The group must present possible secondary data sets for their research project. The group will not be analyzing the da

The group must present possible secondary data sets for their research project. The group will not be analyzing the data but the team needs to identify and locate the data they could analyze to answer their research questions and/or test hypotheses. (Think about all the different secondary data sets presented in Table 6.4 of the course text, pgs. 196-201).

• The group must turn in one document that outlines the possible data set(s) and discusses how the data will be able to answer their research questions (i.e. what variables in the data set can be utilized).

Keep in mind it may be hard to find the “perfect” data. When using secondary data, there likely will be limits on what you can find – and that’s okay. Limits with available data can be part of your discussion on the limitations of your research. Find the best data you can given your research question and variables.

Please continue to ask clarifying questions about any pieces of the Research Project. I will continue to do my best to help each group create a successful project.

A few more points about Part III:

A secondary data set for will not come from other articles per se, as what is presented in scholarly articles is results from that author’s analysis. Secondary data is data some else collected but you don’t want their results – you want to propose a way to analyze it yourself. You want to think about your independent variables and your dependent variables – what data set measures these? Typically you would locate one data set that would have your variables (or a good proxy) and allow for you to create a model for analysis. You may find a data set used by another scholar from reading the article but then you want to find the original data set for your own use.

PLEASE ANALYZE ONLY JAG DATA… CORRECTIONS ARE YET TO BE MADE TO PAPER


Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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Performance Measurement in Education: Rating the Performance of Grant-funded Intervention
Programs (JAG and TRIO-SSS)
Ellis, Myresha
Madison, Amber
Poster, Dyshell
Thomas, Meagan
Virgil, TiQuaisha
University of Louisiana Monroe
Abstract
The school dropout rates are high in the state of Louisiana and this is a threat to the social
wellbeing of the country. However, the government has implemented several measures to curb
this high rate of school dropout. The paper focuses on two intervention programs: Jobs for
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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America’s Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS that have proved their effectiveness in improving
accessibility to education in the state of Louisiana. The research takes a different turn and
focuses on the various ways in which these programs align with the specific needs of the society
to reduce the rate of school dropout. The primary research question is: are the intervention
programs aimed at reducing school dropouts effective enough to make a change in Louisiana?
Keywords: School dropout, dropout rate and high school
Performance Measurement in Education: Rating the Performance of Grant-funded
Intervention Programs (JAG and TRIO-SSS)
Introduction
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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High school dropout rates continue to influence the policymaking process in the
education sector. The Federal government has introduced various measures towards improving
the education system and making education available to many people through the introduction of
free education in public schools. However, the number of school dropouts remains considerably
high in most of the states in America. More than 1 million students drop out of high school in the
United States every year. The state of Louisiana ranks high among those with high dropout rates
in the United States. What makes the problem even worse is the fact that school dropout is also
high among teachers in public schools in the country. Most teachers drop out of the public
schools citing children indiscipline as the primary factor. In the year 2006, the state of Louisiana
was ranked fifth among the schools that had high dropout rates in high schools. These high rates
become a problem because the children who drop out of school even before attaining a high
school certificate are not likely to secure jobs in the market and this makes them vulnerable to
poverty. High school dropout rates are associated with unemployment, incarceration, early
pregnancies or even single parenthood and low paying jobs in the economy.
Children drop out of schools for various reasons mainly grouped into social and
academic factors. Academic factors associated with high rates of school dropout include a
history of absenteeism and inability to attain a good grade, disengagement from school life or
even indiscipline at school. Social factors associated with high school dropout rates include
children with parents whose parents did not complete high school, children from low-income
families, those from single parents, students with mental disability and students from ethnic and
racial minority groups. Gender also plays a role in determining the high number of school
dropouts in America. Female students are less likely to leave school compared to their male
counterparts who are more in number. In some cases, they are lured into drugs and robbery
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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where they think that they will make money and therefore they no longer see the need to
continue with education. Even the immigrant status of the parent plays a role in the school
dropout rates in America. Moreover, students born of foreign parents and those from foreign
countries are more likely to drop out of high school than those born in native America.
The federal government has been at the forefront of reducing high school dropout rates as
a means of reducing poverty in the United States. The focus has led to the development of
programs that promote student participation in school so that they do not drop out before
completing their studies. Over the last forty years, a multitude of intervention programs has been
designed to help address the needs of students who at risk of dropping out enrolled in the public
school system throughout the United States. Some have been established to help students find
employment while achieving their secondary education, while others are dedicated to helping
students who have graduated at the secondary level to obtain a college degree or postsecondary
training in a particular field, such as practical nursing. More often than not, these programs are
funded by non-profit organizations which work with states to implement their programs within
school systems and at individual school campuses. Two of these intervention programs, Jobs for
America’s Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS (formerly the Upward Bound/Talent Search/Student
Support Services), are often hailed as exemplary programs that can change the lives of
participating students. Intervention programs are useful because they have played a role in
reducing the number of school dropout rates over the last forty years in the United States. A
performance measurement analysis should be conducted to judge the efficiency and efficacy of
these programs. Group M proposes to conduct a performance measurement of these programs in
Louisiana through quantitative research to determine their effectiveness at helping at-risk
students in the state succeed both academically and professionally.
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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The study purposes to determine the effectiveness of the intervention programs aimed at
reducing the number of school dropouts in Louisiana. The topic is of interest to policymakers
because it will provide them with an understanding of the effectiveness and efficiency of these
intervention programs so that they can determine the future of funding for such programs. In the
first place, the paper will discuss various social and academic factors contributing to high school
dropout rates. The literature review will then focus on the various programs that have been used
in the past and present and their effectiveness in reducing the number of school dropouts in the
country. In conclusion, this paper will shed light on the state of the literature regarding school
improvement and intervention programs for dropout prevention. The research questions for the
study are:

