WWC review of this study

ALAS: Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success.

Larson, K. A, & Rumberger, R. W. (1995). In H. Thorton (Ed.), Staying in school: A technical report of three dropout prevention projects for middle school students with learning and emotional disabilities (pp. A-1–A-71). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    94
     Students
    , grades
    7-9
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: September 2017

Staying in school outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Enrollment status - end of 11th grade

Dropout Prevention vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample;
94 students

75

66.7

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Enrollment status - end of 9th grade

Dropout Prevention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
94 students

97.9

83.3

Yes

 
 
41

Enrollment status - end of 8th grade

Dropout Prevention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
90 students

91

73

Yes

 
 
29

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
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    • Y
    • a
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    • y

    California

Setting

This study took place in one target junior high school serving students in grades 7, 8, and 9, in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district is the second largest district in the US and it enrolls primarily minority students. The school, district, and the surrounding community are majority Hispanic. The school enrolls about 2,220 students with class sizes ranging from 25-28 students. Most students (70%) participate in the federal school lunch program and speak Spanish as their first language (62%).

Study sample

The high risk treatment group was 96% Latino and 4% Anglo. Almost half (45%) had an English-only background, 32% were Fluent English Proficient (FEP), and 22% were Limited English Proficient (LEP). Over 90% (92%) participated in the federal school lunch program. The high risk control group was 96% Latino, 2% Black, and 2% Anglo. Forty percent had an English-only background, 35% were Fluent English Proficient (FEP), and 25% were Limited English Proficient (LEP). Over 90% (91%) participated in the federal school lunch program. The low-risk comparison students were 96% Latino, 2% Anglo, 2% Black, 17% limited English proficiency, and free/reduced-price school lunch was unreported. LD and SED students in the intervention group were 91% Latino, 8% Black, 1% other race, 53% limited English proficiency, and 94% free/reduced-price school lunch. The LD and SED comparison group was 93% Hispanic, 7% Black, and 49% limited English proficiency.

Intervention Group

ALAS addresses both the youth and the contexts in which youth live and function, including the school, family, and community. Student-focused strategies include social problem solving training, counseling, student recognition and enhancement of school affiliation. The problem solving training and counseling is 10 weeks of social metacognitive problem solving instruction with 2 years of follow-up problem solving prompting and counseling. Elements of the training include how to recognize, identify, and define problems; how to control impulses and overlook irritations; and how to set goals, develop a plan, and anticipate roadblocks. Students are given recognition in the form of frequent reinforcement through praise, outings, certificates, etc. Students also are provided with the ALAS lounge to congregate in during lunch or after school to help build school affiliation. Social bonding activities are also provided such as holiday school parties, evening or weekend outings for achievement, after-school groups to discuss teen issues, tutoring, hot chocolate mornings before school, and order-in pizza lunch. Student attendance is monitored period by period by circulating a teacher signature card to each class and visually checking to see if a student is in class. Students may also be transported to school, located if truant, escorted to classes if chronically late. Parents received daily notes about student attendance. Teachers provide weekly feedback to parents and students. Feedback to students include monitoring of academic grades, homework, and assignments. Parents are trained on parent-child problem solving and parent participation in schools, including: when and how to contact school personnel, legal rights of students and parents, premises and assumptions of American educators, red flags of teen behavior, and how to monitor the adolescent's school behavior and performance. ALAS staff work to integrate school and home needs with community services. This includes advocating for youth in court, working with probation officers to monitor behavior, working to get family food stamps or social security benefits, referring parents to potential jobs or training programs, and getting free city bus passes of students to get to and from school. The intervention lasts through all 3 years of junior high school and is administered in conjunction with the regular school program by treatment staff who are based at the school site every day.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group received the regular (i.e., traditional) school program during junior high school.

