Program

Sep 17, 2009
OVERVIEW

Griffin-Spalding Middle School Academy is part
of the Accelerated Middle Schools, which is a dropout prevention program
designed for 7th and 8th grade students. Operating out of
a separate middle school, the Middle School Academy is a small, intensive,
alternative school with coordinated support services that caters to students who
are behind in their academic grade level. The program had
no impacts on English or math grades, dropout
rate, self-esteem, or certainty of completing high school.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
7th and 8th grade
students behind grade level.

Griffin-Spalding
Middle School Academy is part of the Accelerated Middle Schools, which is a
dropout prevention program designed for 7th and 8th grade
students. Operating out of a separate middle school, Griffin-Spalding Middle
School Academy is a small, intensive, alternative school with coordinated
support services that caters to students who are behind in their academic grade
level; services include counseling and attendance monitoring. Costs associated
with implementing this program were $50 per student per month.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Dynarski M,
Gleason P, Rangarajan A, Wood R. (1998). Impacts of Dropout Prevention Programs,
Final Report. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Evaluated population:
The study sample comprised 160 students in 7th
and 8th grade. Among the treatment group, 71% were male, 58% were
black, and 22% had a mother with less than a high school education. These
schools are located in Atlanta, GA.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to the Griffin-Spalding Middle School Academy
program (n=80) or control group (n=80). Students assigned the control group were
permitted to participate in other academic programs or services. Students were
assessed at baseline as well as approximately 18 months later. Outcomes
assessed, through self-reports and school records, included: school attendance,
academic grades, school atmosphere, self-esteem, educational aspirations,
disciplinary problems, parental involvement in school activities, reading and TV
watching, employment history, substance use, and pregnancy. Students also
completed survey questions about student and parent characteristics, including
age, race, parent’s educational attainment and employment status, and receipt of
public assistance.

Results: There were no impacts on English or math grades, dropout rate, self-esteem,
certainty of completing high school, parental involvement in school activities,
reading, TV watching, employment, substance use, pregnancy, and educational
aspirations of graduating from college.

While there were no overall impacts on
disciplinary problems, there was a marginal negative impact where parents of the
treatment group were more likely to receive a warning about their child’s
behavior compared with the control group. There was also a marginal negative
impact on increased days students were absent among the treatment group,
compared with the control group. Additionally, there were marginal positive
impacts on aspirations of attending graduate school and having a higher rate of
grade promotion among the treatment group, compared with the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Dynarski M, Gleason
P, Rangarajan A, Wood R. (1998). Impacts of Dropout Prevention Programs, Final
Report. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

For more
information about the Accelerated Middle Schools program, please visit:

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/dropout/ams/info.asp

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, School-based, Black/African American, Teen
Pregnancy, Self-Esteem, Academic Achievement, High School Completion, Teen
Pregnancy, Cost

Program
information last updated 9/17/09