the district’s direct control. The Green Dot Public Schools model emphasizes high quality teaching, strong school leadership, a curriculum that prepares students for college, and partnerships with the community. Any student may enroll in a Green Dot Public School if there is space available. Many Green Dot Public Schools operate with unionized teachers and staff. Several of the Green Dot Public Schools were chartered in existing public schools which were performing below district or community expectations. Funding for Green Dot Public Schools operations comes through public federal, state, and local finances, while some transformations of existing district-run schools into charter schools have been funded partly by private foundations.
Intervention Report 9-12 3
Career Academies (Dropout Prevention) (September 2015)
Career Academies are school-within-school programs operating in high schools. Students in Career Academies take both career-related and academic courses and acquire work experience through partnerships with local employers.
Intervention Report 9-12 3
Check & Connect (Dropout Prevention) (May 2015)
Check & Connect is a dropout prevention strategy that relies on close monitoring of school performance, mentoring, case management, and other supports. The program has two main components: “Check” and “Connect.” The Check component is designed to continually assess student engagement through close monitoring of student performance and progress indicators. The Connect component involves program staff giving individualized attention to students, in partnership with school personnel, family members, and community service providers. Students enrolled in Check & Connect are assigned a “monitor” who regularly reviews their performance (in particular, whether students are having attendance, behavior, or academic problems) and intervenes when problems are identified. The monitor also advocates for students, coordinates services, provides ongoing feedback and encouragement, and emphasizes the importance of staying in school.
Intervention Report 11-12 3
National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (Dropout Prevention) (September 2010)
The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is a residential education and training program designed for youth ages 16–18 who have dropped out of or been expelled from high school. During a 22-week residential period, participants are offered GED (General Educational Development) preparation classes and other program services intended to promote positive youth development, such as leadership, job skills, and service to the community. The residential period is quasi-military (youth live in barracks, wear uniforms, and experience military-style discipline), but there are no requirements for military service. After the residential period, trainees participate in a 1-year structured mentoring program. Trainees select their own mentors. After selection, mentors are screened and trained by the program.
Intervention Report 6-8 3
Accelerated Middle Schools (Dropout Prevention) (July 2008)
Accelerated middle schools are self-contained academic programs designed to help middle school students who are behind grade level catch up with their peers. The program aims to ensure students stay in school and graduate by encouraging them to begin high school with other students their age. The programs serve students who are one to two years behind grade level, giving students the opportunity to cover an additional year of curriculum over 1–2 years in the program. Accelerated middle schools can be structured as separate schools or as schools within a traditional middle school.
Intervention Report 11-12 3
Job Corps (Dropout Prevention) (April 2008)
Job Corps, a federally funded education and job training program for economically disadvantaged youth, offers remedial education, GED (General Educational Development) preparation, vocational training, job placement assistance, and other supports. Job Corps participants typically reside in a Job Corps center while enrolled in the program and can remain in the program for up to 2 years.
Intervention Report 11-12 3
JOBSTART (Dropout Prevention) (March 2008)
JOBSTART is an alternative education and training program designed to improve the economic prospects of young, disadvantaged high school dropouts by increasing educational attainment and developing occupational skills. The program has four main components: (1) basic academic skills instruction with a focus on GED (General Educational Development) preparation, (2) occupational skills training, (3) training-related support services (such as transportation assistance and child care), and (4) job placement assistance. Participants receive at least 200 hours of basic education and 500 hours of occupational training.
Intervention Report 10-PS 3
New Chance (Dropout Prevention) (January 2008)
New Chance, a program for young welfare mothers who have dropped out of school, aims to improve both their employment potential and their parenting skills. Participants take GED (General Educational Development) preparation classes and complete a parenting and life skills curriculum. Once they complete this first phase of the program, they can receive occupational training and job placement assistance from New Chance, which also offers case management and child care.
Intervention Report 9-12 3
High School Redirection (Dropout Prevention) (April 2007)
High School Redirection is an alternative high school program for youth considered at risk of dropping out. The program emphasizes basic skills development (with a particular focus on reading skills) and offers limited extra-curricular activities. The schools operate in economically disadvantaged areas and serve students who have dropped out in the past, who are teen parents, who have poor test scores, or who are over-age for their grade. To foster a sense of community, the schools are small, and teachers are encouraged to act as mentors as well as instructors.
Intervention Report 8 3
Twelve Together (Dropout Prevention) (March 2007)
Twelve Together is a 1-year peer support and mentoring program for middle and early high school students that offers weekly after-school discussion groups led by trained volunteer adult facilitators. Each peer discussion group consists of about 12 participants who are a mix of students at high- and low-risk of academic failure. Group discussions are based on topics of student interest, usually focusing on personal, family, and social issues. The program also offers homework assistance, trips to college campuses, and an annual weekend retreat.
Intervention Report 11-12 3
Talent Search (Dropout Prevention) (December 2006)
Talent Search aims to help low-income and first-generation college students (those whose parents do not have 4-year college degrees) complete high school and gain access to college through a combination of services designed to improve academic achievement and increase access to financial aid. Services include test taking and study skills assistance, academic advising, tutoring, career development, college campus visits, and financial aid application assistance.
Intervention Report 11-12 3
Financial Incentives for Teen Parents to Stay in School (Dropout Prevention) (December 2006)
Financial incentives for teen parents are components of state welfare programs intended to encourage enrollment, attendance, and completion of high school as a means of increasing employment and earnings and reducing welfare dependence. The incentives take the form of bonuses and sanctions to the welfare grant related to school enrollment, performance, and completion. The programs typically provide case management and social services to supplement financial incentives.
Intervention Report 7-9 3
ALAS (Dropout Prevention) (October 2006)
ALAS (Spanish for “wings”) is an intervention for middle and high school students that is designed to address student, school, family, and community factors that affect dropping out. Each student is assigned a counselor/mentor who monitors attendance, behavior, and academic achievement. The counselor/mentor provides feedback and coordinates interventions and resources to students, families, and teachers. Counselors/mentors also serve as advocates for students and intervene when problems are identified. Students are trained in problem-solving, self-control, and assertiveness skills. Parents are trained in parent-child problem solving, how to participate in school activities, and how to contact teachers and school administrators to address issues.
Intervention Report 7-8 -1
Talent Development Middle Grades Program (Adolescent Literacy) (January 2013)
Talent Development Middle Grades Program (TDMG) is a whole school reform approach for large middle schools that face serious problems with student attendance, discipline, and academic achievement. The program includes both structural and curriculum reforms. It calls for schools to reorganize into small ”learning communities” of 200–300 students who attend classes in distinct areas of the school and stay together throughout their time in middle school. In addition to structural changes, schools adopting the program purchase one or more curricula that are intended to be developmentally appropriate and to engage students with culturally relevant content. For students who are behind in reading and math, the program provides additional periods devoted to these subjects that include group activities and computer-based lessons. To improve implementation, each school is assigned a team of “curriculum coaches” trained by the developer to work with school staff on a weekly basis to implement the program. In addition, teachers are offered professional development training, including monthly sessions designed to familiarize them with the program and demonstrate effective instructional approaches.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
Check & Connect (Children Identified With or at Risk for an Emotional Disturbance) (October 2011)
Check & Connect is a dropout prevention strategy that relies on close monitoring of school performance, mentoring, case management, and other supports. The program has two main components: “Check” and “Connect.” The Check component is designed to continually assess student engagement through close monitoring of student performance and progress indicators. The Connect component involves program staff giving individualized attention to students, in partnership with school personnel, family members, and community service providers. Students enrolled in Check & Connect are assigned a “monitor” who regularly reviews their performance (in particular, whether students are having attendance, behavior, or academic problems) and intervenes when problems are identified. The monitor also advocates for students, coordinates services, provides ongoing feedback and encouragement, and emphasizes the importance of staying in school.
