Program

May 08, 2013

OVERVIEW

Up With Literacy is an in-class and after-school tutoring program for students grades six through eight who have low standardized test scores.  The program’s aim is to bring students up to grade level as well as to increase self-esteem, form bonds with other students and adults, and feel comfortable asking for help. College students (called College Aids) tutor students both individually and in groups two to four days of the week. Assistance is offered for English, math, science and social studies.  In addition to tutoring, after school-sessions include guest speakers, improvisational drama, strategic board games, conflict management training and word-processing skill building. An experimental evaluation of the program found it to lack significant impacts on all outcomes measured in both year two and year three.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle school students with low standardized test scores.

Up With Literacy is an in-class and after-school tutoring program for students in grades six through eight who have low standardized test scores.  The program’s aim is to bring students up to grade level as well as to increase self-esteem, form bonds with other students and adults, and feel comfortable asking for help. College students (called College Aids) tutor students both individually and in groups during the last two periods of the school day as well as for two hours after school two to four days of the week. Assistance is offered for English, math, science and social studies. In addition to tutoring, after school-sessions include guest speakers, improvisational drama, strategic board games, conflict management training and word-processing skill building.  In 1998, Estimated costs per student each month are $178.

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 282 of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students with low standardized test scores. Students resided in the Long Beach Unified School district, located in Long Beach, CA. Among the treatment group, 50 percent were girls, and 55 percent were Latino, and 25 percent had a mother with less than a high school education.

Approach: Students were randomly assigned to the Up With Literacy Program (n=168) or to a control group (n=114). 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 measured include 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, wanting to attend graduate school, 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, smoking marijuana the previous month, using other illegal drugs the previous month, getting pregnant the previous year (females), and getting female pregnant the previous year (males).

Pregnancy was 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: No significant impacts were found for any outcome measured in year two or year three for participants assigned to Up With Literacy.

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: Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, School-based, After-School Program, Academic Achievement, Teen Pregnancy, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Alcohol Use, Cost Information Available.

Program information last updated on 5/8/13. 

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