oversight

Drug Education: School-Based Programs Seen as Useful but Impact Unknown

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-28.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                                                                                            DRUG EDUCATION
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                                                                                            School-Based
                                                                                            Programs Seen as
                                                                                            Useful but Impact
                                                                                            Unknown


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                                                                                                            142717




11-~-                     -~---.-~
~GAO/ IIitI)-!)I-27
                       United States
GAO                    General Accounting Office
                       Washington, D.C. 20548

                       Human Resources Division

                       B-214215

                       November 28,lQQO

                       The Honorable John Glenn
                       Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs
                       United States Senate

                       Dear Mr. Chairman:

                       Because of your concern that substance abuse among our nation’s youth
                       poses serious dangers to society, you asked us to review implementation
                       of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986. A major purpose
                       of the act was to help schools and communities establish drug abuse
                       education and prevention programs. Specifically, you asked that we

                   l identify how school districts use funds provided under the act,
                   . examine the extent to which educational programs include alcohol
                     abuse,
                   . determine how school districts assess program effectiveness,        .
                   l obtain students’ views on the drug education provided, and
                   l identify state and local program officials’ views on the Department of
                     Education’s program direction.

                       Our testimony on these issues before your committee in Cleveland on
                       February 13, 1990, was based on preliminary work in Ohio. This report
                       discusses our work in five states (California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio,
                       and Texas) and the District of Columbia. These jurisdictions accounted
                       for $330 million, or 30 percent of the total program funds allocated to
                       states and the District of Columbia since the program’s inception in
                       October 1986.

                       To respond to your request, we obtained information from the state edu-
                       cation agencies in the five states. In addition, we contacted each state’s
                       largest school district- Los Angeles, Dade County (Miami), Detroit,
                       Cleveland, and Houston-as well as the public school system in Wash-
                       ington, DC. In these six school districts, we discussed the Drug-Free
                       Schools program with principals, other school personnel, and students at
                        18 schools. We also obtained information from the Department of Edu-
                       cation and reviewed program evaluation and other research literature
                       on “what works” in drug education. (See app. I.)


                       School districts are using a wide range of approaches in their Drug-Free
Results in Brief       Schools programs. But, little is known at the local, state, or national
                       level about what approach works best or how effectively the various


                       Page 1                        GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Educatim
             lb214215




             programs and curricula reduce or prevent drug and alcohol abuse among
             students.

             Overall, the six districts we visited used more than 50 percent of the
             funds for student assistance (primarily counseling) programs geared to
             high-risk students’ in junior and senior high school. They used the
             remaining funds primarily for training teams of school officials to
             develop drug prevention programs or on classroom curricula and mater-
             ials. Each district covered alcohol abuse in its drug education programs.
             Districts often were unable to provide the Drug-Free Schools programs
             to all schools or all students within a school. The reason, they said, was
             that not enough teachers had yet been trained to teach drug education
             courses or new programs yet been fully implemented.

             Evaluations of drug education programs generally have lacked needed
             scientific rigor and as a result, offer little information on what works.
             But judging from our discussions with students and principals in 18
             schools, the message of drug and alcohol dangers is reaching the chil-
             dren In the opinion of both students and principals, drug and alcohol
             abuse among school-age children would be worse without the federally
             funded Drug-Free Schools programs. Overall, state and local program
             officials were satisfied with the Department of Education’s program
             direction.


             The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act provides federal financial
Background   assistance to establish programs for drug abuse education and preven-
             tion, Programs funded are to convey the message that the use of illegal
             drugs and the abuse of other drugs and alcohol are wrong and harmful.

             Of the $1.3 billion the Congress has appropriated since passage of the
             act in 1986, $1.1 billion2 was distributed to states in the form of grants.
             These grant funds, which first became available to states in fiscal year
             1987, are allotted to each state according to its share of the nation’s




             t Individuals under 21 years of age who are at high risk of becoming, or who have been, drug or
             alcohol abusers. For example, they may have committed violent or delinquent acts or attempted sui-
             cide, or may be the child of a drug or alcohol abuser.
             20f this amount, $632 million had been distributed to states through school year 1989-90 and the
             remaining $469 million will be distributed for use in school year 1990-91.



             Page 2                                   GAO/HUD-91-27     Impact of School-Baaed   Drug Education
                      B-214216




                      school-age children3 The remaining $231 million provided for grants to
                      the trust territories, grants for teacher training, and various national
                      programs authorized by the act and carried out by the Department of
                      Education.

                      The law requires each state to allocate its Drug-Free Schools funds
                      among state and local programs. For example, each state must allot,
                      from its base allocation, 30 percent to the governor for discretionary
                      grant programs and 70 percent to the state education agency. In turn,
                      the state education agency must allocate at least 90 percent of its Drug-
                      Free Schools funds to the school districts on the basis of each district’s
                      share of enrolled children. Of the remaining funds, states can use a small
                      portion (not in excess of 6 percent) for administrative costs and the bal-
                      ance for discretionary grant programs. Because of the committee’s
                      interest in how local school districts use Drug-Free Schools funds, we
                      focused primarily on the funds allocated by state education agencies to
                      school districts.

                      Before the Drug-Free Schools program was established, the six school
                      districts we reviewed provided drug education through health classes
                      and/or other nonfederally funded drug education programs4 Drug-Free
                      Schools funds were used to expand these efforts or start new programs.
                      The programs implemented with federal and other sources of funds at
                      the elementary, junior (or middle), and senior high school level in the six
                      districts are discussed in appendix II.


                      The six districts spent Drug-Free Schools money on three basic drug
Most Funds Used for   education approaches-student      assistance programs, training programs
Student Assistance    for school personnel, and curriculum and other classroom materials-or
Programs              some combination of these. Over half (52 percent) of the Drug-Free
                      Schools funds was spent on student assistance programs, as shown in
                      figure 1.

                      Expenditures most often took the form of salaries. Overall, the districts
                      reviewed used 80 percent of their Drug-Free Schools funds to pay sala-
                      ries of school personnel, including program administrators, drug

                      3A portion of any future increase in appropriations over the school year 1989-90 level will be allo-
                      cated to school districts partially on the basis of the number of school-age children in poverty. This
                      change is intended to give districts with high concentrations of poor children a higher level of
                      funding.
                      4Districts could not identify the amount of nonfederal funds spent on drug education.



