Program

May 08, 2013

OVERVIEW

Middle School Leadership Program is a leadership workshop that meets weekly. The program targets eighth graders with poor grades in math and English and high absenteeism who are at-risk for dropping out of school. The workshops are aimed at improving communication skills, facilitating school engagement and easing the transition into high school. An experimental evaluation of the program found it to lack significant impacts on pregnancy in the past year. Negative significant impacts were found at year two for “would like to attend graduate school”, marijuana use in the past month, and other illegal drug use in the past month. Significant impacts were found in year 3, but not year two, for parents’ phoning or speaking to teacher or school counselor.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Eight grade students with poor school attendance and academic grades, suspensions in the past year, and leadership potential.

Middle School Leadership Program is a leadership workshop that meets weekly. The workshops are aimed at improving communication skills, facilitating school engagement, and easing the transition into high school. The workshops consist of discussions on trust, values, self esteem, decision-making, and personal expectations. Estimated costs per student each month are $33.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Dynarski M, Gleason P, Rangarajan A, & Wood R. (1998). Impacts of dropout prevention programs, final report. Washington, D.C.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Evaluated population:  The study sample comprised 334 students in 8th grade with middle school absenteeism and low math and English grades. The study took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Among the treatment group, 64 percent were girls, 73 percent were Latino, and 20 percent had a mother with less than a high school education.

Approach: Students were randomly assigned to the Middle School Leadership Program (n=215) or to a control group (n=119). Students assigned to the control group were permitted to participate in other educational programs. Students were assessed at baseline as well as approximately 18 months and 30 months later. (The first cohort was followed for three years while the second cohort was followed for two years.) Outcomes were assessed through self report. 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: At year two, participants assigned to the Middle School Leadership Program intervention, compared with  those assigned to the control group, were significantly less likely to want to attend graduate school, and more likely to have used marijuana and other illegal drugs during the previous month. No significant impacts were found for school attendance, self-reported grades, being absent> 1 day per week, being sent to office for doing something wrong, being sent to office because of schoolwork, parents receiving warning about attendance, parents receiving warning about behavior, getting into fights, wanting to graduate from college, parents attending school meeting, parents phoning or speaking with teacher or counselor, parents visiting classes, parents attending school event, reading for fun two or more hours per week, watching TV two or fewer hours per night, ever being employed, drinking alcohol the previous month, getting pregnant the previous year (females), and getting female pregnant the previous year (males). No significant impacts were found for year three, except for parents phoning or speaking to teacher or counselor.

 

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program information and curriculum materials unavailable.

References:

Dynarski M, Gleason P, Rangarajan A, & Wood R. (1998). Impacts of dropout prevention programs, final report. Washington, D.C.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Hershey, A. M., Adelman, N., & Murray, S. (1995). Helping kids succeed: Implementation of the School Dropout Demonstration Assistence Program. Princeton, New Jersey: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., from http://mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/education/helpkids_dropout_prevention.pdf

KEYWORDS: Middle School, Adolescents (12-17), Academic Achievement, Cost Information is Available, Academic Motivation/ Self-Concept/ Expectations/Engagement, Hispanic/ Latino.

Program information last updated on 5/8/13. 

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