A study of the effectiveness of preventative interventions for children at risk in a Florida school district


A study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of preventative interventions for children at risk in a selected Florida school district. These interventions were used with children in the primary grades for promoting mastery of basic skills and were measured by the third grade, 1988 Florida State Minimum Competency Test. Data were collected from the selected district's management information system for all third grade students, 2,977 children, who were enrolled in the district's schools during the primary grades. Interventions of retention, individual instructional plans through the Primary Education Program, and placement in the part-time specific learning disability exceptional education program were studied as to the passing ratios of 100% mastery for the basic communication and math skills. Of the interventions, mentioned, or any combination of the interventions, the group of children who had the highest passing ratios was the retained group with 56% and 52% in communications and math. Students with individual instructional plans had the second highest passing rates of 53% for communications standards and 48% for math standards. The state of Florida requires 100% mastery of the standards before a student is promoted to fourth grade. The two interventions with the highest passing rates fall short of the state's goal for basic skill mastery. This study reinforces the notion that retention is not a valuable intervention for promoting mastery of the basic skills. To determine the effectiveness of the individual instructional plans, further study should be initiated as to the guidelines and implementation procedures associated with the intervention. The largest intervention group with students who received placement in the specific learning disability program contained only 44 children. With such a small number of students, no conclusions can be made regarding this intervention.


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Graduation Date





Rothberg, Robert A.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services




111 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




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

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