Archived Information Reforming the Safe and Drug Free Schools Act: A 2001 Assessment - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Archived Information Reforming the Safe and Drug Free Schools Act: A 2001 Assessment

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  1. Archived InformationReforming the Safe and Drug Free Schools Act: A 2001 Assessment Michael Timpane Peter Reuter

  2. Background • SDFSCA is mature • Response to crack crisis in 1986 • Expanded from drugs to violence/safety in 1994 • Reauthorization was coming up in early 2001 • Grant to DPRC to assess options • draft report completed

  3. The Conundrum • Emotionally powerful issue • parents fear of harm to their children in school • Congress wants to appear responsive • Generates symbolic pork • program administratively hamstrung by design • Schools accept responsibility unenthusiastically • e.g. DARE as path of least resistance

  4. Program is unsuccessful • Not targeted at need • 80 percent of school districts receive grants • median grant is $10,000 • Schools choose weak projects • loose federal guidelines • Minimal monitoring or evaluation

  5. DPRC Project • Should the Act be reauthorized or reformed? • if reformed, how • Activities • focus groups with teachers and administrators • review of the literature • 3 commissioned papers • Conference of federal officials, researchers and practitioners

  6. Outline • Current program and problems • Evaluating the Administration proposal • What should be done?

  7. Current program • Formula grant for 85 percent of funds • 15 percent for federal demonstrations • States primarily formula grant to districts • 70 percent by enrollment, 30 percent by need • Budget stuck at about $500-600 million • declining share of federal drug control expenditures • Program recently strengthened

  8. Schools’ choices questionable • Great diversity of activities • metal detectors, counseling, field trips • DARE dominant curriculum choice • evaluations show lack of effect • local political factors govern • Most of the available curricula unevaluated, poorly grounded • little local expertise for selection

  9. Prevention science still weak • Small number of strong drug curriculum evaluations • Effectiveness in broad implementation still not known • Violence prevention even less explored • not a specific curriculum or intervention • imbedded in classroom and school activities • difficult to evaluate

  10. Isolated Programmatically • Few links to other federal education programs • No relationship to national school reform movement • Little collaboration with health and justice programs

  11. Outline • Current program • Evaluating the Administration proposal • What can be done?

  12. Clinton Administration proposal • Retains current state population formula • Shift in-state allocation to need-weighted competitive process • modestly larger individual school grants • grant renewal evaluation • Establish list of approved programs • research criteria for listing

  13. Criteria for evaluating reform proposals • Demonstrated effectiveness in reducing drug use and violence in schools • Targeting of Resources • Accountability • Evaluability • Administrative Feasibility and Cost • Improving Program Capacity

  14. Assessing Administration proposal • Effectiveness: positive • Targeting of resources: insignificant • Accountability: positive • Evaluability: positive • Administratively: very negative • Improving program capacity: insignificant

  15. Outline • Current program • Evaluating the Administration proposal • What can be done?

  16. Should SDFSCA be continued? • Lack of defined mission • blatant political purpose • expansion to violence further muddies the waters • No evidence of effectiveness • Federal role in other academic content areas more limited • An option: limit federal role to R&D, training, dissemination

  17. Arguments for continuation • Popular support and political consensus • Program improving • more discretionary authority • increasing links to other activities and programs • Administration proposal can be strengthened

  18. Options for strengthening Administration proposal • More targeting to schools with greatest needs • Shift from state formula to federal discretionary grants • greatly increase size of individual grants • Create requirements for matching state and local efforts • Require planning and co-operation with other programs • Expand federal capacity for research, training and national evaluation