Can Early Intervention Prevent High School Dropout? Evidence from the Chicago Child-Parent Centers
J. A. Temple
A. J. Reynolds
W. T. Miedel
We investigate the effects of participation in the Chicago Child-Parent Center and Expansion Program from ages 3 to 9 on early school dropout at age 17. The Child-Parent Centers offer a government-funded educational intervention program in preschool through second or third grade in 20 locations in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. Using data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study, we address two major questions: (1) Is participation in the Child-Parent Centers program associated with a lower rate of high school dropout at age 17? (2) Which nonintervention variables predict high school dropout? After comparing children in 20 intervention sites with similar children who attended schools in similarly poor neighborhoods in which the intervention program was not offered, we find that participation in the intervention offered by the Child-Parent Centers is associated with a 7 or 8 percentage point reduction in the probability of dropout. Our findings also indicate that parental involvement in schooling and avoidance of frequent school mobility are important predictors of high school completion.
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