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Dropout Recovery Report_Cover_Arroyo_Research_ServicesWe were pleased to release the Arroyo Research Services Evaluation of the Texas Dropout Recovery Pilot Program: Cycles 1 and 2 in May 2011. Conducted from 2008 through 2011, the evaluation assisted the Texas Education Agency in examining the effects of the TDRPP pay for performance model that directly tied project payments to demonstrated student academic progress and program completion. Full results and program descriptions are included in the link below; summary results are presented in the Executive Summary. Key findings from the evaluation include:

– Grantees served 4,141 students, twice as many as projected.
– 1,283 students completed the program by earning a high school diploma or demonstrating college readiness.
– The average TDRPP graduate is expected to earn $246,348 more in his or her lifetime than a high school dropout.
– TDRPP is expected to save the state $95.3 million in current dollars after accounting for initial program expenditures.

The report presents evaluation findings for the Texas Dropout Recovery Pilot Program (TDRPP), focusing on implementation and outcomes achieved from August 28, 2008 through May 31, 2010. TDRPP was designed to provide students 25 years of age or younger who have dropped out of Texas public secondary schools the opportunity to continue their education and prepare for future work and education by completing their high school diploma or demonstrating college readiness. It was established based on a recommendation of the High School Completion and Success Initiative Council, funded by the Texas State Legislature, and supported by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Eligible applicants included local school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, institutions of higher education (IHEs), county departments of education, education service centers (ESCs), and nonprofit education organizations. Competitive grant awards were made to 45 of these education organizations throughout the state.

Among Texas Education Agency (TEA) initiatives, TDRPP was unique in its focus, goals, and funding structure. TDRPP focused on re-engaging students who have already dropped out of school, rather than on preventing students from leaving school. Instead of solely focusing on high school graduation, TDRPP also encouraged students who had dropped out of public school to pursue college enrollment. TDRPP grantees sought to assist students who had dropped out of public school either to earn a high school diploma or to demonstrate college readiness. College readiness is defined as earning a General Education Development (GED) certificate, in addition to meeting minimum passing standards on a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) approved instrument, and earning college credit in a core course or through advanced technical credit. The TDRPP funding structure was also unusual in that it included a pay-for-performance model that directly tied payments to demonstrated student academic progress and program completion. Grantees could use earned performance funds to bolster services, extend the program past the end date, or offer student incentives.

The pay for performance model, detailed program outcomes, and cost benefit analysis of the Texas Dropout Recovery Pilot Program are discussed in full in the Arroyo Research Services Evaluation of the Texas Dropout Recovery Pilot Program: Cycles 1 and 2.

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