Intervention Report 11-12 -1
Service and Conservation Corps (Dropout Prevention) (September 2010)
Service and Conservation Corps engages young adults in full-time community service, job training, and educational activities. The program serves youth who are typically between the ages of 17 and 26 and who have dropped out of school, been involved with the criminal justice system, or face other barriers to success. Participants are organized into small crews that carry out environmental and energy conservation, urban infrastructure improvement, and other service projects intended to benefit local communities. These crews are guided by adult leaders who serve as mentors and role models. All participants receive educational training, in addition to a variety of job training and support services. Youth who have dropped out of school receive classroom training to secure a GED (General Educational Development) or high school diploma. Participants receive a living allowance while in the program. Those who complete the program are usually eligible for post-program educational stipends or small cash awards.
Intervention Report 8-9 -1
Summer Training and Education Program (STEP) (Dropout Prevention) (May 2009)
Summer Training and Education Program (STEP) is a summer employment, academic remediation, and life skills program intended to reduce school dropout rates by addressing summer learning loss and preventing teen parenthood. The program serves low-income 14- and 15-year-olds who have tested below grade level in either reading or math. The program is integrated into the federal summer jobs program and is offered as sessions of 6–8 weeks in two consecutive summers. It includes part-time summer work at minimum wage, a daily reading and math curriculum, and “life skills and opportunities” classes that focus on topics such as sexual behavior, drug use, careers, and community involvement.
Intervention Report 7-8 -1
Talent Development Middle Grades Program (Dropout Prevention) (March 2009)
Talent Development Middle Grades Program (TDMG) is a whole school reform approach for large middle schools that face serious problems with student attendance, discipline, and academic achievement. The program includes both structural and curriculum reforms. It calls for schools to reorganize into small ”learning communities” of 200–300 students who attend classes in distinct areas of the school and stay together throughout their time in middle school. In addition to structural changes, schools adopting the program purchase one or more curricula that are intended to be developmentally appropriate and to engage students with culturally relevant content. For students who are behind in reading and math, the program provides additional periods devoted to these subjects that include group activities and computer-based lessons. To improve implementation, each school is assigned a team of “curriculum coaches” trained by the developer to work with school staff on a weekly basis to implement the program. In addition, teachers are offered professional development training, including monthly sessions designed to familiarize them with the program and demonstrate effective instructional approaches.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
Middle College High School (Dropout Prevention) (March 2009)
Middle College High Schools are alternative high schools located on college campuses that aim to help at-risk students complete high school and encourage them to attend college. The schools offer a project-centered, interdisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on team teaching, individualized attention, and development of critical thinking skills. Students are also offered support services, including specialized counseling, peer support, and career experience opportunities.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
First Things First (Dropout Prevention) (January 2008)
First Things First is a reform model intended to transform elementary, middle, and high schools serving significant proportions of economically disadvantaged students. Its three main components are: (1) “small learning communities” of students and teachers; (2) a family and student advocate system that pairs staff members and students to monitor and support progress, and that serves as a bridge between the school and family; and (3) instructional improvements to make classroom teaching more rigorous and engaging and more closely aligned with state standards and assessments.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
Project GRAD (Dropout Prevention) (July 2007)
Project “Graduation Really Achieves Dreams” (GRAD) is an initiative for students in economically disadvantaged communities that aims to reduce dropping out and increase rates of college enrollment and graduation by increasing reading and math skills, improving behavior in school, and providing a service safety net. At the high school level, Project GRAD provides 4-year college scholarships and summer institutes to promote attending and completing high school. Project GRAD also provides services in the elementary and middle schools that feed into the participating high schools.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
Quantum Opportunity Program (Dropout Prevention) (July 2007)
The Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP) is an intensive and comprehensive program for high school-aged youth that offers case management, mentoring, tutoring, and other education and support services. The program also offers financial incentives for participation in program activities. Participants enter QOP in grade 9 and can receive services for 4–5 years, even if they drop out of school or move to another district.
Intervention Report 9-12 -1
Talent Development High Schools (Dropout Prevention) (July 2007)
Talent Development High Schools is a school reform model for restructuring large high schools with persistent attendance and discipline problems, poor student achievement, and high dropout rates. The model includes both structural and curriculum reforms. It calls for schools to reorganize into small “learning communities”—including ninth-grade academies for first-year students and career academies for students in upper grades—to reduce student isolation and anonymity. It also emphasizes high academic standards and provides all students with a college preparatory academic sequence.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 1
Building Assets and Reducing Risks (BARR) Validation Study. Final Report (2019)
This is the final report of a large-scale independent evaluation of the Building Assets and Reducing Risks (BARR) model in ninth grade in eleven high schools in Maine, California, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Texas. This sample of schools included large and small schools in urban, suburban, and rural areas, serving students from a wide range of demographic and socio-economic backgrounds. Funded with a validation grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) program and carried out by researchers at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), this evaluation used random assignment of ninth-grade students to BARR and control conditions to estimate the impacts of the BARR model after one year. The evaluation also assessed the fidelity of implementation of BARR in the eleven study schools and identified barriers to and facilitators of successful implementation. The evaluation focused on several teacher- and student-level outcomes. The teacher outcomes included measures of teacher collaboration, and use of data, among others. The academic outcomes included course failure, students' grade point average (GPA), and performance on the Northwest Evaluation Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) standardized reading and mathematics assessments. Student-reported experiences included measures of supportive relationships, perceptions of teachers' expectations of them, student engagement, and others. In addition to these outcomes, the report includes impact estimates for attendance, suspensions, and persistence into 10th grade. [This report was written with Brenna O'Brien, Cheryl Graczewski, So Jung Park, Feng Liu, Ethan Adelman-Sil, Lynn Hu.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model (2017)
Developed in response to concerns that too few students were enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education, early college high schools are small schools that blur the line between high school and college. This article presents results from a longitudinal experimental study comparing outcomes for students accepted to an early college through a lottery process with outcomes for students who were not accepted through the lottery and enrolled in high school elsewhere. Results show that treatment students attained significantly more college credits while in high school, and graduated from high school, enrolled in postsecondary education, and received postsecondary credentials at higher rates. Results for subgroups are included.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model (2017)
Developed in response to concerns that too few students were enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education, early college high schools are small schools that blur the line between high school and college. This article presents results from a longitudinal experimental study comparing outcomes for students accepted to an early college through a lottery process with outcomes for students who were not accepted through the lottery and enrolled in high school elsewhere. Results show that treatment students attained significantly more college credits while in high school, and graduated from high school, enrolled in postsecondary education, and received postsecondary credentials at higher rates. Results for subgroups are included. [This paper was published in the "Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness" (EJ1135800)]
