This study from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. evaluated 16 dropout programs for middle and high school students under the School Dropout Demonstration Assistance Program (SDDP). Analysis and discussion mostly focus on the aggregate impact of programs on middle schools or high schools, rather than on specific programs. The study found that middle school programs had a significant effect in reducing dropout only if they were implemented with high intensity. The programs, regardless of intensity, did not have an impact on student learning (e.g., grades, test scores). The high school programs, however, did not have an impact on reducing dropout, improving other school outcomes (e.g., test scores, grades), or improving social-behavioral outcomes (e.g., reducing pregnancy, increasing self-esteem). Programs that focused on helping students obtain General Educational Development (GED) certificates did have a positive effect.
Impacts of Dropout Prevention Programs: Final report
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.