Title page for ETD etd-05132010-153412
|Type of Document
||Prior, Nicole M.
||Alternative Education and Juvenile Delinquency
||Doctor of Philosophy
||Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of
- Alternative Education
|Date of Defense
The purpose of this mixed methods longitudinal study was to explore the connection between the quality of alternative education and juvenile delinquency. The study examined two alternative education disciplinary schools in the state of Florida over six academic years. The study’s goals were twofold. The first goal was to determine the impact of the implementation of quality assurance (QA) in alternative education disciplinary schools. Specifically, the study focused on determining if the QA program increased the schools’ use of best practices and, as a result, positively affected the likelihood that exiting students would return to mainstream public education after exiting an alternative education school. Study findings suggest that full implementation of the QA program increased students’ likelihood of returning to their home schools after being released from the alternative education disciplinary school. Furthermore, the quantitative results indicate that the implementation of QA at an alternative education school does not increase students’ attendance in their home schools after their return.
The second goal of this study was to determine if a high quality alternative education school would improve students’ positive school experiences, thus increasing their social capital and resulting in a reduction of crime as measured by a decrease in the possibility that a student would be arrested within 12 months after being released from the alternative education school. The quantitative results indicate that partial QA implementation decreased the likelihood that students would be arrested within twelve months after exiting an alternative education disciplinary school, but full and post QA implementation did not. Overall, the findings suggest that QA does not significantly impact the likelihood of an arrest within twelve months after a student exits from an alternative education school.
The study concludes with discussion of the problem of youth returning to but not remaining in their regular school because of poor regular school experiences versus positive alternative education school experiences. The policy recommendations based on the results of this study are that students at alternative education schools be allowed to remain in these schools until their graduation from high school.
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