In efforts to keep high school students on track to graduate, an evaluation of the Diplomas Now intervention suggests an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
After a year, MDRC researchers found Diplomas Now significantly boosted the number of 6th graders who had none of the “red flags” for dropping out of high school: shaky attendance, poor grades, or behavior problems. The program also supported students who entered 9th grade vulnerable but on track—but had less success with the freshmen who had had years of problems in middle school.
The intervention stresses tracking students’ grades, attendance, and discipline rates, and getting help—early—to high-risk students. The study continues through 2017-18.
A version of this article appeared in the July 20, 2016 edition of Education Week as Secondary School