Washington, DC – Communities In Schools, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, today released the results of a five-year comprehensive longitudinal evaluation, conducted by one of the nation’s foremost social science evaluation firms.
After five years of detailed evaluation underwritten by The Atlantic Philanthropies—comparing the results to over 1,600 studies screened by the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse—the evaluation concluded that the Communities In Schools model resulted in the strongest reduction in dropout rates of any existing fully scaled dropout prevention program that has been evaluated; that Communities In Schools is unique in having an effect on both reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates; and that the Communities In Schools model is effective across states, school settings, grade levels and student ethnicities. Also, analyses indicate that the more fully and carefully the model is implemented, the stronger the effects.
“The Communities In Schools model is a powerful tool to help turn around low performing schools. In partnership with teachers, principals and superintendents, Communities In Schools is achieving impressive results in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of our country,” said Dan Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators.
The results from the evaluation are already being translated into improved service delivery by Communities In Schools local affiliates. Based on the mid-point results from the Implementation Study and the Quasi-Experimental Study, Communities In Schools codified a set of program and business standards that the research revealed had the greatest effect on student improvement, and then drove those practices back into the network through an accreditation process. Approximately 108 affiliates have been accredited or are in the process, with all affiliates on track for accreditation by 2015.
“The research findings have fueled an even greater sense of urgency within our network – a commitment that we need to bring the strongest, most evidence-based and rigorously evaluated practices to the young people we serve, and that we need to do it immediately,” said Daniel Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools.