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curriculum “Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents” was evaluated by looking at suspension data and showed a 70% decline in suspension rates in a school using the curriculum for three years. “We are having some individual successes in programs with materials that deserve your attention and replication,” she added. Prothow-Stith concluded by discussing the true leaders of the violence prevention movement. “I don’t think the scientists, the educators, the substance abuse professionals can lead this movement,” she stated. It’s the family who has lost a member of their family to violence. “They cut through race, class, geography, accent, and body size, and polyester versus linen, and all that junk that gets in the way of us working with each other the way we need to,” she said. “They bring to this a passion and a commitment that will spur us as professionals on in our efforts to do this.” “We get overwhelmed, we get tired and bogged down, and we start asking little questions when we really need big picture answers and they (the leaders of this movement) can be quite inspiring,” she added.
iolence is preventable, Dr. Deborah ProthowStith stressed in her address to the conference. Her belief in this fact stems from her medical background and her dismay that the modus operandi at hospitals was to “stitch ‘em up and send ‘em out.” “I had been trained to include prevention in my thinking,” Prothow-Stith said. In such instances as heart disease or lead poisoning, the medical profession focused on prevention. “It struck me as so unusual that we were stitching people up and sending them out as if the violence was inevitable.” She remarked that the public policy in the United States continues to reflect that feeling. “It (the policy) says the best we can do is respond aggressively (to violence).” What exactly is violence? The best definition of violence that Prothow-Stith had heard was offered by a psychologist at a meeting. His definition was violence equals “anything you wouldn’t want someone to do to you.” Prothow-Stith prefers this definition because “it captures the notion that it is the person receiving the action or the behavior that is important – that person’s interpretation of the behavior or action is important,” she said. One way that Prothow-Stith knows that violence is preventable is through statistics. She explained that the United States has the highest rate of homicides per year; this rate is four times that of the next country and 70 times that of the country with the lowest rate. “If violence were not preventable, these numbers would be the same across the world,” she explained. She also pointed out that violence prevention programs are being evaluated and are showing some success. The Center for Disease Control has 14 programs that they are currently evaluating with “pretty rigorous” scientific evaluations. “The first report came out in September as baseline indicating that these programs were having some success and they are expecting subsequent reports,” she reported. Her own
avid Hawkins believes that in prevention it’s important for prevention professionals to adopt the adage from the medical field that says “above all, do no harm.” “We must have a strategy that will lead us to success and prevent us from doing harm,” Hawkins said. He pointed out that the history of prevention in the area of substance abuse and delinquency, particularly in the 1960s, does not show a very strong track record. “What you often found then were feel good programs for kids, or information programs for young people about drugs,” Hawkins said. It was found that these programs – the drug information programs, in particular – were not associated with prevention and reducing substance use in young people. The programs that do work, according to Hawkins, have taken a lesson from public health where people who worked with other problems and disorders developed a strategy now being called risk and protective focus prevention. “It’s based on a simple premise and it should be the foundation for all our work. If we want to prevent a problem before it happens we need to know what factors increase risk for that problem and reduce those risk factors. And we need to know what factors protect young people against the development of health and behavior prob-
lems and increase those protective factors,” Hawkins explained. Twenty years of research has aided in the understanding of what the risk and protective factors are in terms of preventing adolescent substance use and abuse. Risk factors include: ! Factors within schools and communities – for example, a school that does not ensure the academic success of all children will contribute to risk for substance abuse, as well as violence, unwanted teen pregnancies, and school drop-outs; ! Factors within families – for example, parents who fail to set clear expectations for their children or fail to monitor their children in developmentally appropriate ways will contribute to risk for substance abuse; and ! Factors within individuals and peer groups – for example, the earlier a child initiates any of these behaviors, the greater the risk that he or she will go on to have problems across his or her lifetime with violence or substance abuse. To protect adolescents from substance abuse it is important that they develop bonds with their schools, their neighborhoods, and their communities. “The research on protective factors has shown over and over again that youngsters exposed to high levels of risk who turn out to be healthy, productive members of their communities share a similar experience. They develop a bond with an adult or a group in their community, their school, their church, or their neighborhood. That bond – feeling close emotionally and feeling committed to positive lines of actions – turns out to provide the motivation to live according to standards of healthy behavior,” Hawkins said. Three conditions must be present in any social group or any organization in order for adolescents to develop a bond to that group, according to Hawkins. They are: 1. There must be the opportunity for active involvement with the group; the opportunity to be an active contributor to the group. 2. Young people must be given/taught the skills to be successful in the opportunities that are provided; and 3. There must be a consistent system of recognition or reinforcement for skillful performance. Lastly, Hawkins discussed the importance for individual communities to assess their levels of risk and
protective factors. Each community has a unique profile of risk and protection. This profile must be assessed and understood before implementing a strategy that has been designed to address that very profile. “If we are going to be successful in prevention, we can’t focus on only one half of the equation. We cannot focus simply on reducing risk and we cannot focus simply on building assets or protection. We must do both,” Hawkins said.
