USOE Booklets Describe Compensatory Education

Twenty compensatory education projects identified by researchers as having "produced significant achievement" among educationally deprived children are described in detail in a series of 20 booklets issued by the U.S. Office of Education.

"The projects are representative of the diverse array of compensatory education programs across the Nation," said John F. Hughes, director of OE's Division of Compensatory Education.

"We hope local school districts will request these booklets and replicate the projects," he added, "The project descriptions include evaluation and other backup information."

The series, entitled It Works, includes six booklets on preschool projects, nine on elementary school programs, three for junior and senior right school programs, and two on projects spanning kindergarten through 12th grade.

Each project was identified through a rigid screening process by the American Institute for Research and Behavioral Sciences (AIR), Palo Alto, Calif., under contract to the Office of Education and in consultation with the National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children.

The programs described in the AIR report represent a sampling of the successful compensatory education programs across the Nation. An estimated 20,000 compensatory education programs are operated under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, in addition to those funded by other sources.

The AIR researchers originally identified 1,000 compensatory education programs form all parts of the country, collected details of 400, and visited 98 from which the final selections were made.

Only compensatory programs whose directors had measured achievement through standardized tests were included in the AIR study. Burt an improvement in achievement scores was not sufficient to identify a successful program. The gain had to exceed that made by a control group over the same time period or to exceed national norms.

In addition, the term "successful" was applied only to programs that produced pupil gains in language or numerical skills. If, for example, a program succeeded in improving pupil attitudes but failed in academics during the observation period, it was considered to be unsuccessful.

Language skills in this study included reading, speaking fluency and word recognition; number skills meant arithmetic and in some cases, also mathematics.

The booklets that describe the 20 "successful" projects vary in length from 7 to 33 pages. They may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.