The Long Range Effects of a Title III Curriculum
Stiles, Bernita E.
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Questions to be Answered. 1. Is there any dIfference in the dropout rates evidanced at Highland Park and Butler elementary Schools in Fort Dodge, Iowa, since 1972 when the Positive Experience Program (PEP) was instituted at Highland Park with Title III federal funds? 2. Did the PEP program produce any long-range changes in negative attitudes of the students who formerly attended Highland Park? 3. How did academic achievement by former Highland Park students compare to that by Butler students? Dropout Rate. Seventeen percent of the original 53 members of the sixth grade at Highland Park had dropped out of school by 1979. Nineteen and one half percent of the 46 members of the sixth grade from the control school (Butler) had dropped out by the same time. Positive Attitudes. Attitudes of the experimental (PEP) students were compared to attitudes of the control students by computing total scores on an attitude scale in an opinionnaire designed by the writer. Out of a possible total of 75 points, the experimiental group had a mean score of 55.7 and the control group had a mean score of 56.4. Student responses were also tabulated into "agree" and "disagree" responses in four subcategories on the attitude scale. There was no statistical difference between the group responses in any category. The experimental group did exhibit more positive attitudes in their responses than expected. Academic Achievement. Twelfth grade ITED soores and sixth grade ITBS scores were obtained for 57 percent of both groups. The experimental group had a mean score of 51.2 on the ITBS and a mean of 49.4 on the ITED. The control group had a mean of 51.9 on the ITBS and a mean of 42.9 on the ITED. Neither group's difference was statistically significant. The academic data did indicate more growth shown by the experimental group than by the control. Summary. The experimental group evidenced long-range changes making them very close to the control group in dropout rates, academic performance and positive expression. Althouqh there was no significant differences between the groups, these changes would encourage future replication of the study for the following six years, until all of the students who participated in the PEP program have been evaluated in these three areas. The study will be continued.
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