                      Page 3                                     GAO/HRD91-27      Impuct of School-Based    Drug Education
                                           B-214215




Figure 1: Mart Drug-Free Schools Funds
Wed by Dietrlcts for Student Assirrtance
Programs (School Year 1988-89)                                                      Classroom Curriculum and Materials - $1
                                                    b                               million




                                                                                    School Team Training - $1 million




                                                                            -       Student Assistance Programs - $2.3
                                                                                    million




                                           counselors, and coordinators. Also funded were stipends for teachers
                                           attending training courses and pay for substitute teachers while regular
                                           teachers attend substance abuse training. In contrast, districts spent
                                           only a small amount of Drug-Free Schools funds on curricula or class-
                                           room materials. Of the six districts reviewed, Detroit spent the most on
                                           materials. However, the district will need fewer materials in the future,
                                           a district official said, and will spend more funds on stipends for
                                           teachers attending curricula training.

                                           Although the districts generally appeared to be making progress in
                                           implementing their programs, several were unable to reach as many stu-
                                           dents as they intended. They attributed this to insufficient time to
                                           implement programs districtwide since the Drug-Free Schools program
                                           started or too few school personnel volunteering to take on the added
                                           responsibilities of the drug education programs.


                                           In all the school districts we reviewed, programs funded by the Drug-
Alcohol Abuse                              Free Schools grant covered alcohol as well as drug abuse. Officials in
Education Included in                      these districts believe alcohol is a significant problem in our society
School Programs                            among both youth and adults. Programs in five of the six districts con-
                                           veyed the message that use of alcohol is wrong and harmful and alcohol
                                           should not be used-a “no use” message. Only Cleveland’s program con-
                                           veyed a “responsible use” message regarding alcohol.


                                           Page 4                        GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug JZducation
       I

   .
                     B214216




                     The Cleveland program’s implicit message is that abuse of alcohol is
                     wrong and harmful, a program official said. The students are taught
                     that for persons under the legal drinking age, the use of alcohol is illegal.
                     But use of alcohol among adults is legal, our society accepts responsible
                     use, and students frequently experiment with using alcohol. Therefore,
                     the official said, students should be informed of the importance of using
                     it responsibly. Department of Education officials, however, believe that
                     the “responsible use” message is inappropriate for Drug-Free Schools
                     programs because the act specifies that funds be used to teach students
                     that illicit alcohol use is wrong and harmful. They told us they plan to
                     pursue this matter with the Ohio State Education Agency.

                     In contrast to Cleveland’s approach, officials in the other five districts,
                     which teach a “no use” message, called use of alcohol by anyone under
                     the legal drinking age illicit, regardless of social norms. They said that
                     schools should not convey a responsible use message to students for a
                     substance they cannot legally use.

                     The potential effectiveness of alcohol education appears to be influ-
                     enced by the social acceptability of alcohol use among adults. Although
                     most students to whom we spoke were in programs with a “no use” mes-
                     sage, they had mixed views about the use of alcohol. Most generally
                     agreed with school officials that alcohol is a big problem among students
                     and adults, but most also said alcohol was socially acceptable. Many stu-
                     dents had the misconception that alcohol is less harmful than illicit
                     drugs, such as cocaine or marijuana.


                     Little is known about the effectiveness of the various drug education
Little Known About   programs or curricula in preventing or reducing drug and alcohol abuse
Drug Education       among students. Program evaluations have provided little useful infor-
Effectiveness        mation on what actually reduces student drug or alcohol use. The 1989
                     amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act strength-
                     ened requirements for state and local program evaluation. The Depart-
                     ment is developing guidance for states and school districts to use in
                     evaluating their drug education programs and plans studies to identify
                     effective programs.

                     With few exceptions, evaluations of drug abuse education and preven-
                     tion programs over the past 15 years have been of limited usefulness in
                     determining what works, a review of research shows. Criticisms include
                     flaws in concept and design, evaluations that were premature or relied
                     too much on self-reporting, and lack of proper documentation.


                     Page 6                         GAO/HRDBl-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
B214215




Evaluations that specifically link changes in student drug use to preven-
tion programs are vital for ensuring that programs achieve their desired
results. But such studies generally are costly and require a long time to
complete. For example, to evaluate the impact on reduced drug use of
Project ALERT, a drug education curriculum for seventh and eighth
grades, the Rand Corporation performed longitudinal studies. These
involved 30 schools, 68 health educators, and 75 teen leaders. The
effort, including development of the curriculum, took about 7 years and
reportedly cost $8.9 million.

Project ALERT is one of several programs with a social skills component
that recent studies have reported as having promise in reducing and
preventing drug use. Emphasizing peer resistance and assertiveness
training, social skills programs address the pressures young people face
from peers, the media, and adults to use drugs and alcohol. The Project
ALERT curriculum is designed to help students identify peer pressures,
give them facts to counter prodrug arguments, and equip them with a
repertoire of drug resistance skills. The Rand Corporation reported that
Project ALERT prevented or reduced cigarette and marijuana use among
young adolescents in urban, suburban, and rural communities in Cali-
fornia and Oregon. While social skills programs have shown initial suc-
cess, it is not known how effective they will be in the long run.

The social skills model has been less effective in reducing and
preventing adolescent use of alcohol, according to research data. The
Rand study cites as the reason the prevalence and social acceptance of
alcohol, including signals from the media and most adults that directly
contradict program messages on alcohol’s harmful effects. As long as
this is the case, drug education programs are unlikely to realize their
potential for curbing adolescent use of this substance, Rand researchers
said.

Nor do changes in students’ knowledge and attitudes about drugs neces-
sarily result, research suggests, in corresponding changes in drug-
related behavior. Further, a single program or approach will not suc-
ceed, research and experts in drug education indicate. A comprehensive
approach-including     parent and community involvement as well as
classroom instruction and counseling programs-has been found to be
more likely to achieve desired changes6 Most of the six districts visited


6At the request of the Subcommittee on Select Education of the House Committee on Education and
J.&or, we are reviewing such program% and will report in 1991.



Page 6                                 GAO/HRD-91-27    Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
                     B-214215




                     were attempting or planned to implement more comprehensive preven-
                     tion programs.