monday june 16 1997 a ernoon session
DR. LLOYD JOHNSON
r. Lloyd Johnson of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan authors one of the most widely quoted studies on adolescent drug use, the Monitoring the Future study. NIDA has funded this research project since 1975 and because of that experience, Johnson reported to the conference his knowledge of the trends and the causes of these trends in adolescent drug use. Johnson presented the recent statistics on teen drug use which include an increase in cigarette smoking and marijuana use. “Things have started to happen very recently with the youngest children and I’m sorry to say that one of these is a rather sharp increase in cigarette smoking,” Johnson noted. He also reported that heroin use has been increasing, but there has been a rather gradual, but important, decline in alcohol consumption. Through the studies findings, one can begin to understand why these changes are happening. The number of kids who associate a great risk with being a regular marijuana user has begun to fall off in recent years, as well as kids’ disapproval in marijuana use. “This is quite a change (from the 1980s) because they don’t see it as dangerous and they’re less likely to disapprove of its use,” Johnson said. The important thing to remember from these statistics is that “drug use fluctuates a great deal over time and that means it is a behavior that can be changed.” An interesting factor in this current upswing in drug use is that it is specific to adolescents. This is un-
usual because normally all age groups move in parallel with each other. According to Johnson, there are differences in growing up in America today from five to ten years ago and these differences could be the reason for this current trend. They are: ! There are fewer users nationwide. – There is less opportunity for kids to learn informally what are the consequences of using drugs. ! The belief that we won the war (on drugs); its over. – After the decline in drug use in the 1980s, sectors of society pulled back their efforts. ! Kids know about a whole smorgasbord of drugs they can use and these drugs are available. ! There was a 93% drop in network news coverage of drug-related issues from 1989-1993. ! A good portion of parents don’t talk to their children about using drugs (according to their kids). ! Schools had less money for prevention programs. In other words, “all forces began pulling back and simultaneously one sector began singing the praises of drugs – the music industry,” Johnson said. And that’s where he sees the biggest implication for prevention. “The entertainment industry must clean up its act. The portrayals of cigarette smoking in movies has become outrageous,” he adds. He also believes that schools have to have a sustained effort and parents must connect with each other to help begin a downward trend in teen drug use.
