THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DROPOUT PREDICTION INSTRUMENT FOR AN URBAN HIGH SCHOOL

CLARENCE EUGENE NICHOLS, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate an instrument designed to be used for the early identification of students likely to drop out of school. The literature seems to indicate that about one student out of every four will not graduate from high school. This ongoing problem creates both substantial personal and social cost. Some dropout prevention programs seem to be effective, particularly if the potential dropout can be identified early enough in his/her school career. This early identification requires a predictive instrument. A search of the literature was not successful in identifying an acceptable instrument.^ The methodology used in this research was experimental. Equivalent control groups were developed through randomization. The first group was tested with a composite prediction instrument with the results recorded. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to reduce the composite instrument to its strongest predictive factors. These factors were developed into a new five item instrument that was used to test the second group. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine the relationship between the predicted scores and the fact of dropping out or graduating.^ The study: (A) Indicates that sufficient information is available from school records from which dropout predictions can be made. (B) Describes the sequential steps of instrument development. (C) Examines the statistical procedures for reducing an instrument's size while maintaining or improving its predictive ability. (D) Suggests that dropouts can be predicted with a moderate degree of success.^ The study suggests the following conclusions: (1) It is feasible to conduct a study intended to identify potential dropouts with a prediction instrument. (2) Student records can be used to develop factors for a prediction instrument. (3) Statistical analysis can be used to reduce an extensive instrument to its strongest predictive elements. (4) An instrument can be developed and used for the early identification of students likely to drop out of school.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

CLARENCE EUGENE NICHOLS, "THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DROPOUT PREDICTION INSTRUMENT FOR AN URBAN HIGH SCHOOL" (January 1, 1984). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8405859.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8405859

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