WWC review of this study

The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation

Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2015). Washington, DC: The Eisenhower Foundation. Additional discussion can be found at: http://www.childtrends.org/

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    300
     Students
    , grades
    9-12

Reviewed: September 2016

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Access and enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Accepted into college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Full sample;
300 students

0.49

0.26

Yes

--
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Accepted into college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Black;
109 students

0.25

0.05

Yes

--

Accepted into college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Female;
144 students

0.51

0.20

Yes

--

Accepted into college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Hispanic or Latino;
191 students

0.62

0.36

Yes

--

Accepted into college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Male;
158 students

0.47

0.26

Yes

--
Completing school outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

High school graduation

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Full sample;
300 students

0.76

0.38

Yes

--
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

High school graduation

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Black;
109 students

0.77

0.19

Yes

--

High school graduation

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Female;
144 students

0.78

0.36

Yes

--

High school graduation

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Male;
158 students

0.78

0.37

Yes

--

High school graduation

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Hispanic or Latino;
191 students

0.76

0.47

Yes

--
General academic achievement (high school) outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Final high school GPA

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Full sample;
300 students

2.33

1.76

Yes

--
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Final high school GPA

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Black;
109 students

2.40

1.50

Yes

--

Final high school GPA

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Hispanic or Latino;
191 students

2.50

1.90

Yes

--

Final high school GPA

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Female;
144 students

2.26

1.82

Yes

--

Final high school GPA

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Male;
158 students

2.24

1.80

Yes

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 82% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Race
    Black
    39%
    Not specified
    23%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    38%
    Not Hispanic
    62%

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    Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Wisconsin

Setting

The study took place in Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore MD; Boston, MA; Milwaukee, WI; and New Bedford, MA. These locations were selected as they had high rates of school dropouts, youth unemployment, poverty, crime, violence, and gang involvement. There were a total of five public high schools from which students were selected in these locations.

Study sample

The intervention sample was comprised of students with a mean age of 15.9 years, 53.3% female, 47.3% male, 37.7% African American, 41.7% Latino, and 20.5% other. Most students in the group received free or reduced priced lunch (78.3%) and 30.4% had parents who did not complete high school. The comparison sample was comprised of students with a mean age of 16.1 years, 46.7% female, 52.7% male, 39.6% African American, 34.2% Latino, and 26.2% other. Most students in the group received free or reduced priced lunch (85.8%) and 32.3% had parents who did not complete high school.

Intervention Group

The Quantum Opportunities Program was designed as an multifaceted intervention program for high risk youth. The program operates in inner city neighborhoods and provides various solutions for many different problems experienced by youth at risk. Tutoring is provided to help students academically and mentoring is offered to provide deep mentor-mentee relationships. Life skills training is also offered through mentoring relationships which seek to discourage youth from engaging in risky behaviors. The program also offers youth leadership skill building and encourages participants to attend postsecondary education and become community role models. Participants are also provided a modest stipend of $1.25 per hour as an incentive for participation.

Comparison Group

Comparison group students continued with a 'business as usual' in their high school program. These students did not participate in the Quantum Opportunities Program.

Support for implementation

The program was operated by indigenous, inner city nonprofit organizations located in each neighborhood. The organizations collaborated with the high schools and worked with the youth after school and during the summer. The program was funded by the Eisenhower Foundation through awards from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the United States Department of Justice. The Eisenhower Foundation also provided administrative management, created and oversaw contracts and cooperative agreements, and provide training and technical support to the programs.

 

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