Reviews of Individual Studies 7-12 1
School engagement mediates long-term prevention effects for Mexican American adolescents. (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 1
Early college, continued success: Early college high school initiative impact study. (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 1
Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study (2013)
In 2002, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) with the primary goal of increasing the opportunity for underserved students to earn a postsecondary credential. To achieve this goal, Early Colleges provide underserved students with exposure to, and support in, college while they are in high school. Early Colleges partner with colleges and universities to offer all students an opportunity to earn an associate's degree or up to two years of college credits toward a bachelor's degree during high school at no or low cost to the students. The underlying assumption is that engaging underrepresented students in a rigorous high school curriculum tied to the incentive of earning college credit will motivate them and increase their access to additional postsecondary education and credentials after high school. Since 2002, more than 240 Early Colleges have opened nationwide. This study focused on the impact of Early Colleges. It addressed two questions: (1) Do Early College students have better outcomes than they would have had at other high schools?; and (2) Does the impact of Early Colleges vary by student background characteristics (e.g., gender and family income)? To answer these questions, the authors conducted a lottery-based randomized experiment, taking advantage of the fact that some Early Colleges used lotteries in their admissions processes. By comparing the outcomes for students who participated in admissions lotteries and were offered enrollment with the outcomes for students who participated in the lotteries but were not offered enrollment, they can draw causal conclusions about the impact of Early Colleges. The primary student outcomes for this study were high school graduation, college enrollment, and college degree attainment. The authors also examined students' high school and college experiences. Data on student background characteristics and high school outcomes came from administrative records from schools, districts, and states; data on college outcomes came from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC); and data on high school and college experiences and intermediate outcomes such as college credit accrual came from a student survey. The authors assessed the impact of Early Colleges on these outcomes for a sample of 10 Early Colleges that did the following: (1) Enrolled students in grades 9-12 and had high school graduates in the study years (2005-2011); (2) Used lotteries as part of the admission processes in at least one of the study cohorts (students who entered ninth grade in 2005-06, 2006-07, or 2007-08); and (3) Retained the lottery records. Eight of the 10 Early Colleges in the study were included in the student survey. The overall study sample included 2,458 students and the survey sample included 1,294 students. The study extended through three years past high school.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 1
Sustained Progress: New Findings about the Effectiveness and Operation of Small Public High Schools of Choice in New York City (2013)
In 2002, New York City embarked on an ambitious and wide-ranging series of education reforms. At the heart of its high school reforms were three interrelated changes: the institution of a district wide high school choice process for all rising ninth-graders, the closure of 31 large, failing high schools with an average graduation rate of 40 percent, and the opening of more than 200 new small high schools. Over half of the new small schools created between the fall of 2002 and the fall of 2008 were intended to serve students in some of the district's most disadvantaged communities and are located mainly in neighborhoods where large, failing high schools had been closed. MDRC has previously released two reports on these "small schools of choice," or SSCs (so called because they are small, are academically nonselective, and were created to provide a realistic choice for students with widely varying academic backgrounds). Those reports found marked increases in progress toward graduation and in graduation rates for the cohorts of students who entered SSCs in the falls of 2005 and 2006. The second report also found that the increase in graduation rates applied to every student subgroup examined, and that SSC graduation effects were sustained even after five years from the time sample members entered high school. This report updates those previous findings with results from a third cohort of students, those who entered ninth grade in the fall of 2007. In addition, for the first time it includes a look inside these schools through the eyes of principals and teachers, as reported in interviews and focus groups held at the 25 SSCs with the strongest evidence of effectiveness. In brief, the report's findings are: (1) SSCs in New York City continue to markedly increase high school graduation rates for large numbers of disadvantaged students of color, even as graduation rates are rising at the schools with which SSCs are compared; (2) The best evidence that exists indicates that SSCs may increase graduation rates for two new subgroups for which findings were not previously available: special education students and English language learners. However, given the still-limited sample sizes for these subgroups, the evidence will not be definitive until more student cohorts can be added to the analysis; and (3) Principals and teachers at the 25 SSCs with the strongest evidence of effectiveness strongly believe that academic rigor and personal relationships with students contribute to the effectiveness of their schools. They also believe that these attributes derive from their schools' small organizational structures and from their committed, knowledgeable, hardworking, and adaptable teachers. Appended are: (1) Sample, Data, and Analysis; (2) Estimated Effects of Winning a Student's First SSC Lottery; (3) 2008 Requirements for Proposals to Create New SSCs Specified by the New York City Department of Education; and (4) Documentation for Interviews and Focus Groups.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 1
Expanding the Start of the College Pipeline: Ninth-Grade Findings from an Experimental Study of the Impact of the Early College High School Model (2012)
Early college high schools are a new and rapidly spreading model that merges the high school and college experiences and that is designed to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and enroll and succeed in postsecondary education. This article presents results from a federally funded experimental study of the impact of the early college model on Grade 9 outcomes. Results show that, as compared to control group students, a statistically significant and substantively higher proportion of treatment group students are taking core college preparatory courses and succeeding in them. Students in the treatment group also have statistically significantly higher attendance and lower suspension rates than students in the control group. (Contains 10 footnotes, 5 tables and 1 figure.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 2
Creating a Future-Oriented Culture in High Schools: The Impact of the College and Career Readiness Expansion (CCRE) Project (2021)
The College and Career Readiness Expansion project was a five-year, federally funded effort to implement early college strategies in comprehensive high schools. This report presents the results from a quasi-experimental impact study of the project and a mixed methods examination of its implementation. Results showed that the program increased the percentage of students on-track for college in 9th and 10th grade and expanded the number of students taking dual enrollment courses, although there was no positive impact on college credits earned in high school. The implementation study found that schools were created a more future-oriented culture.
Reviews of Individual Studies 3-12 2
Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative. Research Report. RR-3245-NYCCEO (2020)
With the launch of the New York City Community Schools Initiative (NYC-CS) in 2014, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has increased its focus on the implementation of a holistic strategy of education reform to address the social consequences of poverty as a means to improving student outcomes. NYC-CS is a strategy to organize resources in schools and share leadership among stakeholders so that academics, health and wellness, youth development, and family engagement are integrated into the fabric of each school. New York City is implementing this strategy at a scale unmatched nationally. In this study, the authors assessed the impact of the NYC-CS through the 2017-2018 school year. The authors assessed the effects along seven outcome domains and explored the extent to which there is heterogeneity in programmatic impact based on student- and school-level characteristics. The authors leveraged innovative quasi-experimental methodology to determine whether students in the community schools are performing better than they would be had their schools not been designated as Community Schools. The findings of this report will contribute to the emerging evidence base on the efficacy of the community school strategy and will be useful for other school district- and state-level policymakers interested in developing or refining similar interventions that support students' and communities' academic, social, and emotional well-being. [The research described in this report was prepared for the New York City Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity).]
