University of Louisiana Monroe Data Analysis Plan

Question Description

The group must present possible secondary data sets for their research project. The group will not be analyzing the data but the team needs to identify and locate the data they could analyze to answer their research questions and/or test hypotheses. (Think about all the different secondary data sets presented in Table 6.4 of the course text, pgs. 196-201).

• The group must turn in one document that outlines the possible data set(s) and discusses how the data will be able to answer their research questions (i.e. what variables in the data set can be utilized).

Keep in mind it may be hard to find the "perfect" data. When using secondary data, there likely will be limits on what you can find - and that's okay. Limits with available data can be part of your discussion on the limitations of your research. Find the best data you can given your research question and variables.

Please continue to ask clarifying questions about any pieces of the Research Project. I will continue to do my best to help each group create a successful project.

A few more points about Part III:

A secondary data set for will not come from other articles per se, as what is presented in scholarly articles is results from that author's analysis. Secondary data is data some else collected but you don't want their results - you want to propose a way to analyze it yourself. You want to think about your independent variables and your dependent variables - what data set measures these? Typically you would locate one data set that would have your variables (or a good proxy) and allow for you to create a model for analysis. You may find a data set used by another scholar from reading the article but then you want to find the original data set for your own use.


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Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 0 Performance Measurement in Education: Rating the Performance of Grant-funded Intervention Programs (JAG and TRIO-SSS) Ellis, Myresha Madison, Amber Poster, Dyshell Thomas, Meagan Virgil, TiQuaisha University of Louisiana Monroe Abstract The school dropout rates are high in the state of Louisiana and this is a threat to the social wellbeing of the country. However, the government has implemented several measures to curb this high rate of school dropout. The paper focuses on two intervention programs: Jobs for Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 1 America’s Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS that have proved their effectiveness in improving accessibility to education in the state of Louisiana. The research takes a different turn and focuses on the various ways in which these programs align with the specific needs of the society to reduce the rate of school dropout. The primary research question is: are the intervention programs aimed at reducing school dropouts effective enough to make a change in Louisiana? Keywords: School dropout, dropout rate and high school Performance Measurement in Education: Rating the Performance of Grant-funded Intervention Programs (JAG and TRIO-SSS) Introduction Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 2 High school dropout rates continue to influence the policymaking process in the education sector. The Federal government has introduced various measures towards improving the education system and making education available to many people through the introduction of free education in public schools. However, the number of school dropouts remains considerably high in most of the states in America. More than 1 million students drop out of high school in the United States every year. The state of Louisiana ranks high among those with high dropout rates in the United States. What makes the problem even worse is the fact that school dropout is also high among teachers in public schools in the country. Most teachers drop out of the public schools citing children indiscipline as the primary factor. In the year 2006, the state of Louisiana was ranked fifth among the schools that had high dropout rates in high schools. These high rates become a problem because the children who drop out of school even before attaining a high school certificate are not likely to secure jobs in the market and this makes them vulnerable to poverty. High school dropout rates are associated with unemployment, incarceration, early pregnancies or even single parenthood and low paying jobs in the economy. Children drop out of schools for various reasons mainly grouped into social and academic factors. Academic factors associated with high rates of school dropout include a history of absenteeism and inability to attain a good grade, disengagement from school life or even indiscipline at school. Social factors associated with high school dropout rates include children with parents whose parents did not complete high school, children from low-income families, those from single parents, students with mental disability and students from ethnic and racial minority groups. Gender also plays a role in determining the high number of school dropouts in America. Female students are less likely to leave school compared to their male counterparts who are more in number. In some cases, they are lured into drugs and robbery Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 3 where they think that they will make money and therefore they no longer see the need to continue with education. Even the immigrant status of the parent plays a role in the school dropout rates in America. Moreover, students born of foreign parents and those from foreign countries are more likely to drop out of high school than those born in native America. The federal government has been at the forefront of reducing high school dropout rates as a means of reducing poverty in the United States. The focus has led to the development of programs that promote student participation in school so that they do not drop out before completing their studies. Over the last forty years, a multitude of intervention programs has been designed to help address the needs of students who at risk of dropping out enrolled in the public school system throughout the United States. Some have been established to help students find employment while achieving their secondary education, while others are dedicated to helping students who have graduated at the secondary level to obtain a college degree or postsecondary training in a particular field, such as practical nursing. More often than not, these programs are funded by non-profit organizations which work with states to implement their programs within school systems and at individual school campuses. Two of these intervention programs, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS (formerly the Upward Bound/Talent Search/Student Support Services), are often hailed as exemplary programs that can change the lives of participating students. Intervention programs are useful because they have played a role in reducing the number of school dropout rates over the last forty years in the United States. A performance measurement analysis should be conducted to judge the efficiency and efficacy of these programs. Group M proposes to conduct a performance measurement of these programs in Louisiana through quantitative research to determine their effectiveness at helping at-risk students in the state succeed both academically and professionally. Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 4 The study purposes to determine the effectiveness of the intervention programs aimed at reducing the number of school dropouts in Louisiana. The topic is of interest to policymakers because it will provide them with an understanding of the effectiveness and efficiency of these intervention programs so that they can determine the future of funding for such programs. In the first place, the paper will discuss various social and academic factors contributing to high school dropout rates. The literature review will then focus on the various programs that have been used in the past and present and their effectiveness in reducing the number of school dropouts in the country. In conclusion, this paper will shed light on the state of the literature regarding school improvement and intervention programs for dropout prevention. The research questions for the study are: • Do the intervention programs address the social needs of the students so that they have equal opportunities in the market? • Are the intervention programs aimed at reducing school dropouts effective enough to make a change in Louisiana? Literature Review The United States has made various efforts in an attempt to create equal educational opportunities for students. These efforts have made progress because the number of school dropout rate has reduced significantly over the past forty years. Even though most studies have placed significant attention to the policymakers in education, school dropouts remain a serious issue. The growing literature on high school dropout rates acknowledges that such children are likely to face a variety of social problems including lack of employment or low income, poverty, single parenthood, and early pregnancies among females, juvenile crime, political and social Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 5 apathy, poor health prospects and high dependence on public aid. However, caution is required when making conclusions regarding school drop outs because the causes may not only be related to intrinsic factors but also exogenous factors and even system flaws. Unlike previous research on school dropout, this paper does not intend to summarize causes of school dropouts or their impact in the society but rather, it takes an entirely different turn where the focus is on unchallenged commonplaces on the effectiveness of various programs aimed at reducing the number of school dropouts in America. Most of the existing literature focuses on a few determinants of school dropout and no provide no clear connection between the determinants, and therefore, there is little information on the intervention programs and their effectiveness in reducing school dropouts in the United States. The research attempts to look into the factors causing high school dropout rates in the country and uses a theoretical approach to illustrate the relationship between these factors. The paper also outlines potential measures that policymakers can adopt, to further improve the intervention programs. It also acknowledges the stereotypes of school dropout and their impact on improving school performance. Furthermore, the paper has greatly benefitted from previous literature on the topic of school dropout rates including journal articles, books, and articles from search engines like Google Scholar. Another procedure used to select materials used for this research includes those articles that are printed in the English language. Stereotypes on school dropout In most cases, school dropout is attributed to social and emotional incompetence. People who leave school before graduation are often labeled dropouts in the society and stereotypes in the community consider them deficient of the competencies possessed by their counterparts who Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 6 graduate. However, most of these stereotypes are not true as many of the school dropouts have worked their way up to hold some of the most significant positions in society. For instance, Bill Gates is one of the most influential people in the world even though he dropped out of Harvard University to co-found Microsoft Corporation. The connection between school dropout and delinquency is often untrue. In most cases, school dropouts are associated with a lack of skills to engage in the workforce so that they are likely to engage in crime. However, this is not always the case. According to Hirschfield & Gasper (2011), dropping out of school is as a result of running away from undesirable conditions in the school environment. Dropping out of school is therefore not attributed to a lack of intellectual ability among students, but instead, they view it as a solution to the problem. Furthermore, the school dropouts did not have any other goal when they left school. In most cases, these students feel like it is not possible to get a solution to the accumulated problems in the school and they end up leaving. Most students drop out of school hoping to get a job. However, along the way, they find it challenging to acquire job opportunities, and they end up engaging in crime as a means of survival. Similarly, the connection of school dropout and lack of employment does not add up. Well, it is true that school dropouts have few opportunities for employment, but this does not mean that they would never get employed. With government intervention in the informal sector, the rate of unemployment for people without a high school diploma has reduced to 5.1 percent in the United States (Schwartz & Casselman, 2018). Determinants of early school leaving Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 7 Dropping out of school refers to a situation in which individuals students leave school without completing their intended course. The government considers falling out of school illegal because it is associated with poor social outcomes such as lack of employment opportunities and therefore the likelihood to engage in crime. According to Montecel, Cortez & Cortez (2004), the factors that cause school dropout can be grouped into two: social and academic factors. The social factors associated with dropping out of school include the socioeconomic status of the student. Some of the issues to consider in this case include the level of education of the parents, their occupational status and level of income. According to Rumberger (2011), children who come from backgrounds where parents did not complete high school are not likely to complete their high school education. At some point, parents act as a motivation for their children’s success. If for instance, the parents did not complete their high school education but are running a profitable family business, then the children are less willing to complete their studies. Family structure also plays a role in determining school dropout rates in the country. Large family sizes have a disadvantage when it comes to educating their children to graduation level because of the shortage of funds. According to De Witte, Cabus, Thyssen, Groot & van Den Brink (2013), children who come from single parented families also tend to show higher rates of school dropout than their counterparts from complete families. Academic factors associated with school dropout influence the student’s ability to remain in school so that they view dropping out as the solution to their problems. One element is the type of school. According to