After School Program Problem Statement

Example 5.1

Sunnyvale School District

Sunnyvale School District faces problems similar to many rural school districts across the nation. In summary, the problems are low academic achievement, high dropout rate (low graduation rate), low self-esteem, increasing incidents of violence, increasing use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, few chances for organized recreation, and insufficient positive parental involvement in education.

On the state-mandated Academic Achievement Assessment (AAA) in both language arts and mathematics, district middle school students score in the lowest quartile of state school districts. In language arts, the district's middle school students placed 61st out of 64 districts. In mathematics, the district's middle school students placed 55th.

On the California Achievement Test (CAT), district middle school students performed below both state and national averages. Scores are shown in the following table.

The dropout rate for our state is among the highest in the nation. Our school district's dropout rate is 21st out of 64 districts, making our dropout rate one of the highest in the country.

Low self-esteem manifests itself, for our purposes, in the belief that things will always be the way they have been, that the student's life will be the same as their parents' life. Students from homes in which the adults did not graduate from high school tend to be resigned to the same fate. Students who come from homes in which the adults either do not work at all, or work at manual or menial labor, tend to the same future (Walker and Jones, "Influence of Home Factors on School and Work," Education USA, June, 1999).

For incidents of violence, the district's rate is low when compared to large urban areas. When compared to similar rural areas, however, the district's rate of violent incidents is above average (U.S. Census, 2000). More troubling is that the rate has been on the increase for five straight years (County Juvenile Court Summary Report: 2001).

Language Arts

Mathematics

National Average State Average District Average

108.5 104.2 102.1

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