An analysis of Florida's dropout prevention programs


The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine components of county comprehensive dropout prevention plans to determine compliance with state efforts to reduce the dropout rate in Florida and to assess dropout prevention program effectiveness by evaluating county biennial reports. Guidel ines for establishing comprehensive dropout prevention plans were furnished to each county by the Florida Department of Education in the document, Dropout Prevention Manual. Compliance was determined by identifying the criteria for each component, comparing their implementation and tabulating county responses in 30 tables. Twenty-eight Florida counties were represented in the study--12 small counties with high school populations of less than 7,000 students, 9 medium counties whose high school population ranged from 7,000 to 17,000 and 7 large counties with high school populations exceeding 17,000 students. The 12 small counties were randomly selected. Selection of individual educational alternative programs was randomized also. Thirteen study questions were included in the study. Questions related to components of dropout prevention plans, goals and objectives of individual programs and philosophical bases, general components, individual alternative educational programs and questions bearing on per pupil cost, program cost, percentage of students earning diplomas after intervention, student attitude change, student attendance improvement, program effectiveness, evaluation and program management. Based on the systematic analyses of the comprehensive dropout prevention plans, the assessment of the biennial evaluation reports and responses to the 13 study questions, the researcher concluded: (1) The 28 counties made an effort to comply with the goals and objectives of the Dropout Prevention Act of 1986 and to furnish information required by the state of Florida in the biennial reports; (2) Effectiveness of dropout prevention programs could not be determined because the evaluation procedure is flawed. Quantitative rather than qualitative data dealing with student improvement and consistency among counties are needed to determine program success; (3) Better reporting practices are needed concerning academic achievement, student attendance, program completion and certificate or diploma earned, student attitudes, discipline, truancy, program costs, budget information and program management.


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Graduation Date





Kysilka, Marcella


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services




168 p.



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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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