Jia, Konold & Cornell (2016), students attending a private school are likely to drop out compared to those attending private schools and especially those sponsored Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 8 by the church. Students that attend schools with high promoting power, i.e., the schools that have a high number of students passing from one grade to another are less likely to leave school. On the other side, students from minority groups are at high risk of dropping out of school because the schools they attend have low promotion power and therefore reduce the motivation to stay in school up to graduation. Similarly, students that attend grammar schools are not likely to drop out of school as their counterparts that participate in vocational and technical institutions. The class size also plays a role in determining school dropouts because students are more likely to engage in a small-sized class than a large-sized class. The size of the class also defines the student-pupil ratio which is another critical factor in the issue of school dropout. Most parents prefer taking their students to independent schools because the ratio of teachers to students is even. In addition to this, the school discipline system plays a role in influencing high dropout rates. According to Louisiana School-to-Prison Reform Coalition (2009), most of the schools in Louisiana have few alternatives to discipline students so that they employ disciplinary measures such as suspension, referrals to law enforcement, expulsion and placement in alternative schools. These measures often make it difficult for students to cope with education and they find it better to leave school to escape the hardships. The state of school dropout in Louisiana The state of Louisiana has faced many problems in its education system so that there has been a continued rise in the number of school dropout cases in the past. The state of Louisiana has been ranked fifth among the countries with high school dropout rates in history. However, the trend is reversing. The Federal government introduced the No Child Left Behind Act that was Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 9 meant to provide equal educational opportunities for students irrespective of their background (Montecel, Cortez & Cortez, 2004). With the motivations of this act, the government has designed some policies aimed at reducing the high rate of school drop out in the state of Louisiana. However, the paper will focus on two main programs that have proven their effectiveness in reducing the number of school dropouts in Louisiana: Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and TRiO-SSS (formerly the Upward Bound/Talent Search/Student Support Services). Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) The project functions as the largest dropout prevention program in the country serving youths between the ages of 12 and 21 years. The program aims to provide students with an educational setting that promotes leadership development, skill awareness, civic responsibility, and skills attainment. The program helps the students facing obstacles to get an equivalent of a high school equivalent diploma. The program’s key competencies include communication and workplace skills, career development, job survival, and life survival skills. In addition to these, the program provides follow up until the individual joins the workforce or enrolls in a postsecondary education curriculum. The JAG model operates in three models: 1. Multi-Year Model that handles students between 9th and 12 grades 2. Middle School Model which helps middle school students in 6th to 8th grade 3. Out-of-School Model that focuses on students who have dropped out of school and empowering them to attain the skills that make them relevant in the job market The program has managed to reduce the number if school dropout rates in Louisiana because it aims to assist students who have significant obstacles in their lives which could in one way or Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 10 another affect their ability to complete school or enter the workforce. It offers financial aid and mentorship to participants, who must be willing to join the program, and able to benefit by being placed in the school curriculum or a competitive labor market. TRIO-SSS The program is fully funded by the state of Louisiana to support students with problems that would hinder their ability to complete their studies. The program dates back to the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964 as part of the war on poverty. The TRIO program aims to provide motivation and financial assistance to students who come from low-income families and those with documented disabilities that could reduce their ability to complete their studies. The government continues to revise the specifications for the TRIO programs so that they continue to provide a wider number of services to more students who need assistance. Currently, the program reduces school dropout rates in the state of Louisiana through the Student Support Services program that provides direct financial aid to beneficiaries. With these interventions, the state of Louisiana has continued to experience declining rates of school dropout. According to a report by the Jobs for America’s Graduates, the state of Louisiana reached its all-time high in the number of graduates in 2012 with 72.3 percent of the students graduating from high school. This number represents the students who entered as freshmen in the year 2008 and remained in school for the next four years. This number marks a nine-percentage point improvement from the previous year and a ten-point increase from the last ten years (JOBS for AMERICA'S GRADUATES). The increase in the number of high school graduates reaching an all-time high in 2012 proves the effectiveness of programs that the Running head: Performance Measurement in Education 11 government has put in place to ensure that every student gets an equal opportunity to education in the state of Louisiana. Conclusion The programs used to reduce the rate of school dropout in Louisiana are effective in many ways. The programs focus on addressing the obstacles that threaten the ability of the students to complete their studies or even get into the competitive labor market. The state of Louisiana has ranked high among the countries with high rates of school dropouts in America. Surprisingly, the rate of dropout is not only high among students but also the teachers. Some of the factors influencing these high rates of school dropout in the state include the school disciplinary measures that focus on suspension, expulsion or even referral to a correctional facility depending on the students’ behavior. Such tough disciplinary measures leave students with no alternative but to drop out of school as a means of avoidance. Other factors influencing the ra ...
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Final Answer




Institution affiliation:



To identify the effectiveness of the intervention programs in reducing the rate of school
dropout in the state of Louisiana, the data will be analyzed using two techniques; t-test and
regression analysis. This two statistical methods will give an insight into whether the
intervention programs are effective or not.

The formulated hypotheses concerning the effectiveness of the intention pr...

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