Reviews of Individual Studies 12 2
Evaluation of the Expository Reading and Writing Course: Findings from the Investing in Innovation Development Grant (2015)
The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) was developed by California State University (CSU) faculty and high school educators to improve the academic literacy of high school seniors, thereby reducing the need for students to enroll in remedial English courses upon entering college. This report, produced by Innovation Studies at WestEd, presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the ERWC funded by an Investing in Innovation (i3) development grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The study sample for the evaluation included more than 5,000 12th grade students in 24 high schools across nine California school districts in the 2013/14 school year. The authors of the report found that the ERWC has a statistically significant positive impact on student achievement. Results from an analysis of implementation fidelity are also presented, along with qualitative findings based on survey data from study participants. Appendixes include: (1) Statistical Power for Impact Estimates; (2) Data Collection Instruments to Measure Fidelity of Implementation; and (3) Rubric for Calculating Fidelity of Implementation for Each Component of the Expository Reading and Writing Course.
Reviews of Individual Studies 8 2
The Implementation and Effects of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC): Early Findings in Sixth-Grade Advanced Reading Courses. CRESST Report 846 (2015)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) as one strategy to support teachers' and students' transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts. This report provides an early look at the implementation of LDC in sixth-grade Advanced Reading classes in a large Florida district, and the effectiveness of the intervention in this setting. The study found that teachers understood LDC and implemented it with fidelity and that curriculum modules were well crafted. Teachers also generally reported positive attitudes about the effectiveness of LDC and its usefulness as a tool for teaching CCSS skills. Although implementation results were highly positive, quasi-experimental analyses employing matched control group and regression discontinuity designs found no evidence of an impact of LDC on student performance on state reading or district writing assessments. Furthermore, students generally performed at basic levels on assessments designed to align with the intervention, suggesting the challenge of meeting CCSS expectations. Exploratory analyses suggest that LDC may have been most effective for higher achieving students. However understandable, the findings thus suggest that, in the absence of additional scaffolding and supports for low-achieving students, LDC may be gap enhancing. Two appendices are included: (1) LDC Instruments and Rubrics; and (2) Summary Report: Developing an Assignment Measure to Assess Quality of LDC Modules (Abby Reisman, Joan Herman, Rebecca Luskin, and Scott Epstein).
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-10 2
Taking stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative. Sixth-year evaluation report. (2015)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 2
Academic Impacts of Career and Technical Schools (2015)
This study presents findings from three cohorts of students--the classes of 2003, 2004, and 2005, in the School District of Philadelphia--that were admitted to the district's career and technical education (CTE) schools through a randomized lottery process. This study takes advantage of this so-called "'natural experiment' to compare high school academic outcomes for" lottery applicants who were admitted with those for students who did not receive an acceptance. Results find that CTE students had significantly better outcomes in terms of graduation rates, credit accumulation, and the successful completion of the college preparatory mathematics sequence algebra 1, algebra 2, and geometry. Results for other outcomes such as the completion of science and foreign language course sequences, overall grade point average, and mathematics and reading comprehension achievement, were inconsistent across cohorts and statistical tests, neither favoring nor against students accepted to CTE schools.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 2
Evaluation of Green Dot's Locke Transformation Project: Findings for Cohort 1 and 2 Students. CRESST Report 815 (2012)
With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CRESST conducted a multi-year evaluation of a major school reform project at Alain Leroy Locke High School, historically one of California's lowest performing secondary schools. Beginning in 2007, Locke High School transitioned into a set of smaller, Green Dot Charter High Schools, subsequently referred to as Green Dot Locke (GDL) in this report. Based on 9th grade students who entered GDL in 2007 and 2008 respectively, CRESST used a range of student outcomes to monitor progress of the GDL transformation. The CRESST evaluation, employing a strong quasi-experimental design with propensity score matching, found statistically significant, positive effects for the GDL transformation including improved achievement, school persistence, and completion of college preparatory courses. Appended are: (1) Demographic Characteristics and Achievement of the Freshmen at GDL and LAUSD; (2) Cohort Specific Descriptives; and (3) General Descriptives. (Contains 17 figures, 43 tables and 6 footnotes.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 3
The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation (2015)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-11 3
Experimental study of a self-determination intervention for youth in foster care (2013)
Reviews of Individual Studies 10-12 3
Evaluation of Achieving a College Education Plus: A Credit-Based Transition Program (2011)
This ex post facto study evaluated Achieving a College Education (ACE) Plus program, a credit-based transition program between a high school district and a community college. Achieving a College Education Plus is an early outreach program. It is designed to aid at-risk students in graduating from high school and making a smooth transition to higher education, while taking college courses and earning college credit. The authors examined the efficacy of Achieving a College Education Plus with respect to retention rates, graduation rates, and rate of transfer to colleges. Sixty high school students who had participated in Achieving a College Education Plus were matched to a sample of 60 non-Achieving a College Education Plus students. Archival records, postgraduate survey, and school district transcript information comprised three sources of data for this study. Using a series of logistic regression analyses to assess data and provide adequate controls for prior academic achievement, the authors determined that there were no differences in the findings with respect to gender, ethnicity, and language spoken in the home. However, statistically significant differences were found in favor of the Achieving a College Education Plus program with regard to student retention, graduation, and college enrollment. With an increasing emphasis on college readiness and student retention, this study is timely and contributes empirical data and findings to the community college literature. (Contains 4 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 11-12 3
Making the Transition: Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation (2010)
Young people who drop out of high school face long odds of success in a labor market that increasingly values education and skills. This report presents interim results from a rigorous, ongoing evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, which aims to "reclaim the lives of at-risk youth" who have dropped out of high school. ChalleNGe is an intensive residential program that currently operates in more than half the states. More than 90,000 young people have completed the program since it was launched in the early 1990s. MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, is conducting the evaluation in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. Several private foundations and the U.S. Department of Defense are funding the evaluation. The 17-month ChalleNGe program is divided into three phases: Pre-ChalleNGe, a demanding two- week orientation and assessment period; a 20-week Residential Phase built around eight core components designed to promote positive youth development; and a one-year Postresidential Phase featuring a structured mentoring program. During the first two phases, participants live at the program site, often on a military base. The environment is "quasi-military," though there are no requirements for military service. The evaluation uses a random assignment design. Because there were more qualified applicants than slots, a lottery-like process was used to decide which applicants were admitted to the program. The young people who were admitted (the program group) are being compared over time with those who were not admitted (the control group); any significant differences that emerge between the groups can be attributed to ChalleNGe. About 3,000 young people entered the study in 10 ChalleNGe programs in 2005-2006. Key findings from the survey include: (1) The program group was much more likely than the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate (GED) and to have earned college credits; (2) At the time of the survey, program group members were somewhat more likely to be engaged in productive activities; (3) Young people in the two groups were equally likely to have been arrested in the year prior to the survey, but the program group was less likely to have been convicted of a crime or to have engaged in certain delinquent acts; and (4) There were few differences between groups in measures of physical or mental health. These interim results are impressive, but longer-term follow-up will be critical to understanding the full story of the program's effects. Results from a 36-month survey should be available by late 2010. Appendices include: (1) Analysis of Survey Response Bias; (2) Supplementary Tables on Delinquency and Criminal Activity; (3) Supplementary Tables Analyses on Life-Coping, Leadership, and Group Skills; (4) Items and Factor Loadings for Civic Engagement Scales; and (5) Supplementary Subgroup Tables. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 40 tables, 1 figure, and 3 boxes.) [For the executive summary, see ED514661.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 11-12 3