Do the intervention programs address the social needs of the students so that they have
equal opportunities in the market?

Are the intervention programs aimed at reducing school dropouts effective enough to
make a change in Louisiana?
Literature Review
The United States has made various efforts in an attempt to create equal educational
opportunities for students. These efforts have made progress because the number of school
dropout rate has reduced significantly over the past forty years. Even though most studies have
placed significant attention to the policymakers in education, school dropouts remain a serious
issue. The growing literature on high school dropout rates acknowledges that such children are
likely to face a variety of social problems including lack of employment or low income, poverty,
single parenthood, and early pregnancies among females, juvenile crime, political and social
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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apathy, poor health prospects and high dependence on public aid. However, caution is required
when making conclusions regarding school drop outs because the causes may not only be related
to intrinsic factors but also exogenous factors and even system flaws.
Unlike previous research on school dropout, this paper does not intend to summarize
causes of school dropouts or their impact in the society but rather, it takes an entirely different
turn where the focus is on unchallenged commonplaces on the effectiveness of various programs
aimed at reducing the number of school dropouts in America. Most of the existing literature
focuses on a few determinants of school dropout and no provide no clear connection between the
determinants, and therefore, there is little information on the intervention programs and their
effectiveness in reducing school dropouts in the United States. The research attempts to look into
the factors causing high school dropout rates in the country and uses a theoretical approach to
illustrate the relationship between these factors. The paper also outlines potential measures that
policymakers can adopt, to further improve the intervention programs. It also acknowledges the
stereotypes of school dropout and their impact on improving school performance. Furthermore,
the paper has greatly benefitted from previous literature on the topic of school dropout rates
including journal articles, books, and articles from search engines like Google Scholar. Another
procedure used to select materials used for this research includes those articles that are printed in
the English language.
Stereotypes on school dropout
In most cases, school dropout is attributed to social and emotional incompetence. People
who leave school before graduation are often labeled dropouts in the society and stereotypes in
the community consider them deficient of the competencies possessed by their counterparts who
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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graduate. However, most of these stereotypes are not true as many of the school dropouts have
worked their way up to hold some of the most significant positions in society. For instance, Bill
Gates is one of the most influential people in the world even though he dropped out of Harvard
University to co-found Microsoft Corporation.
The connection between school dropout and delinquency is often untrue. In most cases,
school dropouts are associated with a lack of skills to engage in the workforce so that they are
likely to engage in crime. However, this is not always the case. According to Hirschfield &
Gasper (2011), dropping out of school is as a result of running away from undesirable conditions
in the school environment. Dropping out of school is therefore not attributed to a lack of
intellectual ability among students, but instead, they view it as a solution to the problem.
Furthermore, the school dropouts did not have any other goal when they left school. In most
cases, these students feel like it is not possible to get a solution to the accumulated problems in
the school and they end up leaving. Most students drop out of school hoping to get a job.
However, along the way, they find it challenging to acquire job opportunities, and they end up
engaging in crime as a means of survival.
Similarly, the connection of school dropout and lack of employment does not add up.
Well, it is true that school dropouts have few opportunities for employment, but this does not
mean that they would never get employed. With government intervention in the informal sector,
the rate of unemployment for people without a high school diploma has reduced to 5.1 percent in
the United States (Schwartz & Casselman, 2018).
Determinants of early school leaving
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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Dropping out of school refers to a situation in which individuals students leave school
without completing their intended course. The government considers falling out of school illegal
because it is associated with poor social outcomes such as lack of employment opportunities and
therefore the likelihood to engage in crime. According to Montecel, Cortez & Cortez (2004), the
