The LIFT program will be implemented in randomly selected schools under the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) which operates 225 schools. The DISD in Texas serves the biggest number of minority students across the nation. More than 60% of the student population are Hispanics and around 30% are African American (Dallas Independent School District, 2010). This program will be timely research, considering that just recently, serious incidents of violence and crime (that is, bullying, fighting, and gang activity) have increased by over 20% across the district (Rado, 2010).
Evaluation Design The program evaluation involves an experimental procedure and case study. Six schools under the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) will be used to allow the LIFT program to be implemented in schools where participants are predominantly of African or Hispanic ethnicity and come from lower to middle socioeconomic backgrounds. The primary criterion for the selection of the school will be based on the relative incidence of juvenile crime – the higher the rate of crime the more likely that a school will be included in the survey (Mason, 2002).
All first and fifth grade students in the schools will be requested to participate. The members of the control and treatment groups shall be randomly selected among the participating students. The treatment group pertains to the students who will receive the LIFT program, while the control group is composed of those who will not receive it (Marczyk, 2005). The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated using pre-test–post test assessment. The former will be implemented to identify children who are the most aggressive to evaluate if applying the LIFT treatment will indeed provide substantial change.
After the results have been obtained, a comprehensive cross-comparison of the cases (with the original experiment in Eugene/Springfield Oregon vs. DISD case) will be conducted. Specifically, six hundred students from the six schools will be used – a hundred per school. Of these hundred, fifty will be selected randomly to take part in the LIFT program while the other fifty will be used as the control group – they will not take part. Variables and Data Collection Methods The pre-test and post-test assessments will primarily be conducted via the use of a survey questionnaire and interview.
The former allows the researcher to gather information in a non-threatening way, while the interview serves as a supplementary mechanism for a more in-depth understanding of the survey results (Mason, 2002). Documentation review will also be used by collecting relevant school and court records. Finally, in order to gather first-hand information about how the LIFT program actually operates, observations will be conducted in the playground, in the classroom and on the parent-child relationships in the family problem-solving lectures.
Data collected from these procedures will then be matched and compared with the corresponding data collected from the original LIFT program. Population and Sample The six schools initially identified as having the highest rate of juvenile delinquency where the experiment will be implemented include the following: the Learning Alternative Center for Empowering Youth, Samuel High, South Oak Cliff, Spruce, Carter and Skyline High (Rado, 2010). These schools generated the highest incidents of discretionary, mandatory and expellable incidences of juvenile crime in the DISD.
Random selection will be applied in choosing which first and fifth graders will be part of the treatment group. Data Analysis The results for the two groups will be compared to ascertain whether or not there will be any behavioral changes in the children who will have been placed on the LIFT program (Greasley, 2008). Then the percentage of those who show significant behavioral change will be expressed as a percentage of the total number of children surveyed.
If the percentage represents at least a half of the total (50%), then the LIFT program will be rated as average. It will be deemed successful if this percentage is 80% and above, and a failure if it is less than 30%. Ethical Issues A key ethical issue is how to convince the fifty children in each of the six schools to take in a program they do not understand. It is also unethical to isolate children in class as it might impact negatively on their class performance.
To address the problem, all participants will be informed of the intention of the survey and throughout the period of survey no child’s performance academically will be used to determine one’s rate of progress in school as other factors might be responsible for any possible change in the performance. Project organisation, management, schedule and budget The research might last up to one year for this is the minimum period of time required for anyone to really undergo any behavioural change. It is scheduled to start at the beginning of the next school calendar.
The major costs will be to finance the participating parents, teachers, and students over this period of time. There will also be significant expenditures incurrent in data collection and processing. Conclusion and Limitations The research will be faced with problems of getting non-participating parents and teachers to support the process for some might view it as an unnecessary one especially owing to its ability to distract some children from the learning process. There are also likely to result data processing difficulties because owing to the nature and size of the population sample; so many approximations will have to be done.
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