Study of the Effect of the Talent Search Program on Secondary and Postsecondary Outcomes in Florida, Indiana and Texas. Final Report from Phase II of the National Evaluation (2006)
Low-income students and students whose parents have not attended college typically are less likely than middle- and upper-income students to complete high school and attend college, and are thus less likely to reap the benefits of attending college. Lack of information, resources, and exposure to others who have navigated the college process may be substantial hurdles for these students. Federal financial aid is available through Pell Grants, college tuition tax credits, and student loan programs, but low-income students may not be taking full advantage of these sources. Even low-income students with high educational aspirations may find the financial aid and college application processes overwhelming and discouraging. The Talent Search program primarily provides information on the types of high school courses students should take to prepare for college and on the financial aid available to pay for college. The program also helps students access financial aid through applications for grants, loans, and scholarships, and orients students to different types of colleges and the college application process. After a two-year implementation study, the U.S. Department of Education's Policy and Program Studies Service selected Mathematica Policy Research Inc. (MPR) in 2000 to assess the effect of Talent Search in selected states. The study team opted to compile data from administrative records from many sources, including program, state, and federal records, to evaluate the effectiveness of federal education programs, partly as a test of whether such an evaluation was feasible. The study also yielded useful information about the effectiveness of the Talent Search program. It included an analysis of the effectiveness of the Talent Search program in Florida, Indiana, and Texas. The study team's analysis was based on administrative data compiled in these three states and a quasi-experimental design to create matched comparison groups. The findings presented in this report suggest that assisting low-income students who have college aspirations to overcome information barriers--an important objective of the Talent Search program--may be effective in helping these students achieve their aspirations. Practical information--direct guidance on how to complete applications for financial aid and admission to college and what a college campus looks and feels like--may have been one of the key services that Talent Search projects delivered. Appended are: (1) Chapter Tables; and (2) Compilation of Data Sources and Feasibility of Evaluations Based on Administrative Records. (Contains 38 tables and 15 figures.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 11-12 3
Study of the Effect of the Talent Search Program on Secondary and Postsecondary Outcomes in Florida, Indiana and Texas. Final Report from Phase II of the National Evaluation (2006)
Low-income students and students whose parents have not attended college typically are less likely than middle- and upper-income students to complete high school and attend college, and are thus less likely to reap the benefits of attending college. Lack of information, resources, and exposure to others who have navigated the college process may be substantial hurdles for these students. Federal financial aid is available through Pell Grants, college tuition tax credits, and student loan programs, but low-income students may not be taking full advantage of these sources. Even low-income students with high educational aspirations may find the financial aid and college application processes overwhelming and discouraging. The Talent Search program primarily provides information on the types of high school courses students should take to prepare for college and on the financial aid available to pay for college. The program also helps students access financial aid through applications for grants, loans, and scholarships, and orients students to different types of colleges and the college application process. After a two-year implementation study, the U.S. Department of Education's Policy and Program Studies Service selected Mathematica Policy Research Inc. (MPR) in 2000 to assess the effect of Talent Search in selected states. The study team opted to compile data from administrative records from many sources, including program, state, and federal records, to evaluate the effectiveness of federal education programs, partly as a test of whether such an evaluation was feasible. The study also yielded useful information about the effectiveness of the Talent Search program. It included an analysis of the effectiveness of the Talent Search program in Florida, Indiana, and Texas. The study team's analysis was based on administrative data compiled in these three states and a quasi-experimental design to create matched comparison groups. The findings presented in this report suggest that assisting low-income students who have college aspirations to overcome information barriers--an important objective of the Talent Search program--may be effective in helping these students achieve their aspirations. Practical information--direct guidance on how to complete applications for financial aid and admission to college and what a college campus looks and feels like--may have been one of the key services that Talent Search projects delivered. Appended are: (1) Chapter Tables; and (2) Compilation of Data Sources and Feasibility of Evaluations Based on Administrative Records. (Contains 38 tables and 15 figures.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 3
Promoting School Completion of Urban Secondary Youth with Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities (2005)
An experimental research design was used to examine the effectiveness of a targeted, long-term intervention to promote school completion and reduce dropout among urban high school students with emotional or behavioral disabilities. African American (67%) males (82%) composed a large portion of the sample. This intervention study was a replication of an empirically supported model referred to as check & connect. Study participants included 144 ninth graders, randomly assigned to the treatment or control group. The majority of youth were followed for 4 years, with a subsample followed for 5 years. Program outcomes included lower rates of dropout and mobility, higher rates of persistent attendance and enrollment status in school, and more comprehensive transition plans.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 -1
Effects of cross-age peer mentoring program within a randomized controlled trial (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 -1
An Efficacy Study of a Ninth-Grade Early Warning Indicator Intervention (2019)
Building on previous research showing how well ninth-grade student behaviors predict on-time high school graduation, this experimental study investigates the impact of a ninth-grade intervention on student attendance and course passing. The study, conducted in 41 geographically and demographically diverse high schools within a single state, evaluates the effects of placing a half-time staff member in high schools to implement the Early Warning Intervention (EWI) Team model designed to monitor ninth-grade early warning indicators and provide timely interventions. Analyses based on the prespecified student outcomes of attendance rate and percentage of ninth-grade course credits earned indicated no statistically significant impact of the intervention. On secondary outcome variables, results indicated that students in treatment schools were significantly less likely than control school students to be chronically absent. The difference between treatment and control school students on dichotomous measures of course failure were not statistically significant. The widespread dissemination of research and best practices related to early warning systems and ninth-grade interventions likely accounted for low levels of contrast between treatment and control school practices and outcomes.
Reviews of Individual Studies 10-12 -1
Impact Evaluation of "12 for Life": Better Lives through Education and Employment (2018)
"12 for Life" is an Investing in Innovation (i3) development grant funded by the Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. "12 for Life" provides a rigorous STEM curriculum, combined with on-the-job-training, work/life skills development, mentoring, and employment opportunities to high school students who are at high risk of dropping out of school. The impact evaluation used a quasi-experimental design (QED) to examine the effect of "12 for Life" on grade point average (GPA), number of suspensions, and incidence of dropping out of school. "12 for Life" students who enrolled in the program during the 2014-15 school year were followed for three years. Outcomes for "12 for Life" students were compared to a matched sample of students with similar risk factors for dropping out of school who started 10th grade in fall 2014 and who participate in business-as-usual, traditional academic instruction in the high school environment. Comparison students were followed for three years. Results showed no statistically significant impact on grade point average (GPA) at the end of 12th grade, number of suspensions, or incidence of dropping out of school.