oping prevention programs that are based largely on ideology and intuition,” Botvin said. It’s time to move to approaches based on sound science, he added. These approaches must target known risk and protective factors and use general prevention principles derived from research. Based on these principles, an effective prevention program should: ! Target middle high or junior high school students; ! Use a comprehensive approach; ! Teach drug-resistance skills, personal and social skills, and enforce the anti-drug norm; ! Emphasize skills training teaching methods (most effective are those that are interactive); ! Include 12 to 15 class sessions in year one and have at least 2 years of booster sessions; ! Standardize the intervention with detailed lesson plans and student materials; ! Emphasize quality control; and ! Be evaluated and refined periodically. Botvin’s program, Life Skills Training (LST), focuses on comprehensive life skills by training students in drug resistance skills, self management skills, and general social skills. Using a variety of teaching techniques, it can be taught by outside health professionals or by teachers or peer leaders. Botvin recommends using people who are indigenous to the school. And Life Skills Training works. Evaluations indicate that LST shows initial reductions of 40-75% lower levels of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use. “We’ve come a long way in the area of prevention. Our initial challenge was to develop effective prevention approaches that were promising, to test them rigorously, and to demonstrate that they work. We’ve done that,” Botvin said. Now, he says, these programs must be rolled out and scaled up. People in communities must be convinced to use these approaches. “If we do that, we can wrestle this bear of a problem to the ground and we can make progress in the area of drug abuse prevention.”
DR. GILBERT BOTVIN
t is the dawn of a new day in prevention because for the first time in history “we have the tools available to us to prevent drug use,” Dr. Gilbert Botvin, Director of the Cornell University for Prevention Research announced. “The statistics show that we can’t arrest our way out of this problem, but we’ve proven that prevention can work,” Botvin said, and now there is new recognition that prevention needs to be the foundation of our national drug control policy. “We are at a watershed in knowledge on prevention,” he added. Twenty years of research has provided a fountain of knowledge for understanding what works in prevention and what doesn’t work. The traditional approaches – including information dissemination, scare tactics, and affective education – show limited effectiveness. “We know the causes of drug abuse and how to prevent it and therefore there’s no excuse for devel-
athea Falco is delighted that prevention is having its day in Washington. “It has been the stepchild of the federal drug policy for at least two decades,” Falco said, and now they are acknowledging the primary importance of prevention.
Even though most Americans strongly support prevention, they aren’t sure what it is and they aren’t sure that it really works, according to Falco. They need proof. And therefore, “behavior change is the bottom line. Without it you can’t really prove success.” This proof is not just about political support. “It’s really about giving people out there an opportunity to make real choices in their communities about programs that affect them and their families,” she said. Research is necessary because it gives people the information needed to choose appropriate programs. That’s where Falco’s book, Making the Grade: A Guide to School Drug Prevention Programs, comes in. Making the Grade sought to show what are the ingredients needed to make a program work. After extensive assessment reviews of the content and the extent of the coverage of the 47 most widely used drug prevention programs, Falco discovered key elements of effective programs – the ingredients or principles of successful programs. She realizes hers is not the only list of principles of effective prevention programs. “More and more are springing up all over. It’s good because it may lead to operating standards,” Falco said. “It’s just the kind of clarity and focus we need in the field to be able to sustain long-term political support and funding for prevention.”
