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This study was conducted to address: (1) the identification of at risk students; (2) the provision of help appropriate to their needs; and (3) discovery of ways to increase those students' probability of succeeding in school and in life. The study analyzed data generated through the Phi Delta Kappa Study of Students at Risk that involved 22,018 students enrolled in 276 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. Surveys were gathered from 276 principals and 9,652 teachers. A literature review examines general efforts including ability grouping, promotion/retention, reduction in class size, and pull-out programs, as well as specific elementary, secondary, and successful individual programs. Data were collected through survey and interview techniques, and variables (school description, and school personnel attitudes) were compared. Results show that the perceptions of educators dealing with at risk students varied, and the variation was not necessarily associated with the particular school situation in which they worked. Preferred strategies such as removing at risk students to another class are no longer supported as effective tools for increasing the achievement. Thirteen appendices consisting mainly of statistical results of the study.


Russell, J., Lickteig, M. & Grandgenett, N.F. (1992). The relationships between school personnel attitudes about at-risk students, at-riskness of the student population and effort expended for at-risk students. Formal Research Abstract for: Phi Delta Kappa.

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