Reviews of Individual Studies 12 -1
Pathways after High School: Evaluation of the Urban Alliance High School Internship Program (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies 1-7 -1
The effect of mentoring on school attendance and academic outcomes: A randomized evaluation of the Check & Connect program (Working Paper WP-16-18) (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-10 -1
Getting Students on Track for Graduation: Impacts of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System after One Year. REL 2017-272 (2017)
Although high school graduation rates are rising--the national rate was 82 percent during the 2013/14 school year (U.S. Department of Education, 2015)--dropping out remains a persistent problem in the Midwest and nationally. Many schools now use early warning systems to identify students who are at risk of not graduating, with the goal of intervening early to help students get back on track for on-time graduation. Although research has guided decisions about the types of data and indicators used to flag students as being at risk, little is known about the impact of early warning systems on students and schools--and in particular, whether these systems do help get students back on track. This study, designed in collaboration with the REL Midwest Dropout Prevention Research Alliance, examined the impact and implementation of one early warning system--the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS)--on student and school outcomes. To assess the impact of EWIMS on student and school outcomes, 73 high schools in three Midwest Region states were randomly assigned to implement EWIMS during the 2014/15 school year (37 EWIMS schools) or to continue their usual practices for identifying and supporting students at risk of not graduating on time and to delay implementation of EWIMS until the following school year (36 control schools). The study included 37,671 students in their first or second year of high school, with 18,634 students in EWIMS schools and 19,037 students in control schools. EWIMS and control schools and students were similar on all background characteristics prior to random assignment. The study examined the impacts of EWIMS on indicators of student risk and on student progress in school after the first year of EWIMS adoption. The study found that EWIMS reduced the percentage of students with risk indicators related to chronic absence and course failure but not related to low GPAs or suspension: (1) The percentage of students who were chronically absent (missed 10 percent or more of instructional time) was lower in EWIMS schools (10 percent) than in control schools (14 percent); this 4 percentage point difference was statistically significant; and (2) The percentage of students who failed one or more courses was lower in EWIMS schools (21 percent) than in control schools (26 percent); this 5 percentage point difference was statistically significant; (3) The percentage of students who had a low GPA (2.0 or lower) was 17 percent in EWIMS schools and 19 percent in control schools; this difference was not statistically significant. However, sensitivity analyses that used continuous GPA data instead of the binary risk indicator showed that, on average, GPAs were higher in EWIMS schools (2.98) than in control schools (2.87); this difference was statistically significant; and (4) The percentage of students who were suspended once or more was 9 percent in both EWIMS and control schools; there was no statistically significant difference. EWIMS did not have an impact on student progress in school. That is, there was not a statistically significant difference between EWIMS and control schools in the percentage of students who earned insufficient credits to be on track to graduate within four years (14 percent in both). At the school level, EWIMS did not have a detectable impact on school data culture, that is, the ways in which schools use data to make decisions and identify students in need of additional support. In nearly all participating schools, overall implementation of the EWIMS seven-step process was low, and implementation was challenging. Nevertheless, EWIMS schools were more likely than control schools to report using an early warning system and having a dedicated team to identify and support at-risk students, but EWIMS schools did not differ from control schools in the frequency of data review or the number and type of interventions offered. This report provides rigorous initial evidence that even with limited implementation during the first year of adoption, using a comprehensive early warning system can reduce the percentage of students who are chronically absent or who fail one or more courses. These short-term results are promising because chronic absence and course failure in grades 9 and 10 are two key indicators that students are off track for on-time graduation. However, because the past research linking indicators to on-time graduation is correlational, it is not yet known if improving these indicators leads to improving on-time graduation rates. Also, EWIMS did not have a detectable impact on other measured indicators that are related to students' likelihood of on-time graduation, including low GPAs, suspensions, and earning insufficient credits. Future research is needed to better understand the mechanisms through which EWIMS had an impact on chronic absence and course failure and why EWIMS did not affect other outcomes. In particular, studies could focus on identifying which staff actions and student experiences lead to improved student outcomes. Studies should also examine whether schools achieve improved overall implementation in subsequent years and whether (and how) the observed impacts fade, grow larger, or extend to other risk indicators (low GPAs and suspensions); to intermediate outcomes (including student persistence and progress in school); and to long-term outcomes (including dropout and on-time graduation rates). The following are appended: (1) Planned implementation of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System; (2) Recruitment, random assignment, and study sample; (3) Data collection and analytic methods; (4) Detailed findings and supplementary analyses; and (5) Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-10 -1
The Struggle to Pass Algebra: Online vs. Face-to-Face Credit Recovery for At-Risk Urban Students (2017)
Students who fail algebra are significantly less likely to graduate on time, and algebra failure rates are consistently high in urban districts. Identifying effective credit recovery strategies is critical for getting students back on track. Online courses are now widely used for credit recovery, yet there is no rigorous evidence about the relative efficacy of online versus face-to-face credit recovery courses. To address this gap, this study randomly assigned 1,224 ninth graders who failed algebra in 17 Chicago public high schools to take an online or face-to-face algebra credit recovery course. Compared to students in face-to-face credit recovery, students in online credit recovery reported that the course was more difficult, were less likely to recover credit, and scored lower on an algebra posttest. There were no statistically significant differences by condition on any outcomes measured during the second year of high school (standardized mathematics test and algebra subtest scores, likelihood of passing subsequent math classes, cumulative math credits, or on-track rates). The benefits and challenges of online learning for credit recovery are discussed in light of the findings to date.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 -1
Helping Students Make the Transition into High School: The Effect of Ninth Grade Academies on Students' Academic and Behavioral Outcomes (2016)
Ninth Grade Academies (NGAs)--also called Freshman Academies--have attracted national attention as a particularly intensive and promising approach for supporting a successful transition for high school freshmen. An NGA is a self-contained learning community for ninth-graders that operates as a school within a school. NGAs have four core structural components: (1) a designated separate space within the high school, (2) a ninth-grade administrator who oversees the academy, (3) a faculty assigned to teach only ninth-grade students, and (4) teachers organized into interdisciplinary teams that have both students and a planning period in common. The theory of action behind NGAs is that when these components are employed together, they interact to create a more personalized learning environment where ninth-grade students feel less anonymous and more individually supported. This, in turn, should help students succeed in school and stay on track to high school graduation. NGAs have shown promising results when employed as part of a whole-school reform model, but in these cases schools have received external support from a developer to create and sustain them. A growing number of schools and districts have been experimenting with NGAs on their own, but the little research that exists on their effectiveness is limited to anecdotal accounts. This study, which is based on a quasi-experimental research design, examines the effect of NGAs on students' progress toward graduation, their academic achievement, and their