                     School-level evaluations can be useful in collecting baseline data-
                     through student self-reports of drug and alcohol use, for example-and
                     providing feedback on program implementation. At the six school dis-
                     tricts visited, district-level program evaluations have focused on how
                     districts implemented the program or on changes in students’ knowledge
                     and attitudes about drugs. However, the difficulty in measuring pro-
                     gram impact on student drug use makes it unlikely that school-level
                     evaluations can definitively answer, on a broad scale, what works in
                     drug education. The six districts we visited had not determined their
                     programs’ effectiveness in producing changes in student behavior. (See
                     app. III for further discussion of program evaluations.)

                     Evaluation requirements for states and school districts were changed in
                     the 1989 amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
                     States, as part of their mandated biennial report to the Department of
                     Education, must include “an evaluation of the effectiveness of State and
                     local drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention programs.” Pre-
                     viously, the law required states only to describe any programs that may
                     have been effective. The Department is preparing guidance for states
                     and local school districts to use in evaluating programs. Also, the
                     Department plans two comprehensive studies to identify effective drug
                     education programs and will provide states and school districts with the
                     results.


                     Nearly all students we asked about the effectiveness of the drug educa-
Students Generally   tion instruction they received said it was useful and without it more stu-
View Programs        dents would use and sell drugs. However, students also pointed out
Positively           weaknesses in the drug education programs and suggested ways to
                     improve them. For example, they said that drug education cannot
                     change the easy availability and peer pressure that make drugs and
                     alcohol hard to resist. In all the districts we visited, students told us that
                     the drug education program did not cover the negative aspects of drug
                     selling-a problem they said was as prevalent as drug use. Students sug-
                     gested, among other things, that drug education programs include after-
                     school social activities to give students alternatives to the temptation of
                     drugs. (See app. IV for a discussion of students’ views.)




                     Page 7                         GAO/HRD-@l-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
---__
                                        B-214216




                                    -   Overall, state and local education officials were satisfied with t
u   uluak   LLC,   vu1   1 lLula,
                                        gram direction provided by the Department of Education. Its efforts
and Videos Issued by                    include:
Department of      -                    1. Nonregulatory guidelines issued in February 1987 to help state and
Education                               local educational agencies understand and interpret the law;

                                        2. Drug education and curriculum selection booklets published in 1987
                                        and 1988 and a parent’s guide to prevention and a curriculum model,
                                        both published in 1990, for use by schools and communities in designing
                                        and developing their programs; and

                                        3. A series of 10 drug abuse education and prevention video tapes.

                                        The Department distributed these materials free to the nation’s school
                                        districts. In addition, Department officials have visited 33 states and the
                                        District of Columbia as part of their efforts to monitor program imple-
                                        mentation and compliance with legislative requirements.

                                        In the states we visited, state and local program officials generally
                                        expressed satisfaction with federal help under the Drug-Free Schools
                                        Act. State drug education officials found the Department’s published
                                        guidelines helpful in implementing programs and said Department offi-
                                        cials were available to answer questions. At the school district level,
                                        officials generally found the Department’s booklets and videos to be
                                        available and of good quality.

                                        In July 1990, the Department distributed a curriculum model to all
                                        school districts and many private schools. The curriculum, which pro-
                                        vides examples of techniques and suggestions for classroom activities
                                        for kindergarten through 12th grade, encourages teachers to infuse drug
                                        education into core academic subjects. Based on the latest drug educa-
                                        tion research, the model provides the basics for starting or expanding a
                                        drug education program, according to department officials. It includes
                                        information about drugs, background for teachers on child growth and
                                        development, and sample lesson plans and activities. The model also
                                        provides guidance and suggestions on involving parents and the
                                        community.

                                        The curriculum has not been tested for its effectiveness in reducing or
                                        preventing student abuse of drugs and alcohol, a Department official
                                        told us. The reason was that such testing would have delayed distribu-
                                        tion to schools for several years. Instead, the Department had experts in


                                        Page 8                        GAO/HlUMl-27   Impact of School-Bawd   Drug Education
                        E.214216




                        the drug education and prevention field review the curriculum model
                        before it was published.


                        Judging from the experience of the six districts reviewed and views
Observations on Drug-   expressed by school officials and students alike, Drug-Free Schools
Free Schools Program    funds are making a difference in terms of spreading the antidrug use
                        message. The difficulty comes in trying to measure the extent to which
                        district programs reduce student drug use. Districts and states should be
                        held accountable for conducting the most effective programs possible.
                        Through their own evaluations, school districts can produce systematic
                        information that is useful in managing and improving their programs.
                        However, determining the effectiveness of drug education programs in
                        preventing or reducing student use of drugs and alcohol is a costly, long-
                        term effort. The Department of Education, through scientifically valid
                        effectiveness evaluations, is undertaking this task on a broad scale. It
                        plans to publish information on the kinds of programs that are effective
                        in reducing or preventing drug use.


                        We discussed the contents of a draft of this report with Department of
                        Education officials and officials of the school districts visited and incor-
                        porated their changes where appropriate.

                        We plan to send copies of this report to the Secretary of Education and
                        other interested parties. Please call me on (202) 275-1793 if you or your
                        staff have any questions. The major contributors to this report are listed
                        in appendix V.

                        Sincerely yours,




                        Franklin Frazier
                        Director, Education and
                          Employment Issues




                        Page 9                         GAO/I-IRDBl-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
contents


Letter                                                                                                             1

Appendix I                                                                                                     12
Scopeand
Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                                    14
Drug Education             Student Assistance Programs                                                         14
                           School Team Training Programs                                                       15
Programs and               Classroom Curricula and Materials                                                   16
Activities in six; Urban   Not All Schools or Students in a District Reached                                   17
School Districts           Nonfederal Funds Also Used for Drug Education                                       18
                           Brief Descriptions of Drug Education Programs                                       18

Appendix III                                                                                                   24
Drug Education             Evaluation Requirements Changed by 1989 Law                                         24
                           District Plans for Evaluations Unchanged                                            24
Program Evaluations        Effective Programs Studied                                                          25
                           Programs Evaluated in Four Districts Visited                                        25

Appendix IV                                                                                                    27
Student Views on
Effectiveness of Drug
Education Programs
Appendix V                                                                                                     29
Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                     Table II. 1: Use of Drug-Free Schools Funds in Six Districts                        14
                               Visited (School Year 1988-89)
                           Table 11.2:School-Based Drug Education Programs in Six                              23
                               School Districts Reviewed (School Year 1988-89)




                           Page 10                        GAO/HRDBl-27   Impact of School-lowed   Drug Education
         Contents




Figure   Figure 1: Most Drug-Free Schools Funds Used by Districts                                 4
              for Student Assistance Programs (School Year
              1988-89)




