\ Evaluation of a Safe & Civil Schools Project

Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools – Practical Solutions, Positive Results!

Foundations Program
Research Findings, 2003-06

The following excerpt delineates findings from an investigation of data available from the Broward County Public Schools' Research Services and the Florida Department of Education. The complete report is available as a PDF.

Student Level Findings

Students in Foundations (Cohorts 1 and 2) had significantly more in-school suspensions than non-Foundations schools, which were expected given that Foundations schools represented some of the more “challenging” schools in the district. The rate of increase for out-of-school suspensions was lower for students in Foundations and this finding was consistent across racial groups. Students in Foundations had a significantly higher rate of unexcused absences than non-Foundations students, but over time students in Foundations schools had a lower rate of increase in unexcused absences than non-Foundations students.

When comparing the participation in Foundations and non-Foundations schools on reading and mathematics, the following results were discovered:

Comparative Findings

There are two components of this section. The first one centers on the School Grades assigned by the Florida Department of Education and the level of implementation of Foundations at the school level. The second component examines the relationship between detrimental student behaviors and the level of implementation of Foundations for Cohort 1 and Cohort 2

The Director of Middle Schools and the on-site consultant for Safe & Civil Schools determined the level of implementation of Foundations. Their assessments were independent and identical for each middle school with either a “lower” or “higher” level of implementation. There were three important findings. First, during the first year of implementation for both Cohorts, higher implementing schools improved their School Grades by 32.3% over their baseline year. Lower implementing schools only improved their School Grades 17.6%. Second, for the second year of implementation of Foundations in comparison with the baseline year, there was a 39.7% increase in School Grades. Finally, the second year of implementing Foundations, when compared with the first year, showed an 11.7% increase in School Grades.

The second component focuses on Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 with the comparative findings of detrimental student behaviors (“alcohol, battery, breaking/entering, and disruptions on campus – major fighting, unclassified offenses – other, robbery, larceny, theft, sexual harassment, sex offenses, tobacco, threats/intimidation, trespassing, vandalism, weapons possession”). Because the numbers of individual incidents were insufficient for meaningful and valid comparisons, detrimental student behaviors were aggregated into a single category for comparisons.

There were two meaningful findings in this area. First, when comparing Cohort 1 in the second year of implementing Foundations with its baseline year, there was a 26% decrease in detrimental student behaviors. The second finding was that Cohort 2 in the first year of implementing Foundations experienced a 17.2% reduction in detrimental student behaviors.

Download a PDF of the complete report.