factors that cause school dropout can be grouped into two: social and academic factors. The
social factors associated with dropping out of school include the socioeconomic status of the
student. Some of the issues to consider in this case include the level of education of the parents,
their occupational status and level of income.
According to Rumberger (2011), children who come from backgrounds where parents did
not complete high school are not likely to complete their high school education. At some point,
parents act as a motivation for their children’s success. If for instance, the parents did not
complete their high school education but are running a profitable family business, then the
children are less willing to complete their studies. Family structure also plays a role in
determining school dropout rates in the country. Large family sizes have a disadvantage when it
comes to educating their children to graduation level because of the shortage of funds.
According to De Witte, Cabus, Thyssen, Groot & van Den Brink (2013), children who
come from single parented families also tend to show higher rates of school dropout than their
counterparts from complete families.
Academic factors associated with school dropout influence the student’s ability to remain
in school so that they view dropping out as the solution to their problems. One element is the
type of school. According to Jia, Konold & Cornell (2016), students attending a private school
are likely to drop out compared to those attending private schools and especially those sponsored
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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by the church. Students that attend schools with high promoting power, i.e., the schools that have
a high number of students passing from one grade to another are less likely to leave school. On
the other side, students from minority groups are at high risk of dropping out of school because
the schools they attend have low promotion power and therefore reduce the motivation to stay in
school up to graduation. Similarly, students that attend grammar schools are not likely to drop
out of school as their counterparts that participate in vocational and technical institutions. The
class size also plays a role in determining school dropouts because students are more likely to
engage in a small-sized class than a large-sized class. The size of the class also defines the
student-pupil ratio which is another critical factor in the issue of school dropout. Most parents
prefer taking their students to independent schools because the ratio of teachers to students is
even. In addition to this, the school discipline system plays a role in influencing high dropout
rates.
According to Louisiana School-to-Prison Reform Coalition (2009), most of the schools
in Louisiana have few alternatives to discipline students so that they employ disciplinary
measures such as suspension, referrals to law enforcement, expulsion and placement in
alternative schools. These measures often make it difficult for students to cope with education
and they find it better to leave school to escape the hardships.
The state of school dropout in Louisiana
The state of Louisiana has faced many problems in its education system so that there has
been a continued rise in the number of school dropout cases in the past. The state of Louisiana
has been ranked fifth among the countries with high school dropout rates in history. However,
the trend is reversing. The Federal government introduced the No Child Left Behind Act that was
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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meant to provide equal educational opportunities for students irrespective of their background
(Montecel, Cortez & Cortez, 2004). With the motivations of this act, the government has
designed some policies aimed at reducing the high rate of school drop out in the state of
Louisiana. However, the paper will focus on two main programs that have proven their
effectiveness in reducing the number of school dropouts in Louisiana: Jobs for America’s
Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS (formerly the Upward Bound/Talent Search/Student Support
Services).
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)
The project functions as the largest dropout prevention program in the country serving
youths between the ages of 12 and 21 years. The program aims to provide students with an
educational setting that promotes leadership development, skill awareness, civic responsibility,
and skills attainment. The program helps the students facing obstacles to get an equivalent of a
high school equivalent diploma. The program’s key competencies include communication and
workplace skills, career development, job survival, and life survival skills. In addition to these,
the program provides follow up until the individual joins the workforce or enrolls in a postsecondary education curriculum. The JAG model operates in three models:
1. Multi-Year Model that handles students between 9th and 12 grades
2. Middle School Model which helps middle school students in 6th to 8th grade
3. Out-of-School Model that focuses on students who have dropped out of school and
