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National Evaluation of the "I Have a Dream" Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2005
68 pages
This report outlines the problem statement and work plan of a proposed evaluation of the “I Have a Dream” (IHAD) program.
During 2003, the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance commissioned Abt Associates Inc. to determine whether an evaluation of the IHAD program was feasible. After determining that the cooperation and data existed to conduct a full-scale evaluation, Abt Associates recommended conducting an evaluation of 27 IHAD programs in 5 cities: Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland. The report presents an overview of the IHAD program, which provides support to an adopted class of students or age cohort from a housing project, including tutoring and mentoring support. Following a review of previous evaluations of IHAD and similar programs, the proposed research design for the IHAD program evaluation is presented and the three main research questions are outlined: (1) does IHAD help children remain in school longer than they otherwise would have; (2) does IHAD help children have better school and post-graduate experiences; and (3) does IHAD help children attend post-secondary school more frequently? The proposed research method involves a quasi-experimental design using a non-equivalent comparison group of children who did not participate in IHAD. Comparison groups will be similar age children from the same school as the IHAD group as well as from children from the same housing projects as IHAD participants. Data collection and analysis techniques are presented. The researchers propose using meta-analytic techniques to combine the effects from the multiple programs, allowing for a description of the average effect of all IHAD programs. Finally, the proposed work plan is outlined, including the data extraction plan and staffing and scheduling issues. Footnotes, bibliography, appendixes

Date Published: March 1, 2005