         Abbreviations

         ASSP         After School and Summer Program for At-Risk Youth
         B.A.B.E.S.   Beginning Alcohol and Addiction Basic Education Studies
         CAP          Children Are People
         DARE         Drug Abuse Resistance Education
         DES          Drug Free Schools
         PACT         Peer Approach to Counseling for Teens
         SMART        Self Management and Resistance Training
         STAR         Social Taught Awareness and Resistance


         Page 11                         GAO/HlUb91~27   Impact of SchoolJkwed   Drug Education
Appendix I

Scopeand Methodology


             To address the questions raised by the Senate Committee on Govern-
             mental Affairs regarding programs under the Drug-Free Schools and
             Communities Act of 1986, we performed work at the largest school dis-
             trict in each of five states (California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and
             Texas) and the District of Columbia. These locations were selected
             because they were among the top eight states in receipt of Drug-Free
             Schools funds; provided good geographic coverage, including border
             states where drugs are more likely to come into the country; and
             included areas with nationally recognized drug problems.

             We visited the six school districts-Los    Angeles, Dade County (Miami),
             Detroit, Cleveland, Houston, and Washington, D.C.-to obtain general
             background information. We gathered such data as the number and
             grade levels of schools, the size of the student population, and the
             amount of Drug-Free Schools funding. In addition, we obtained data on
             the characteristics of the drug education program, including curriculum
             used; the nature of the courses in which the Drug-Free Schools program
             was taught; the amount of funds used for curricula, staff development,
             and materials; and the extent of focus on alcohol abuse.

             To obtain student views on drug education programs, we conducted 36
             focus group discussions with students in the six school districts. These
             groups, ranging from 4 to 10 students each, totaled 284 students (sixth-
             to ninth-graders) at 18 schools. Students participating in the focus
             groups were randomly selected. In each district, we selected two schools
             for review and allowed school district officials to select a third that they
             considered to be conducting the district’s best drug education program.
             While at the schools, we also discussed the impact of the Drug-Free
             Schools program with counselors, teachers, and principals.

             At the Department of Education, we determined the Department’s role
             in approving and monitoring state and local Drug-Free Schools pro-
             grams. We also ascertained how it allocates Drug-Free Schools funds to
             the states and what it does to assess the programs’ effectiveness.

             To determine what works in drug education, we searched the literature
             published since 1984. This included materials retrieved from data bases
             searched by the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Informa-
             tion Among the materials were meta-analyses (where results from dif-
             ferent studies are systematically aggregated); evaluations of individual




             Page 12                        GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




drug prevention programs; and researchers’ observations on drug educa-
tion (views on specific drug evaluation approaches, problems with eval-
uating programs, and suggestions for improvements). We conducted our
review between September 1989 and May 1990.




Page 13                      GAO/HRb91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Drug Education Programsand Activities in
Six Urban SchoolDistricts

                                      Overall, the six school districts we visited used about 52 percent of their
                                      total Drug-Free Schools funds for student assistance programs. The dis-
                                      tricts divided the remaining Drug-Free Schools funds about evenly
                                      between the other two major drug education approaches-school team
                                      training and classroom curricula and materials. Spending for the three
                                      approaches varied among the districts we studied. Houston and Dade
                                      County, for example, used all of their Drug-Free Schools funds for stu-
                                      dent assistance programs, while Detroit used none for such programs.
                                      (See table II. 1.) Districts could not always reach all the students or
                                      schools they intended. Districts also used nonfederal funds for drug edu-
                                      cation programs and activities but could not identify the amounts.

Table 11.1:Use of Drug-Free Schools
Fund8 in Six Districts Visited                                                                    Classroom
(School Year 1988-89)                                                Student                        curricula
                                                                  assistance   School team                and
                                      District8                    programs        training        material8              Total
                                      Cleveland                            0          $94.364         $97.925         $192.289
                                      Dade County                   $769,058                0               0          769,058
                                      Detroit                              0                0         527,848          527,848
                                      Houston                        528,672                0               0          528,672
                                      Los Anoeles                    580.064          845.964         226.186         18652.214
                                      Wkhington, D.C.                390,825          100,742         170,571          662,138
                                      Totals                      $2,266,619       $1,041,070     $1,022,630       $4,332,219
                                      Percentaae                          52               24              24             100



                                      Student assistance programs are generally joint school-community pro-
Student Assistance                    grams that provide students with prevention, intervention, support, and
Programs                              instructional services related to drug and alcohol abuse. Participants in
                                      student assistance programs do not necessarily have drug- or alcohol-
                                      related problems, but most are considered “high-risk youth.” Such pro-
                                      grams are emphasized at the junior and senior high school levels.

                                      Students frequently receive services through individual and group coun-
                                      seling sessions. Typically, they volunteer, although they may be
                                      referred by teachers, counselors, or parents. In the District of Columbia,
                                      programs included after-school and summer instructional, recreational,
                                      and peer-helping activities.

                                      Most group counseling is conducted during the school day, primarily by
                                      school personnel, including counselors, teachers, and principals. Volun-
                                      teers from community agencies may assist. These sessions help students


                                      Page 14                       GAO/IUD91-27      Impact of School-Based    Drug Education
                       Appendix II
                       Drug Education Programa      and ActIvltiea     In
                       Six Urban School Districts




                       learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol and, perhaps most impor-
                       tantly, give them the opportunity to discuss personal problems and sup-
                       port each other in dealing with drug- and alcohol-related problems.

                       Such programs provide for a wide variety of group situations in which
                       students can become involved, depending on their personal needs and
                       experience with drugs and alcohol. For example, a junior high school we
                       visited in Los Angeles had established groups called “The Clean Team”
                       for students not using drugs or alcohol. Leaders of these groups concen-
                       trated on preventing substance use and abuse by providing information
                       and support to students who may be at risk for future drug abuse. In
                       contrast, a middle school we visited in Houston had groups for students
                       who were using drugs or alcohol. Leaders of these groups concentrated
                       on intervening in students’ use by educating them on the harmful effects
                       of drugs and alcohol and providing the support needed to abstain. In the
                       District of Columbia, peer-helping groups were organized and given
                       training in communication skills and self-esteem building. By partici-
                       pating in school assemblies or personally intervening with other stu-
                       dents, participants could assist in school drug education efforts.