behavior in several school districts in Florida. The sample for this study includes 27 high schools that created NGAs between 2001-2002 and 2006-2007, along with 16 comparison high schools that serve ninth-grade students with similar characteristics as students in the NGA schools. As context for understanding the impact findings, this study also looks at the extent to which the key features of the NGA model were implemented in the NGA schools in the study and how this differs from the structures and supports in the comparison schools. The key finding is that the NGAs in this study do not appear to have improved students' academic or behavioral outcomes (credit earning, state test scores, course marks, attendance, suspensions, or expulsions). The findings also suggest that it can be difficult for schools to fully implement the components of the NGA model without expert assistance: Three years after their creation, only half the NGAs in the study had all four structural components of the model in place. Nationally, school districts continue to create NGAs, and recent efforts to implement them have incorporated various enhancements that are intended to strengthen and improve their implementation, but little is known about their effectiveness. Because students' experience in ninth grade is an important predictor of their future success, these efforts to create and improve NGAs should be examined in future studies. Appended are: (1) Technical Information; and (2) Beyond the Sunshine State: Ninth Grade Academies in Other School Districts. ["Helping Students Make the Transition into High School: The Effect of Ninth Grade Academies on Students' Academic and Behavioral Outcomes" was written with Janet Quint.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 6-9 -1
Addressing Early Warning Indicators: Interim Impact Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation of Diplomas Now (2016)
Diplomas Now is a partnership of three national organizations--Talent Development Secondary, City Year, and Communities In Schools--collaborating in an effort to transform urban secondary schools so that fewer students drop out and more graduate ready for postsecondary education and work. With the goal of a continuous system of support through secondary school, the Diplomas Now model seeks to help more students graduate by improving their attendance, behavior, and course performance, particularly in English/language arts and math, during the middle grades and high school. Acting as a representative for the partnership, Johns Hopkins University, home to Talent Development Secondary, was awarded an Investing in Innovation (i3) validation grant by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to support the expansion of Diplomas Now from a few schools to more than 30 middle and high schools in more than 10 school districts. The grant funds also support a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the Diplomas Now model, led by MDRC. This report discusses the early impacts of the Diplomas Now model on student and school outcomes at the end of the first and second years of model implementation. It focuses in particular on students during sixth and ninth grades, critical transition years into middle and high school. Accordingly, this report presents the "first-year" impacts of a "multiyear" program. In total, 62 high-needs schools (33 middle schools and 29 high schools) from 11 large urban school districts across the country were recruited to participate in the study starting in either the 2011-2012 or the 2012-2013 school year. Thirty-two of the participating secondary schools were randomly assigned to implement the Diplomas Now model (DN schools), and 30 were assigned to continue with "business as usual" (non-DN schools), either maintaining their existing practices and structures or pursuing other types of school reform. This third report focuses on the early impacts of Diplomas Now on students' attendance, behavior, and course performance measures (the ABC outcomes), separately and in combination, during their first year in middle school or high school over the course of the first two years that the model was implemented in participating schools. Does the implementation of Diplomas Now have an impact on how many students are on a path to high school graduation by the end of their first year of middle school or high school? During that first year, what difference does Diplomas Now make for attendance rates, suspensions and expulsions, and successful course completion? This report also discusses the impact of Diplomas Now on possible precursors to the ABC outcomes, such as the climate of the school, support from parents and the community, and students' attitudes and relationships. Two appendices are included: (1) Samples, Analytic Methods, and Early Outcome Measures; and (2) Supplemental ABC Outcome Findings. [For "Laying Tracks to Graduation: The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now," see ED546638. For "Moving down the Track: Changing School Practices during the Second Year of Diplomas Now," see ED558491.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 7-12 -1
FLIGHT final evaluation report: Facilitating long-term improvements in graduation and higher education for tomorrow. (2015)
Reviews of Individual Studies 6-12 -1
Case Management for Students at Risk of Dropping Out: Implementation and Interim Impact Findings from the Communities in Schools Evaluation (2015)
Too many students drop out and never earn their high school diploma. For students at risk of dropping out, academic, social, and other supports may help. "Communities In Schools" seeks to organize and provide these supports to at-risk students in the nation's poorest-performing schools, including through "case-managed" services. This report, the first of two from a random assignment evaluation of "Communities In Schools" case management, focuses primarily on the implementation of case management in 28 secondary schools during the 2012-2013 school year. The report also includes interim one-year findings about case management's impact on student outcomes. The report concludes with suggestions for improvement for "Communities In Schools" based mainly on the implementation findings. The next report will present two-year impact findings and more about the implementation of case management in the 2013-2014 school year. Appended to the report are: (1) Statistical Model and Statistical Power; and (2) Sample and Response Analysis.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 -1
Intensive math instruction and educational attainment long-run impacts of double-dose algebra. (2015)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-10 -1
Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago. NBER Working Paper 21178 (2015)
We present the results of three large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) carried out in Chicago, testing interventions to reduce crime and dropout by changing the decision-making of economically disadvantaged youth. We study a program called Becoming a Man (BAM), developed by the non-profit Youth Guidance, in two RCTs implemented in 2009-10 and 2013-15. In the two studies participation in the program reduced total arrests during the intervention period by 28-35%, reduced violent-crime arrests by 45-50%, improved school engagement, and in the first study where we have follow-up data, increased graduation rates by 12-19%. The third RCT tested a program with partially overlapping components carried out in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), which reduced readmission rates to the facility by 21%. These large behavioral responses combined with modest program costs imply benefit-cost ratios for these interventions from 5-to-1 up to 30-to-1 or more. Our data on mechanisms are not ideal, but we find no positive evidence that these effects are due to changes in emotional intelligence or social skills, self-control or "grit," or a generic mentoring effect. We find suggestive support for the hypothesis that the programs work by helping youth slow down and reflect on whether their automatic thoughts and behaviors are well suited to the situation they are in, or whether the situation could be construed differently. [A full list of sponsors of this project can be found on the NBER web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21178.ack.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9 -1
A Peer-Led High School Transition Program Increases Graduation Rates among Latino Males (2014)
The authors investigated the impact of a manualized high school transition program, the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program, on the graduation rate at a low-income, Mid-Atlantic high school. The program utilized 12th-grade student peer leaders to create a supportive environment for incoming ninth-grade students. Results of a randomized control trial demonstrated that male students who participated in the program during Grade 9 were significantly more likely to graduate from high school within 4 years than male students in the control group (81% vs. 63%). Findings suggest that peers can be effective in delivering a school-based, social emotional learning intervention and that it is possible to intervene in Grade 9 to influence the probability of high school graduation.