you acknowledge the problem of gangs, you’ll frighten the community, prevailed. Denying the existence of these gangs prevented the police from coming up with a coherent plan. The only thing they could do was to intensify investigations aimed at stepping up the pressure on the gangs. There were two flaws to this approach, Carter said. The pressure was applied too broadly and the police were going alone. “Everyone was struggling for answers, but in isolation,” Carter said. “Criminal justice and law enforcement agencies were not on the same page. We were not in touch with the community in a strategic way and we lacked a common mission.” Finally the community came together to address this crisis. It began with the development of an antigang violence initiative unit in May 1990. The city and police together recognized the problem of gangs as a distinctive and serious issue. Then came the Safe Neighborhoods initiative where police and the probation department collaborated and shared roles. From this, Operation Nightlite was born. Components of Operation Nightlite included tailored terms of probation and customized curfews for individuals, especially those high-risk individuals. With Operation Nightlite, innovations at the neighborhood level were getting results and parents liked it, Carter said. It was time for the police to take the vision further. “Same cops, same neighborhoods” became something of a slogan for the police department, as the department made the move to decentralize the drug units. These experienced anti-drug units were at the service of the community, as they kept the same cops patrolling in the same neighborhoods. “It got us off the merry-go-round of the next car to the next call by priority.” The police department’s operating principals were now focused on partnership, problem-solving, and prevention. In 1995, the police commissioner commandeered a mobilization project to develop a road map for community policing in Boston. Over 400 people, including clergy, business leaders, labor officials, elected officials, and the police, formed 16 teams. According to Carter, the commissioner’s charge to the teams was: “I’m determined to shift the department to a neighborhood orientation. Through the strategic plan, you – the community, along with the police – identify the priorities.” “It was the most inclusive and thoughtful planning we had ever done,” Carter reported. The result is that
tuesday june 17 1997 luncheon session
JOSEPH CARTER, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
he city of Boston experienced a crisis in the area of youth violence in the early 1990s, but by recognizing partnerships and collaborations that focused on intervention, Joseph Carter, a superintendent in the Boston Police Department, explained how the community turned things around. From 1989 to 1990, Boston saw a huge emergence in youth homicide. In 1990, there were 152 youth homicides and firearms were used in the majority of these incidents. Kids were dying and people were frightened, Carter reported. However, the official response to this problem was slow. The belief that once
in 1997 crime in Boston is down to a 30-year low; there were 7,566 fewer victims of violent crime in the last year; and not one child under the age of 17 has been killed with a firearm in Boston since July 10, 1995. Carter summarized the lessons the Boston Police Department learned and emphasized they can be applied anywhere. “Our problems probably sound a lot like yours. If our programs are different, the players involved are certainly found in every community. We have no magic.” Those lessons that Carter pointed out were: ! You have to mobilize everyone who has an interest in the problem. ! You have to be comprehensive in your approach and smart in every way. ! To be credible on enforcement, you must be credible on prevention and vice versa. ! Kids, at every level of risk, can smell a phony. And lastly, partnership is not only the right thing to do, but it’s the way to do things right. “Beyond the virtue of collaboration is its practical necessity, no one can do it alone. Partnerships always yield positive outcomes that we never could have predicted, let alone achieve in our individual camps. Only by working together can we change for the better,” Carter said.
have all the pieces in place to be able to pull this together, you can have the best program in the world on paper and that’s where it’s going to sit,” Ida said. Ida works with the Asian population in Denver, particularly with high-risk youth, where she sees emerging problems. Many kids are involved with Viet Pride gangs and they are fighting and “ditching classes.” A key issue with these youth is that, in Colorado, adolescents can be tried as adults at the age of 14. The kids Ida works with generally are not naturalized citizens until they are 18, and so, “you must keep them in the juvenile justice system. Otherwise when you cross over into the department of corrections, you’re guaranteeing deportation,” Ida explained. Ida recognized the need for collaboration as she established an after-school program for these high-risk kids in Denver. A partnership between her center, the school, the students, and parents had to be developed. Her program’s evaluators were also involved at the very beginning. Including these key players can first occur by conducting focus groups. With focus groups, one can learn what others see as the problems, what are the causes of those problems, and what are possible solutions to the problems. As partnerships are forming, Ida stresses the need to not only include those people you want at the table, but those you do not want there, including those who may want to sabotage the program. She sees two reasons for this. “First it gives you the opportunity to watch them and second, if you have them at the drawing board with you, it is no longer a turf battle.” Other key pieces Ida found as reasons for successful implementation were: having the program on-site, working closely with the school’s principal, having both academic support and curriculum-related activities dealing with substance abuse and use and violence, and having an on-site bilingual parent advocate. Lastly, she added how important the role of evaluation is when implementing a program. “Because they were there at the very beginning, it avoided the we versus they situation. And therefore, we were asking the same questions.”
tuesday june 17 1997 a ernoon session
ollaboration is truly a gift when implementing prevention programs in schools according to D.J. Ida, Director of Child and Adolescent Services for the Asian Pacific Center for Human Development in Denver. Research is critical when choosing a prevention program, but implementing the program requires many things before it can be successful. “Being able to design programs and do evaluation is only half of the battle. If you don’t have a solid structure, if you don’t
atrick Howley is a consultant to schools and businesses working with the development of collaborative teams and using the Myers-Briggs type indicator to teach how to build self-esteem, listening skills, and interpersonal group dynamics.