                       In training programs, teams of school personnel and community repre-
School Team Training   sentatives are trained to help schools prevent and reduce drug and
Programs               alcohol abuse. Team members typically attend 3-7 days of training.
                       During it, they receive information on the harmful effects of drugs and
                       alcohol and learn skills to develop and implement drug education pro-
                       grams tailored to their school’s needs. This may include assessing the
                       nature and extent of their school’s substance abuse problem, deter-
                       mining the kinds of curricula and other programs that would best
                       address student needs in their school, developing or purchasing appro-
                       priate programs, and providing leadership and direction in imple-
                       menting them.

                       The Cleveland school district used school team training as the primary
                       approach at the junior and senior high school levels. The Los Angeles
                       school district used it as a stepping-stone to provide initial substance
                       abuse training for school staff. Once they learned to work as a team,
                       school personnel could receive additional training in how to conduct stu-
                       dent assistance groups.




                       Page 15                                       GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
                      Appendix II
                      Drug Education Programs      and Activities     in
                      Six Urban School Districts




                      Four of the districts we visited (Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, and
Classroom Curricula   District of Columbia) used part or all of their Drug-Free Schools funds to
and Materials         purchase materials and training for curricula and other classroom
                      materials. The approaches taken by classroom curricula on drugs and
                      alcohol abuse vary widely as do the kinds of lessons used to provide
                      classroom instruction.

                      In Cleveland, the district used some of its Drug-Free Schools funds to
                      purchase Children Are People, a commercially developed chemical abuse
                      prevention program for kindergarten through fifth grade. Over a period
                      of 3 weeks each year, this program directly addresses drug and alcohol
                      abuse in 6 of 30 lessons. Class periods range from 46 to 60 minutes. In
                      the remaining 25 lessons, such topics as self-image, decision-making, and
                      family dynamics are covered.

                      The Detroit school district used all of its Drug-Free Schools funds to buy
                      the Michigan Model, a state-developed, comprehensive, health education
                      program for grades one-eight and train teachers in its use. This program
                      devotes 1 of its 10 major segments to instruction on substance use and
                      abuse over a 2-week period each year. Other segments include safety
                      and first aid, nutrition, personal health practices, and growth and
                      development.

                      A portion of the Los Angeles school district’s Drug-Free Schools funds
                      went to purchase Second Step, a commercially developed violence pre-
                      vention curriculum for the elementary school level. The program does
                      not specifically mention drugs or alcohol, but covers empathy training,
                      impulse control, and anger management. This violence prevention cur-
                      riculum was chosen largely for its strong emphasis on decision-making
                      and problem-solving and because it complements the educational strate-
                      gies used in other district drug prevention programs, a district official
                      told us. A Department of Education official believed this to be an inap-
                      propriate use of federal drug education funds. Program officials told us
                      that the Department has referred this matter for resolution to its Office
                      of General Counsel.

                      The District of Columbia spent part of its Drug-Free Schools funds to
                      purchase classroom materials such as pamphlets and video tapes on
                      drugs and alcohol for all grade levels. The materials supplemented drug
                      education provided through nonfederal funds.




                      Page 16                                       GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Baaed   Drug Education
                         Appendix II
                         Drug Education Program@ and Activities     in
                         Six Urban School Districts




                         While districts have made progress in implementing Drug-Free Schools
Not All Schools or       programs during the 3 school years that funds have been available to
Students in a District   them, most district programs have not reached all students the pro-
Reached                  grams were set up to serve. In some cases, programs were not imple-
                         mented in all schools or in all classrooms within schools. Sometimes, one
                         or more grade levels for which the program was intended were not cov-
                         ered districtwide. In five of the six districts (Cleveland, Dade County,
                         Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.) we reviewed, program
                         implementation and student coverage had not yet met district goals for
                         the programs.

                         These gaps in coverage occur for two primary reasons, according to dis-
                         trict officials:

                         1. The Drug-Free Schools program is relatively new, and some school
                         districts have not had time to fully implement their programs.

                         2. Many curricular programs require specialized training for teachers.
                         This training is often voluntary and provided outside the regular school
                         day, making it difficult to obtain enough volunteers.

                         The Detroit school district exemplifies these gaps in coverage. Its goal is
                         to provide the Michigan Model to all students in kindergarten through
                         the eighth grade. But due to a lack of trained teachers, its implementa-
                         tion in school year 1989-90 was limited to kindergarten through the
                         eighth grade in about half of the district’s schools. At the three Detroit
                         middle schools we visited, students in only one grade received drug edu-
                         cation because only the teachers in that grade had been trained. Detroit
                         reported that, overall, only 20,254 (11 percent) of its 176,861 students
                         received instruction in the Michigan Model.

                         In Cleveland, the school district had 549 teachers trained in the Children
                         Are People curriculum program, enough to cover fewer than half
                         (17,370 students) of the district’s 37,070 kindergarten through fifth-
                         grade students.

                         Officials from the Dade County (Miami) school district told us the dis-
                         trict intends to implement, but has not yet begun, a student assistance
                         program in 13 of its 24 high schools. Similarly, the Los Angeles district
                         had reached only the first through third grades with its elementary-
                         level curriculum package. It planned to add the fourth through sixth
                         grades as soon as an ongoing pilot test was completed.



                         Page 17                                  GAO/HRL)-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
                        AppendixIl
                        Drug Education Programs      and Activities     in
                        Six Urban School Districts




                        Besides the Drug-Free School programs, the six school districts con-
Nonfederal Funds        ducted various other drug education programs with funds from
Also Used for Drug      nonfederal sources. Typically, classroom instruction programs were pro-
Education               vided at various grade levels and varied from school district to school
                        district. They included commercially developed, district-developed, and
                        state-developed programs. The programs included, for example, Drug
                        Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Self Management and Resistance
                        Training (SMART), and Beginning Alcohol and Addiction Basic Education
                        Studies (B.A.B.E.s.). Some programs were included in the health curric-
                        ulum; others were taught in science, home economics, and family life
                        education classes. Generally, the curricula covered a wide range of
                        topics, including self-awareness, communication, positive alternatives,
                        decision-making, and drug information.

                        Some districts also conducted such drug education activities as school
                        assemblies and visits by guest speakers. Other activities included “Just
                        Say No” clubs, special programs for athletes, and joint school-
                        community sponsored projects.


