Drug Education:

Limited Progress in Program Evaluation

T-PEMD-93-2: Published: Mar 31, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1993.

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GAO discussed drug education program evaluation, focusing on: (1) the Department of Education's grants to states and local school districts under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1986; (2) the Drug-Free School Recognition Program; and (3) other comprehensive community-based programs. GAO noted that: (1) little progress has been made in determining how effective various programs and curricula reduce or prevent drug and alcohol use among students; (2) Education has not prepared guidance on state and local drug education project evaluation; (3) evaluations of successful programs have yielded no empirical results; (4) 7 out of 10 states have evaluated program effectiveness, but the evaluation methods were weak and produced little reliable information; (5) a fundamental barrier to better evaluations has been the allocation of funds based on proven program effectiveness; (6) Education did not require states to demonstrate program effectiveness under the school recognition program and provided little guidance for program evaluation; and (7) if Congress wants to know more about the effectiveness of drug education programs, it will need to set aside funds for national evaluations.

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