Partnering with Parents to Promote High School Graduation: An Evidence-based Program Evaluation
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SIGNIFICANCE Addressing the opportunity and achievement gaps in K-12 public education is a strategic focus-area to promote public health and improve health equity. Recent policy trends encourage the implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) in schools to address the individual, family, school, and community risk factors associated with dropping out of school (Angelo et al., 2015; Massatt, 2015). Prevention programs, when implemented with fidelity and in a culturally responsive way, have the ability to improve academic outcomes for all students, and especially students who face significant barriers to learning. PURPOSE This program evaluation described the implementation and outcomes of Guiding Good Choices (GGC), an evidence-based parenting program. GGC was provided to Seattle parents as part of the Department of Education’s (ED) 2010 High School Graduation Initiative (HSGI). METHODS From 2012-2015, seven facilitation teams provided GGC to 16 groups of parents across six racially and socially diverse urban middle schools. Pretest and posttest surveys measured parental knowledge, skills, and before and after the intervention. Implementation fidelity checklists monitored the degree to which GGC was implemented with fidelity. ANALYSIS Descriptive statistics described the characteristics of the study sample and the degree to which GGC was implemented with fidelity. Pretest and posttest surveys were analyzed with an alpha of .05 to determine whether change occurred in the desired direction after exposure to GGC. RESULTS In total, 108 parents completed the both pretest and posttest surveys, resulting in a retention rate of 59%. Participant learning occurred in the desired direction for 19 of 21 survey item (91%) and was consistent across all three learning topics: Family Management, Substance Use Prevention, and Emotional Regulation. GGC was implemented with an average fidelity score of 7.6 on scale from 10. IMPLICATIONS This study described the successes and challenges of implementing a universal prevention programs targeted towards parents in a diverse urban school district. Two salient questions arise after the initial analysis of this study: (a) how do demographic features (such as race, gender, education level) influence outcomes of universal prevention programs? (b) what specific elements of implementation fidelity are linked to outcomes?
- Health services