                        The following brief descriptions of drug education programs in the six
Brief Descriptions of   school districts we visited include both programs funded under the Drug
Drug Education          Free Schools and Communities Act and those funded through nonfederal
Programs                sources. For a compilation of the programs by grade level and district,
                        see table II. 2.


Student Assistance      After School and Summer Program for High Risk Youth-A counseling
Programs                program where students are provided with special learning activities
                        and taught communication skills, self-esteem, drug education, values,
                        and conflict resolution. Students are groomed to set positive examples
                        for the student body.

                        Children Are People Support Groups -Support                          groups for elementary
                        students who live in drug abuse environments.

                        Drug Free Schools Counselor Program-A counseling support system
                        addressing drug prevention and intervention. In addition to counseling
                        students, counselors refer students to drug treatment centers, conduct
                        workshops for parents and school faculties, make presentations to com-
                        munity groups, provide support for students returning from drug treat-
                        ment, and distribute drug education materials.



                        Page 18                                       GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
                       Drug Rducatlon   Prom      and Activltien     in
                       silturbanschoolDietrIcta




                       IMPJWTn-Mandatory       and voluntary support groups for students exper-
                       iencing negative consequences of chemical use, whether their own or
                       that of a close friend or family member.

                       On Site Prevention Program (pilot program)-A       program using social
                       workers/counselors, staff, and interns to work with high-risk elemen-
                       tary school children and their parents. It emphasizes substance abuse
                       prevention, gang deterrence, self-esteem/social skills enhancement, and
                       individual and family crisis intervention and follow-up.

                       TRUST-A   junior high and high school program that focuses on interven-
                       tion with students at risk for drug abuse. TRUST specialists counsel indi-
                       vidual students and their families and run intervention and prevention
                       counseling groups.


School Team Training   -IMPACT I-Formal  training of a core team (teachers, administrators,
Programs               nurses, and counselors) in chemical use and abuse concepts. These
                       include signs and symptoms, denial, family dynamics, intervention pro-
                       cess, dynamics of personal and family recovery, and school policies and
                       procedures. Training prepares the core team to develop a prevention
                       and intervention program in the school and community.

                       On Tasc-A program that trains school-based teams to analyze the
                       school and/or community and design new drug and alcohol prevention
                       or intervention programs or to modify those already in place.

                       School Prevention/Intervention   Coordinators-Leadership   and school
                       team training provided to school/community teams by school coordina-
                       tors. They also assist teams in conducting needs assessments and action
                       plans for drug education and prevention programs.


Classroom Curriculum   Beginning Alcohol and Addiction Basic Education Studies (B.A.B.E.s.)-
Programs               Seven l-hour lessons that help children develop positive living skills
                       while giving them accurate, nonjudgmental information on the use and
                       abuse of drugs and alcohol.

                       Children Are People (cAP)-Fifteen self-contained lessons per grade
                       level (kindergarten-fifth) introduced within the classroom. The program
                       introduces concepts and/or learning experiences designed to assist stu-
                       dents in gaining an understanding of the physiological,.psychological,
                       and social implications of chemical abuse.


                       Page 19                                     GAO/HRD4J1-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Appendix II
Drug Education Programs      and Activities    in
Six Urban School Districts




Choices-A ninth-grade, classroom-based program taught weekly for 9
weeks. It provides factual information about drugs and helps students
analyze life alternatives,

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)-A 17-week curriculum taught
by uniformed police officers. It aims to equip youth with the skills to
resist peer pressure to experiment with and use harmful drugs.

Drug-Free Tomorrows- A Houston-developed curriculum consisting of
23 lessons to be used by teachers and/or counselors and 6 lessons by
police officers to use in schools, The program objectives include equip-
ping students with social competencies for coping with interpersonal
and intrapersonal pressures to begin using drugs, enhancing students’
self-awareness and self-esteem, and increasing students’ knowledge of
the harmful consequences of chemical use.

Drugs, Decisions, and Dilemmas- A curriculum that includes the fol-
lowing prevention strategies: developing a positive classroom climate,
teaching communication skills, teaching peer refusal skills, providing
accurate drug information, investigating alternatives, and teaching
about chemical dependence and its effects on young people.

Here’s Looking at You 2000-A curriculum that aims to reduce risk fac-
tors leading to substance abuse by providing information, fostering
development of social skills, and encouraging the bonding of school and
family, while promoting a clear “no use” message. The information com-
ponent focuses on “gateway drugs” (nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana)
and the social skills component on making friends and staying out of
trouble.

McGruff-A     program presented to students once a week for 32 weeks.
The lessons cover drug prevention and a child protection program that
teaches children to say “no” to abusers, “no” to crime, and “no” to
drugs, and how to protect themselves.

Me-ology-Seventeen hours of classroom instruction provided to sixth-
grade students with the goal of preventing health problems, Students
are taught to reject peer pressure and practice choosing actions that con-
form to personal beliefs after considering alternative choices.

Ombudsman-A 30-hour, semester-long course containing phases in
self-awareness, life skills, and class activities and projects. The program



Page 20                                       GAO/HBD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Appendix II
Drug Education Programs      and Activities    in
SIX Urban School Districts




enhances self-esteem and teaches social skills such as communication,
problem-solving, decision-making, and refusal skills.

Peer Approach to Counseling for Teens (PACT)-Classroom-based pro-
gram that focuses on giving students strong doses of self-esteem and
techniques for asserting themselves so they will %ay no” to destructive
behaviors. Sessions are designed to impact the alcohol/drug problem.

Project Charlie-A program presented to students once a week for the
full academic year. It is based on concepts of building self-esteem,
teaching social competencies, and discouraging use of drugs, and aims to
establish a partnership between school and family to teach children
vital living skills.

QUEST-TWO      programs: Skills for Growing, for children in kindergarten-
fifth grade, and Skills for Adolescence, for grades six-eight. Both pro-
grams teach resistance to negative peer pressure, self-confidence, goal-
setting, decision-making, strengthening family relationships, and com-
munication skills.

Second Step-Elementary     school program designed to teach social skills,
build self-esteem, and reduce impulsive behavior. The three basic units
are empathy, impulse control, and anger management.

Self Management and Resistance Training (SMART)-A 12-week program
taught by a police officer and a classroom teacher. Similar to DARE,
SMART equips children with the skills to resist peer pressure.

Social Taught Awareness and Resistance (STAR)-A 13-lesson sequence
that encourages students to think about the consequences of drug use
and teaches methods to resist peer pressure to begin using drugs.