Working with the Yale School Development Center, Howley implemented “Summoning the Village,” a program designed to protect children from violence and fear. This project works because it begins to pull people together, Howley said; it included teams from the police executive research forum, the community of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina (which included police, the school system, mental health practitioners, and parents), and his center. Summoning the Village is a program designed to move from crisis intervention to prevention and from a fragmented approach to a comprehensive and integrated approach. The collaborative effort involving the school teams, the mental health clinicians and the police provided the major components of the program. Critical in this was the fellowships “where police could meet with the clinicians and learn from the clinicians” and vice versa. Including the mental health team provided insight in many ways. Child development is divided into six mental pathways: physical, language, psychological, ethical, social, and cognitive. “It’s the whole child we need to look at. If you just look at cognitive development, our belief is we’re not going to address the needs of children and eventually that will effect achievement if there are problems in any of the other areas,” Howley said. In implementing Summoning the Village, Howley saw both successes and problems. The successes included the development of cohesive relationships between the teams, extensive collaboration between the teams, and teams learning from one another about working with children. Police also began to be viewed as friends and counselors, and therefore, students and staff felt safer. The training for the complex roles the teams had to play was one of the problems Howley faced; it was inadequate. There was too much to learn at first; people needed time to build the skills for these roles. He also found that low parent involvement was an obstacle to the success of the program. The coordination of several organizations and the complex level of relationships were things “that the project struggled with from the beginning.” And communication is critical. “We’ll service children better when we communicate what it is we’re doing in the community,” Howley said.
wednesday june 18 1997 morning session
FEDERAL COORDINATION EFFORTS AND RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS OFFICES FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
The Offices for Victims of Crime is an agency within the Justice Department and is administered through the Crime Victims Fund, which gets its funds from fines and penalty assessments leveled against federal criminals. Ninety percent of their budget goes to the states to support state compensation programs as well as victims assistance programs. One way the Offices for Victims of Crime can help with prevention in the schools is through its victims assistance programs. According to Director Aileen Adams, there is a growing recognition of the need for school-based victim assistance programs, not only to provide direct services to victims of crime, but also to support prevention programs, such as mentoring. Another educational device that this agency works with is the victim impact panel, which helps kids understand and put a human face on crime. The Offices for Victims of Crime also has “Healing Arts, Healing Minds,” a multipurpose curriculum for adolescent victims of violent crime that can be used in middle and high school settings. Community crisis response is another area that this agency is looking to expand to the schools. It is working closely with the Department of Education to provide trainings for schools so that they can develop the capacity to respond to crises.
OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION (OJJDP)
The cooperative relationship that exists between the OJJDP and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program is the most natural of linkages, Deputy Administrator of the OJJDP John Wilson said, because both agencies are concerned with the development of American children into healthy and law-abiding citizens. Three important guides that OJJDP produced are Conflict Resolution Education, A Guide To Family Educa-
tional Rights, and the Youth Out Of The Mainstream initiative. This agency is also doing a lot of work with education in the anti-drug area, including school-based gang prevention programs, a family strengthening program, basic school safety, school-based mentoring program, hate crime educational curriculum for middle schools, as well as working on initiatives for kids with learning disabilities.
companies it works with to give no-drug messages in the next three years.