Support for implementation

The implementation was implemented by ALAS staff. Personnel were at the school site every day for three years and were in the community and home as needed.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Rumberger, R. W., & Larson, K. A. (1992). Keeping high-risk Chicano students in school: Lessons from a Los Angeles middle school dropout prevention program. Santa Barbara: University of California, Santa Barbara.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: October 2016

Staying in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Enrolled at the end of 9th grade (%)

Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success (ALAS) vs. Business as usual

Full sample;
94 students

0.98

0.83

Yes

 
 
42
More Outcomes

Enrollment status at end of 11th grade

Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success (ALAS) vs. Business as usual

Full sample;
94 students

0.75

0.67

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 92% Free or reduced price lunch
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    96%
    Not Hispanic
    4%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
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    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
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    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    California

Setting

This study took place in one target junior high school serving students in grades 7, 8, and 9, in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district is the second largest district in the US and it enrolls primarily minority students. The school, district, and the surrounding community are majority Hispanic. The school enrolls about 2,220 students with class sizes ranging from 25-28 students. Most students (70%) participate in the federal school lunch program and speak Spanish as their first language (62%).

Study sample

The high risk treatment group was 96% Latino and 4% Anglo. Almost half (45%) had an English-only background, 32% were Fluent English Proficient (FEP), and 22% were Limited English Proficient (LEP). Over 90% (92%) participated in the federal school lunch program. The high risk control group was 96% Latino, 2% Black, and 2% Anglo. Forty percent had an English-only background, 35% were Fluent English Proficient (FEP), and 25% were Limited English Proficient (LEP). Over 90% (91%) participated in the federal school lunch program. The low-risk comparison students were 96% Latino, 2% Anglo, 2% Black, 17% limited English proficiency, and free/reduced-price school lunch was unreported. LD and SED students in the intervention group were 91% Latino, 8% Black, 1% other race, 53% limited English proficiency, and 94% free/reduced-price school lunch. The LD and SED comparison group was 93% Hispanic, 7% Black, and 49% limited English proficiency.

Intervention Group

ALAS addresses both the youth and the contexts in which youth live and function, including the school, family, and community. The intervention covered all three years of junior high school (7th, 8th, and 9th grades). Student-focused strategies include social problem solving training, counseling, student recognition and enhancement of school affiliation. The problem solving training and counseling is 10 weeks of social metacognitive problem solving instruction with 2 years of follow-up problem solving prompting and counseling. Elements of the training include how to recognize, identify, and define problems; how to control impulses and overlook irritations; and how to set goals, develop a plan, and anticipate roadblocks. Students are given recognition in the form of frequent reinforcement through praise, outings, certificates, etc. Students also are provided with the ALAS lounge to congregate in during lunch or after school to help build school affiliation. Social bonding activities are also provided such as holiday school parties, evening or weekend outings for achievement, after-school groups to discuss teen issues, tutoring, hot chocolate mornings before school, and order-in pizza lunch. Student attendance is monitored period by period by circulating a teacher signature card to each class and visually checking to see if a student is in class. Students may also be transported to school, located if truant, escorted to classes if chronically late. Parents received daily notes about student attendance. Teachers provide weekly feedback to parents and students. Feedback to students include monitoring of academic grades, homework, and assignments. Parents are trained on parent-child problem solving and parent participation in schools, including: when and how to contact school personnel, legal rights of students and parents, premises and assumptions of American educators, red flags of teen behavior, and how to monitor the adolescent's school behavior and performance.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group received the regular (i.e., traditional) school program during junior high school.

Support for implementation

The implementation was implemented by ALAS staff. Personnel were at the school site every day for three years and were in the community and home as needed.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: October 2006

Progressing in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

On track to graduate on time at the end of 9th grade (%)

Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success (ALAS) vs. business as usual

Posttest

Conditional on being in a district school;
81 students

72

53

Yes

 
 
19
Staying in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Enrolled at the end of 9th grade (%)

Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success (ALAS) vs. business as usual

Posttest

Full sample;
94 students

98

83

Yes

 
 
42

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 23% English language learners

  • 91% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 36%
    Male: 64%
  • Race
    Black
    1%
    Not specified
    0%
    White
    3%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    96%
    Not Hispanic
    4%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
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    • w
    • y

    California

Setting

The study was conducted in a large junior high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Study sample