Substance Abuse Prevention Activities-A      collection of classroom activ-
ities to use in making children aware of the dangers of substance abuse
early enough in life that growth and development are not hindered.

Teenage Health Teaching Modules -A lOth-grade health curriculum
consisting of 10 modules, including one on smoking, drinking, and drugs.
Other modules address topics such as violence prevention, handling
stress, and preventing AIDS.




Page 21                                       GAO/HlW91-27   Impact of School-Baaed   Drug Education
Appendix II
Drug Education Programa      and Activities      in
Six Urban School Districts




TRUST-h      elementary school program that addresses topics such as the
effects of drugs, children of chemical dependent adults, self-awareness,
decision-making, and positive alternatives.

The Michigan Model-A comprehensive school health program that is
broken into the following 10 basic topics: disease prevention, personal
health practices, nutrition education, growth anddevelopment, family
health, emotional and mental health, substance use and abuse, consumer
health, safety and first aid education, and community health.

You-nique-A    health education program designed for children in kin-
dergarten through the fifth grade. The program consists of lessons pro-
moting a good self-concept, developing decision-making skills, and
fostering awareness of substance abuse.




Page 22                                       GAO/HRD91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education



                             “I:              ,,:,
                                                   Ihtq Educdon    Programa      and Actlvitlee     ln
                                                   Six Urban School Districts




Table 11.2:School-Based Drua Education Proaramo In Six School Districts Reviewed (School Year 1988-89)
                                                                          Program; by location
T%%’
-.----..~-~-progrsm’ Cleveland                        Dade County Detroit           Houston          Los Angeles                      DC.
Student
---I-.-. arsirtance
                ------.
   Elementary                 Children Are            -           -                 Drug Free        On Site                         At;;;pl         and
                                 People (CAP)                                          Schools (DFS)   Prevention
                                                                                       counselor       (pilot program)                 Pro ram for
                                                                                       prooram
                                                                                       . -                                             At- wtsk Youth
.--.-.-.--_-.~___.----                                                                                                                 (ASSP)
   Junior high                -                       TRUST       -                 DFS counselor    Impact II                       ASSP
       _-...__ “I- -.......” _. ..--.-_“-..- --..- --                                  program
   Senior high                -                       TRUST                         DFS counselor    Impact II                        ASSP
.-.~---.---____~.                                                                      program
School team tratnlna
   Elementary                 On Tart --..--          -                             -                -                                -
 11-   --- ..-.---. - .--._...--
   Junior high                On Tasc                 -                                              Impact I                         School
                                                                                                                                        Prevention/
                                                                                                                                        Intervention
__-.-..._- ._..-.
               - ___._
                    -...~ ...- -__--...___.-                                                                                            Coordinators
Senior hiah              On Tasc             -                      -                     -                      Impact I             -
Clasrroom       currtculum
~-..--.--. -..-I--__- .-._-...--------
Elementary               CAP0                TRUSTd                 Michigan Model*       Health classes         epyd       Step0
                         Me-olouvO           DARE0              Health classes            DARE0
                     Health dkses                                B.A.B.E.S.C              He;;S;;;;ing     at    SMART0               OmbudsmanC
                     Beginnin                                    DARE0                                 c
                       Alcoho B and                              QUESTc                   McGruffC
                       Addiction                                                          Me-ologyc
                       Basic                                                              Project CharlieC
                       Education                                                          Substance Abuse
                       Studies                                                              Prevention
                       (BA,B.E.S.)”                                                         ActivitiesC
                     Drug Abuse                                                           You-NiqueC
                       Resistance
                       Education
                       (DARE)O
Junior high                 Peer Approach to Science classes        Mtchtgan Model8 Health and                   Health classes      Health and related
                               Counrelln for                        Health classes          science classes      DAFtEd                classes
                               Teens (PA8 T)O                       QUESTC                Drug-Free                                  STAR0
                            Health classes                                                  Tomorrowsd                               QUESTC
-._-_.”-.-. - _-__..--.....---
Senior high                                Health classes        Teenage Health           Health classes         Health classes      Health, science,
                     %:ceaO0                                                              Drug-Free              DAREd                 and related
                                                                   gt;$;f
                     Health classes                                                         Tomorrowsd                                 classes
                                                                    Health classes                                                   QUESTC
                                                                    Drug Decisions
                                                                      and DilemmasC
                                                   Note: Bolded entries indicate programs funded by the Drug-Free Schools Program
                                                   CCommerciallydeveloped.
                                                   dDistrict-developed.
                                                   %tate-developed.
                                                   ‘Other source.




                                                   Page 23                                        GAO/HRDBl-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Appendix III                                                                                I

Drug Education Program Evaluations                                                                   ’


                      The 1989 amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act
                      require evaluation of the effectiveness of state and local drug education
                      and prevention programs. To help the state and local education agencies
                      determine what works in drug education, the Department has planned
                      two studies to identify effective drug education programs. It also is
                      developing guidance for states and districts to use in conducting effec-
                      tiveness evaluations. At the school districts we visited, drug education
                      evaluations to date have focused on how programs were implemented or
                      the extent to which students’ knowledge and attitudes about drugs
                      changed,


                      Evaluation requirements for states and localities were changed in the
Evaluation            1989 amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
Requirements          States, as part of their mandated biennial report to the Department of
Changed by 1989 Law   Education, must include “an evaluation of the effectiveness of State and
                      local drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention programs.” Pre-
                      viously, the law required states only to describe any programs that may
                      have been effective.

                      Also, districts must sub&it to the state education agencies annual
                      reports that include the methods used to evaluate program effectiveness
                      and the results of such evaluations. Previously, districts were required
                      only to submit a progress report on their first 2 years of program imple-
                      mentation, including significant accomplishments and the extent to
                      which the program’s objectives were met.


                       While these changes strengthen the evaluation requirements, they stop
District Plans for     short of specifying how states and school districts should measure pro-
Evaluations            gram effectiveness. To help states and localities comply with the new
Unchanged              evaluation requirements, the Department is developing a handbook to
                       assist them in designing and conducting program effectiveness evalua-
                       tions. The draft of the guidebook outline suggests several options for
                       measuring effectiveness. These range from tracking participant charac-
                      teristics and program activities to conducting controlled impact studies
                       to measure behavioral change. According to the Department of Educa-
                       tion, measuring reduction in drug use as a result of the program will be
                       extremely difficult and costly for the states and districts. States are
                       likely to measure reduced student drug use through readily available
                       data on indicators of use, such as the number of drug-related arrests,
                       referrals, or school suspensions, a Department official said.