empowering them to attain the skills that make them relevant in the job market
The program has managed to reduce the number if school dropout rates in Louisiana because
it aims to assist students who have significant obstacles in their lives which could in one way or
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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another affect their ability to complete school or enter the workforce. It offers financial aid and
mentorship to participants, who must be willing to join the program, and able to benefit by being
placed in the school curriculum or a competitive labor market.
TRIO-SSS
The program is fully funded by the state of Louisiana to support students with problems
that would hinder their ability to complete their studies. The program dates back to the Economic
Opportunity Act in 1964 as part of the war on poverty. The TRIO program aims to provide
motivation and financial assistance to students who come from low-income families and those
with documented disabilities that could reduce their ability to complete their studies. The
government continues to revise the specifications for the TRIO programs so that they continue to
provide a wider number of services to more students who need assistance. Currently, the
program reduces school dropout rates in the state of Louisiana through the Student Support
Services program that provides direct financial aid to beneficiaries.
With these interventions, the state of Louisiana has continued to experience declining
rates of school dropout. According to a report by the Jobs for America’s Graduates, the state of
Louisiana reached its all-time high in the number of graduates in 2012 with 72.3 percent of the
students graduating from high school. This number represents the students who entered as
freshmen in the year 2008 and remained in school for the next four years. This number marks a
nine-percentage point improvement from the previous year and a ten-point increase from the last
ten years (JOBS for AMERICA’S GRADUATES). The increase in the number of high school
graduates reaching an all-time high in 2012 proves the effectiveness of programs that the
Running head: Performance Measurement in Education
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government has put in place to ensure that every student gets an equal opportunity to education
in the state of Louisiana.
Conclusion
The programs used to reduce the rate of school dropout in Louisiana are effective in
many ways. The programs focus on addressing the obstacles that threaten the ability of the
students to complete their studies or even get into the competitive labor market. The state of
Louisiana has ranked high among the countries with high rates of school dropouts in America.
Surprisingly, the rate of dropout is not only high among students but also the teachers. Some of
the factors influencing these high rates of school dropout in the state include the school
disciplinary measures that focus on suspension, expulsion or even referral to a correctional
facility depending on the students’ behavior. Such tough disciplinary measures leave students
with no alternative but to drop out of school as a means of avoidance. Other factors influencing
the rate of school dropout include the level of education of parents, their employment status and
level of income. Other factors include a lack of motivation by the school system, size of the class
and teacher-student ratio. However, the government has played a role in the development of
programs that aim at reducing the rate of school dropout in the country. The programs’
effectiveness lies in their ability to remove the obstacles that may affect the ability of students to
complete their studies or even participate in the job market.
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References
De Witte, K., Cabus, S., Thyssen, G., Groot, W., & van Den Brink, H. M. (2013). A critical
review of the literature on school dropout. Educational Research Review, 10, 13-28.
Hirschfield, P. J., & Gasper, J. (2011). The relationship between school engagement and
delinquency in late childhood and early adolescence. Journal of youth and adolescence,
40(1), 3-22.
Jia, Y., Konold, T. R., & Cornell, D. (2016). Authoritative school climate and high school
dropout rates. School Psychology Quarterly, 31(2), 289.
JOBS for AMERICA’S GRADUATES. (n.d.). Louisiana’s Graduation Rate Reaches All-Time
High. Retrieved from http://www.jag.org/node/210
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Louisiana School-to-Prison Reform Coalition. (2009, April 30). Effective Discipline for Student
Success: Reducing Student and Teacher Dropout Rates in Louisiana. Retrieved from
https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/d6_legacy_files/downloads/LA_Reducing_
Student_Dropout.pdf
Montecel, M. R., Cortez, J. D., & Cortez, A. (2004). Dropout-prevention programs: Right intent,
wrong focus, and some suggestions on where to go from here. Education and urban
Society, 36(2), 169-188.
Rumberger, R. W. (2011). Dropping out. Harvard University Press.
Schwartz, N. D., & Casselman, B. (2018, August 3). Workers Hardest Hit by Recession Are
Joining in Recovery. Retrieved from

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