Reviews of Individual Studies 7-10 -1
Preventing Youth Violence and Dropout: A Randomized Field Experiment. NBER Working Paper No. 19014 (2013)
Improving the long-term life outcomes of disadvantaged youth remains a top policy priority in the United States, although identifying successful interventions for adolescents--particularly males--has proven challenging. This paper reports results from a large randomized controlled trial of an intervention for disadvantaged male youth grades 7-10 from high-crime Chicago neighborhoods. The intervention was delivered by two local non-profits and included regular interactions with a pro-social adult, after-school programming, and--perhaps the most novel ingredient--in-school programming designed to reduce common judgment and decision-making problems related to automatic behavior and biased beliefs, or what psychologists call cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We randomly assigned 2,740 youth to programming or to a control group; about half those offered programming participated, with the average participant attending 13 sessions. Program participation reduced violent-crime arrests during the program year by 8.1 per 100 youth (a 44 percent reduction). It also generated sustained gains in schooling outcomes equal to 0.14 standard deviations during the program year and 0.19 standard deviations during the follow-up year, which we estimate could lead to higher graduation rates of 3-10 percentage points (7-22 percent). Depending on how one monetizes the social costs of crime, the benefit-cost ratio may be as high as 30:1 from reductions in criminal activity alone. [A full list of sponsors of this project can be found on NBER's web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19014.ack.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 -1
Longer-term impacts of mentoring, educational services, and learning incentives: Evidence from a randomized trial in the United States. (2012)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS -1
Longer-term impacts of mentoring, educational services, and incentives to learn: Evidence from a randomized trial in the United States (2010)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 -1
National Assessment of Title I: Interim Report. Volume II: Closing the Reading Gap: First Year Findings from a Randomized Trial of Four Reading Interventions for Striving Readers. NCEE 2006-4002 (2006)
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, nearly 4 in 10 fourth graders read below the basic level. These literacy problems get worse as students advance through school and are exposed to progressively more complex concepts and courses. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of four remedial reading programs in improving the reading skills of 3rd and 5th graders, whether the impacts of the programs vary across students with difference baseline characteristics, and to what extent can this instruction close the reading gap and bring struggling readers within the normal range--relative to the instruction normally provided by their schools. The study took place in elementary schools in 27 districts of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit outside Pittsburgh, PA during the 2003-04 school year. Within each of 50 schools, 3rd and 5th grade students were identified as struggling readers by their teachers. These students were tested and were eligible for the study if they scored at or below the 30th percentile on a word-level reading test and at or above the 5th percentile on a vocabulary test. The final sample contains a total of 742 students. There are 335 3rd graders ? 208 treatment and 127 control students. There are 407 5th graders ? 228 treatment and 179 control students. Four existing programs were used: Spell Read P.A.T., Corrective Reading, Wilson Reading, and Failure Free Reading. Corrective Reading and Wilson Reading were modified to focus only on word-level skills. Spell Read P.A.T. and Failure Free Reading were intended to focus equally on word-level skills and reading comprehension/vocabulary. Teachers received 70 hours of professional development and support during the year. Instruction was delivered in small groups of 3 students, 5 days a week, for a total of 90 hours. Seven measures of reading skill were administered at the beginning and end of the school year to assess student progress: Word Attack, Word Identification Comprehension (Woodcock Reading Mastery Test); Phonemic Decoding Efficiency and Sight Word Efficiency (Test of Word Reading Efficiency); Oral Reading Fluency (Edformation); and Passage Comprehension (Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation). After one year of instruction, there were significant impacts on phonemic decoding, word reading accuracy and fluency, and comprehension for 3rd graders, but not for 5th graders. For third graders in the reading programs, the gap in word attach skills between struggling readers and average readers was reduced by about two-thirds. It was found that reading skills of 3rd graders can be significantly improved through instruction in word-level skills, but not the reading skills of 5th graders. The following are appended: (1) Details of Study Design and Implementation; (2) Data Collection; (3) Weighting Adjustment and Missing Data; (4) Details of Statistical Methods; (5) Intervention Impacts on Spelling and Calculation; (6) Instructional Group Clustering; (7) Parent Survey; (8) Teacher Survey and Behavioral Rating Forms; (9) Instructional Group Clustering; (10) Videotape Coding Guidelines for Each Reading Program; (11) Supporting Tables; (12) Sample Test Items; (13) Impact Estimate Standard Errors and P-Values; (14) Association between Instructional Group Heterogeneity and The Outcome; (15) Teacher Rating Form; (16) School Survey; and (17) Scientific Advisory Board. [This report was produced by the Corporation for the Advancement of Policy Evaluation. Additional support provided by the Barksdale Reading Institute, and the Haan Foundation for Children.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 -1
Striving for Student Success. The Effect of Project GRAD on High School Student Outcomes in Three Urban School Districts (2006)
This report describes the effects of Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (GRAD) on student progress at three high schools in Houston (the initiative's original site) and at high schools in two other school districts (Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia). MDRC--a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization--conducted a third-party evaluation to determine the effects of Project GRAD by comparing the changes in student outcomes at Project GRAD schools with changes at similar, non-Project GRAD schools in the same districts. (A companion report discusses findings for Project GRAD elementary schools.) In general, Project GRAD student outcomes are tracked from the implementation of the first components of the model at each site until the 2002-2003 school year. The key findings of this report are: At Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, the initiative's flagship school, Project GRAD had a statistically significant positive impact on the proportion of students who completed a core academic curriculum on time--that is, received an average grade of 75 out of 100 in their core courses; earned four credits in English, three in math, two in science, and two in social students; and graduated from high school within four years. As Project GRAD expanded into two other Houston high schools, these positive effects on students' academic preparation were not evident. Student outcomes at the newer Project GRAD high schools improved, but generally this progress was matched by progress at the comparison high schools. Improvements in graduation rates at the three Project GRAD Houston high schools were generally matched by improvements in graduation rates at the comparison schools. Looking at early indicators of student success, the initial Project GRAD high schools in Columbus and Atlanta showed improvements in attendance and promotion to tenth grade that appear to have outpaced improvements at the comparison schools, although the differences are only sometimes statistically significant. The following are appended: (1) The Impacts on High School Graduation among All Ninth-Grade Students in Houston; (2) High School Achievement in Houston: Was There Shifting of the Pool of Test-Takers?; and (3) Selecting Comparison Schools. (Contains 3 boxes, 6 tables, and 20 figures.) [Additional supplemental funding for this document was provided by the Lucent Technologies Foundation; and Project GRAD USA.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 -1
Scaling up First Things First: The challenge of scaling up educational reform. (2005)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-12 -1
Making Progress Toward Graduation: Evidence from the Talent Development High School Model (2005)
In low-performing public high schools in U.S. cities, high proportions of students drop out, students who stay in school typically do not succeed academically, and efforts to make substantial reforms often meet with little success. The Talent Development High School model is a comprehensive school reform initiative that has been developed to address these challenges. Targeting some of the most troubled schools in the country, the model seeks to raise the expectations of teachers and students and to prepare all students for postsecondary education and employment. MDRC, a nonpartisan, nonprofit education and social policy research organization, conducted an independent, third-party evaluation of Talent Development. This rigorous evaluation focuses on the first five high schools to begin using the model in the School District of Philadelphia. The evaluation follows 20 cohorts of ninth-grade students for up to four years of high school using a comparative interrupted time series research design. Appended are: (1) Tables for First-Time Ninth-Grade Students; and (2) Tables for Repeating Ninth-Grade Students. (Contains 16 tables, 9 figures, and 3 boxes.)[Dissemination of MDRC publications is also supported by Starr Foundation.]

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