                      Page 24                       GAO/HRD91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
                         API’@* U.I
                         Drug E~UCMIORI Progrnm Evaluation




                         The state and local education agencies included in our review generally
                         plan to continue to use the same data as in the past to evaluate their
                         programs, agency representatives told us. These data include the
                         number of students involved in the program and students’ and teachers’
                         opinions about program success.


                         In its effort to evaluate drug education programs, the Department of
Effective Programs       Education has one study underway and another planned to identify
Studied                  effective programs. In September 1989, the Department awarded a 30-
                         month, $1 million contract to gather and disseminate information on
                         programs that the Department identified as successful. The Department
                         defined successful programs as those that included such factors as a
                         needs assessment, school drug policy, staff development, a drug preven-
                         tion curriculum with a no-use message, and student, parent, and commu-
                         nity involvement.

                         However, the successful programs may not have available the informa-
                         tion needed to measure program effectiveness in reducing substance
                         abuse. For example, some school programs in the study may lack ran-
                         domly assigned control and treatment groups. This makes it more diffi-
                         cult to reach conclusions about whether changes in behavior were
                         caused by the program. Also, if schools have not already collected base-
                         line data on student drug use, it will be difficult for any program to
                         show definitively the relationship between prevention programs and
                         outcomes. At the time of our review, the study design was incomplete.

                         In September 1990, the Department also began a $2.9 million longitu-
                         dinal study of the extent to which school and community programs have
                         been effective in reducing or preventing alcohol and drug use by school-
                         aged youth. The results of this effort will not be available until late 1995
                         at the earliest.


                         Of the six school districts we visited, four had conducted evaluations.
Programs Evaluated in    Two used independent contractors to perform them, and two used their
Four Districts Visited   internal research groups. These evaluations were limited to determining
                         whether the programs were implemented according to local plans. For
                         example, Dade County’s evaluation for the 1988-89 school year focused
           Y             on whether program objectives were met and participant attitudes
                         toward the program. To show that the program met its goals, the evalu-
                         ation report cited several factors:



                         Page 26                             GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
  Appendix Ill
  Drug Education   Program   Evaluatious




. Statistics, such as the numbers of students included in classroom and
  counseling programs and referred to community treatment resources,
  and the number of drug-related workshops school personnel attended,
  and
* Favorable program perceptions of students, teachers, counselors, and
  principals.

  The other three districts’ evaluations were similar.




  Page 26                                  GAO/HRD91-27   Impact of School-Based   Drug Education
Shdent Views on Effectivenessof Drug
l3ducationPrograms

                 Nearly all of the 284 students (sixth- through ninth-graders) who partic-
                 ipated in focus groups at the 18 schools we visited considered their drug
                 education programs useful. Without the programs, they said, more stu-
                 dents would be using and selling drugs. Our focus groups explored stu-
                 dent perceptions of two types of programs: drug counseling for students
                 who are especially at risk for substance abuse and classroom drug edu-
                 cation targeted to all students.

                 The main reasons students gave as to why drug counseling programs
                 work were as follows:

             l Counseling group leaders are credible, caring adults who share informa-
               tion about drug and alcohol use based on their own experience with
               drug users.
             l Information shared in group discussions and individual meetings with
               the counselor is confidential.
             l Peer support is provided by the group, and students have the opportu-
               nity to make friends who are non-drug users.
             . Techniques for resisting peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol are
               provided.
             l Students have someone to talk to, which is especially important for stu-
               dents whose parents are alcoholics or drug users.

                 In general, students viewed their drug counseling and other school drug
                 education programs as effective if the programs provided credible infor-
                 mation about the consequences of using drugs and alcohol. While
                 making a number of positive comments, students also cited limitations
                 on program effectiveness, including these:

             l   Not all students want to stop using drugs, so they ignore help offered by
                 the programs.
             l   Some students are addicted and require more intensive treatment to
                 stop.
             l   Peer pressure and easy substance availability make drugs and alcohol
                 hard to resist.
             l   In Detroit, drug selling is more prevalent than trying or using drugs, stu-
                 dents there said. Students considered lack of coverage of the negative
                 aspects of drug selling in Detroit’s program an especially important limi-
                 tation. This limitation was noted in the other districts as well.
             l   Students (in Washington, D.C.) have access to a variety of pamphlets
                 purchased with Drug-Free Schools funds. Yet, students said that they
                 generally do not read them because no new or interesting information is
                 presented.


                 Page 27                       GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Bawd   Drug Education
                                                                                     .
Appendix IV                                                                                   0,
Student Views on Effectiveness    of Drug
Education Programs




In Los Angeles, where student discussion groups may be conducted by
teachers (rather than trained counselors), students voiced concerns
about discussing in the classroom personal information on drugs and
alcohol with someone responsible for grading and disciplining them.
They also were concerned that teachers would not maintain confidenti-
ality, while students did not seem to have this concern about counselors
who were not also teachers.

Students offered suggestions on ways in which both drug counseling and
drug education programs could be improved:

Increase the number of drug counselors, but make sure they are cred-
ible, supportive, and trustworthy.
Increase the number of after-school social activities to give students
alternatives to the temptation of drugs.
Use more guest speakers who have firsthand knowledge of the effects of
substance abuse, including police officers and doctors.
Increase parent involvement in the schools’ drug education efforts.
Use scare tactics as an effective means to demonstrate what can happen
if you use drugs-l
Provide drug education more frequently, such as “every 2 weeks” or
“every day for 5 minutes.”




‘Research has generally shown that scare tactics are not effective in reducing student drug use.



Page 28                                     GAO/BRD91-27   Impact of School-Based    Drug Education
Appendix V,

M&or Contributors to This Report


                          Fred E. Yohey, Jr., Assistant Director, (202) 401-8623
Human Resources           Deborah R. Eisenberg, Assignment Manager
Division,                 Edward C. Shepherd IV, Evaluator
Washington, DC.

                          C. Robert Coughenour, Evaluator-in-Charge
Detroit Regional Office   Bascum E. Gillespie, Site Senior
                          Kelly M. Smith, Evaluator
                          Gregory A. Kalin, Evaluator




(104063)                  Page 29                       GAO/HRD-91-27   Impact of School-Baaed   Drug Education
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