The study focuses on a group of 94 high-risk students who entered seventh grade in 1990. Students were identified as high risk if their sixth-grade teacher rated them below the classroom average on a rating scale. Almost all the high-risk students who participated in the study were Latino (96%); most were males (65%); and almost all participated in the free or reduced-price lunch program (91%). About 23% were limited English proficient (LEP), about 33% were fluent English proficient, and the rest were English only students. On average, students were 12 years 7 months old when they entered the seventh grade. Students who spoke no English were excluded because the intervention was not designed to accommodate them. The program also included a sample of students with learning disabilities or who were classified as emotionally disturbed. The WWC does not report on this sample because that analysis did not meet WWC standards. Additional analysis This analysis focuses on a subsample of 81 out of 94 students who had entered seventh grade in 1990 and remained in the target school (treatment group) or transferred to a junior high school in the same district (control group).

Intervention Group

From the pool of 94 high-risk seventh graders, 46 students were randomly assigned to the intervention group. Treatment students received the ALAS intervention during the three years of junior high school (seventh through ninth grade) or until they left the junior high school. Each student was assigned a counselor who monitored the student continuously, worked as case manager, and ensured that all components of the intervention were provided. ALAS students received 10 weeks of problem-solving skills instruction and two years of follow-up problem-solving prompting and counseling. Student period-by-period attendance was monitored, and they were required to make up missed time. Parents were contacted about student truancy or extended absence. ALAS provided weekly and, if needed, daily feedback reports to students and parents regarding classroom comportment and missed assignments. Parents were trained in problem solving and participation in school. ALAS staff helped to directly facilitate youth and parents’ use of such community services as mental health services and social services.Additional analysis The treatment group includes only students who stayed in the ALAS junior high during all three years (36 students).

Comparison Group

Forty-eight students were randomly assigned to the comparison group. They received the regular school program offered by the target school. Additional analysis The comparison group for this study (45 students) includes students who were randomly assigned to be control students at the beginning of seventh grade and either did not transfer from the school or transferred to a school within the district.

Outcome descriptions

Two outcomes relevant for the WWC review were examined: the percentage of students enrolled at the end of the school year (staying in school domain) as measured at two points, grades 9 and 11, and the percentage of students on track to graduate from high school on time conditional on being enrolled in the district (progressing in school domain) as measured at two points, grades 9 and 11. (See Appendices A2.1 and A2.2 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures.) Additional analysis- Three outcomes relevant for the WWC review were examined for this subgroup: the percentage of students enrolled at the end of the school year (staying in school domain) as measured at two points, grades 9 and 10; the percentage of students on track to graduate from high school on time (progressing in school domain) as measured at two points, grades 9 and 10; and the percentage of students who graduated from high school on time, at the end of grade 12 (completing school domain). (See Appendices A2.1–2.3 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures.)

Support for implementation

ALAS was delivered by a supervisor, counselors, and clerical staff housed full-time on the school campus. The supervisor, who was an experienced teacher, counselor, or social worker, provided on-going training to ALAS counselors and worked to coordinate services among the school, the family, and the community. ALAS staff and teachers were trained to deliver the social problem-solving skills curriculum. The supervisor may or may not have received training depending on prior experience.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Gándara, P., Larson, K., Mehan, H., & Rumberger, R. (1998). Capturing Latino students in the academic pipeline: CLPP policy report, 1.(1). Berkeley, CA: Chicano/Latino Policy Project, University of California, Berkeley.

  • Larson, K. A., & Rumberger, R. W. (1995). Doubling school success in highest-risk Latino youth: Results from a middle school intervention study. In R. F. Macías and R. G. García Ramos (Eds.), Changing Schools for Changing Students. Santa Barbara: University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute.

  • Rumberger, R. W., & Larson, K. A. (1994). Keeping high-risk Chicano students in school: Lessons from a Los Angeles junior high school dropout prevention program. In R. J. Rossi (Ed.), Educational Reforms for At-Risk Students (pp. 141–162). New York: Teachers College Press.

  • Larson, K. A. (1989). Task-related and interpersonal problem-solving training for increasing school success in high-risk young adolescents. Remedial and Special Education, 10(5), 32–42.

 

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