PRESIDENT’S CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL
The 1994 Crime Act is the foundation for the President’s Crime Prevention Council, which states that at least one-sixteenth as much money in the bill be allocated to prevention, as for enforcement and other aspects. It also was a way to create “one place where these agencies and departments (involved with crime prevention) could sit down at the table and talk about and look for ways to work together,” Jean Nelson, director of the council, said. The most primary effort of the agency is to assist with community-based organizations, getting the information these organizations need to them, and to coordinate what the community and the council can do together. The President’s Crime Prevention Council has a comprehensive catalog of crime prevention materials and also a 5-page brochure, “Crime Prevention at Your Fingertips,” which answers the most frequently-asked questions posed to it.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS)
The Secretary’s Initiative on Youth Substance Abuse and Prevention was created as a response to goal number one of the National Drug Control Strategy, which is to educate and enable American youth to reject illegal drugs and use of alcohol and tobacco. Director of the Initiative, Bob Denniston, explained that the primary goal of the initiative is to reverse the upward trend and reduce past month use of marijuana among 12-17 year olds by 25% by the year 2002. This agency plans to achieve this goal through three components: 1) a state incentive grant program, in which 85% of the funds are for community-based programs; 2) its five regional centers, which support state efforts with technical assistance and training; and 3) by raising public awareness and to counter the pro-drug message. Specific programs that have been launched by the Initiative are Girl Power and the Reality Check campaign. Other programs that are forthcoming are Get Involved with Youth and Media Smarts.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION COORDINATION EFFORTS SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS
The School Improvement Program has a number of different and diverse programs associated with it. These programs cover three major areas that are essential to the work of drug and violence prevention in the schools, according to Arthur Cole, Director of the program. These areas are equity, professional development, and technical assistance. Examples of the programs include the Magnus School Assistance Program and the Eisenhower Professional Development Program. Cole would like to see prevention become more central to these other programs and sees three ways to strengthen the existing ones. 1. Get involved at the project design and development stage. 2. Make sure that there are priorities associated with prevention in these programs. 3. Coordinate the activities with professional development.
OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY (ONDCP)
ONDCP recently passed a 5-year budget, securing its commitment to drug prevention as well as drug reduction. “What we really feel is that we have to create a norm where drug use is not acceptable,” Ricia McMahon, Senior Advisor to the Director for Demand Reduction, said. It is important to have the funding streams not only just be parallel but to interact and to complement each other, McMahon said, and in that vein, ONDCP is working to help organizations meld at the state level. Current efforts from the ONDCP include working with pediatricians to focus on children with at-risk behaviors and factors at even younger ages than before; creating an alliance called Service through Prevention which, among other things, adopts a school and provides mentoring and after-school programs and helps DARE; and negotiating with the Public Relations Society of America to agree to focus its energy on media and public relations work and ask the
CHARTER SCHOOLS PROGRAM
The number of home schoolers is growing by leaps and bounds in this country and that number is peaking right now. Both parents and teachers are leaving the public school system. Why? “Parents, teachers and
others are looking for other options because they want to be in environments that are safe, healthy and drug free. People just have to have that. And they are looking for any option, including taking their kids out of school,” John Fiegel, director of the Charter Schools Program said. The Charter Schools Program is a small movement; there are only between 450 and 500 Charter Schools nationwide. What makes this a unique situation is that a charter school is accountable for its performance. There is a higher level of commitment needed to operate a charter school. This is because the charter schools are a contractual agreement with the public authorities; if they fail, they are closed and therefore, they are accountable. “This is a dynamic that is important for children. They don’t see adults passing the buck; they see adults accepting responsibility and the children accept responsibility themselves because they are also part of the school governors,” Fiegel said. He believes that the connection of empowerment and accountability is something other schools need to investigate. “What you have is more of an ownership of the school and you put yourself on the line. They’re saying we can outperform the public schools and if we don’t, then close us down,” Fiegel added.
! Greater discretion given to the schools to remove kids who bring weapons or drugs to schools to alternative placements, but these students must continue receiving educational services. ! An affirmative requirement that there is a behavioral intervention plan for all children who have disabilities and exhibit behavioral problems. ! The same high standards of education for other children will be required for children with disabilities.
OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
The Office for Civil Rights enforces several laws that prohibit discrimination in education. Title IX and Title VI are the most prominent of these laws. “If a school does not adequately address even the more subtle forms of harassment, they can create a climate that fosters the more violent forms in the school and the greater society,” Howard Kallem, the agency’s director said. Racial-based or sexual-based conduct becomes harassment when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school. All too often schools don’t pay attention to such harassment, Kallem says. Schools should take action to prevent the harassment from occurring in the first place. They should let its employees and students know in age-appropriate ways what conduct is acceptable and what isn’t and what they should do if they experience or see such conduct. “When it does occur, the school should take swift action to stop it, to correct its effects, and prevent it from occurring again,” the director added. The Office for Civil Rights has developed guides for schools on both racial and sexual harassment and their staff is available for technical assistance in this matter. The agency also conducts workshops on sexual and racial harassment and can identify sources for curricula in this area.
DIVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONS PROGRAM
This agency is responsible for the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is a federal special education law that is 22 years old. There are two broad activities that encompass what the agency does. One is to enforce and implement the federal special education law, which includes an early intervention childhood program, and entitle children with disabilities to public education, which includes individual educational planning and parental due process. The second broad activity is to fund research and demonstration projects. Early intervention is essential in the work of the Division of Special Education Program, director Thomas Hehir said. “The earlier we intervene the less likely we are going to have school-related problems.” Research has proven to his agency that kids who have trouble with early reading, if they do not get appropriate interventions, are going to have problems later with behavior in school. It has also learned that teachers know the children in kindergarten, first, and second grades who exhibit very different behavioral patterns. “Those kids need to have behavioral interventions early on to change those patterns of behavior,” Hehir added. The reauthorization of IDEA provides for the following:
COMPENSATORY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Compensatory Education Programs are funded through Title I with an $8 billion budget. It has reached three-fourths of the elementary schools in 14,000 school districts and two-thirds of the country’s high schools; “it is very pervasive,” says Mary Jean LeTendre, the program’s director. Its programs focus primarily on the children most at risk and, because of its pervasiveness, it has “provided tremendous opportunity for intervention,” LeTendre noted. “We expect now for the first time – we truly, honestly believe –
that the at-risk children can reach high standards.” When the legislation was reauthorized in 1994, its focus changed from fixing the child to fixing the school. “If schools provide instruction where kids are going to achieve in ways that they can achieve, we’re going to have fewer and fewer of these children who fall between the cracks,” the director added. Title I in the past was a program that focused on supplemental services like providing assistance with reading or math. The emphasis is now on extending time. “Instead of pulling kids out, we are going to keep kids in school. It’s a way of giving them extra learning, while at the same time providing them a safe environment,” LeTendre said. Two programs help in this area. One is empowerment zones, where schools can receive matching funds for extended time programs. The other is schoolwide programs for schools that have a 50% or above poverty level. This program gives the school the opportunity to serve all the children, recognizing that with this level of poverty, normally, only a few of the children would be impacted.
OFFICE OF EDUCATION RESEARCH AND IMPROVEMENT
The National Institute of Education of At-Risk Students is part of the Office of Education Research and Improvement. This agency has been conducting a review on reaching Goal 6 of the National Educational Goals, which is concerned with making all schools safe, disciplined, and drug-free. Its study of the research includes reviewing the academic focus of school programs, seeing that firm and fair rules are consistently enforced, and to see if there is a code of personal ethics – an ethic of caring – between school staff and students. There is also research from its Southeast Regional lab on reducing school violence which includes a review of building resiliency skills, prevention strategies, and crisis management. Another recent research paper was written on school-based crime prevention programs. This includes a review of different studies on various kinds of prevention programs. Some of these programs had an individual focus, such as mentoring; some were more school environment change strategies, like organizational development or effective fair and firm disciplinary standards.--