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Title: WWC Review of the Report "Assessing the Effectiveness of First Step to Success: Are Short-term Results the First Step to Long-term Behavioral Improvements?"
Description: The 2013 study, Assessing the Effectiveness of First Step to Success: Are Short-term Results the First Step to Long-term Behavioral Improvements?, examined the effects of First Step to Success (First Step), a school- and home-based program intended to improve outcomes for students with moderate to severe behavior problems who may be at risk for academic failure. Researchers randomly assigned 48 elementary schools from across five states to either an intervention group that received the First Step program or a comparison group that received regular instruction. Study authors measured the effects of First Step by comparing parent, teacher, and researcher assessments of student behavior for students in the intervention and comparison groups. While 10 outcomes were measured, only three met WWC evidence standards with reservations: academic engaged time (the proportion of time a student is academically involved), problem behavior, and academic competence. Although the schools were randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison groups, the students who were selected to participate in the study may have differed systematically across the schools. In particular, teachers' selection of the students for the study and the parental consent process both occurred after randomization and, therefore, both of these processes could have been affected by knowledge of the school's research condition. Because of these selection and consent issues, the study was reviewed as a quasi-experimental design by the WWC. The research for the remaining seven outcomes measured did not meet WWC standards.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: September 2013
Web Release: September 10, 2013
Print Release:
Publication #: WWC SSR10052
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: WWC
Associated Centers: NCEE
Type of Product: Single Study Review
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