Benefits and Costs of Dropout Prevention in a High School Program Combining Academic and Vocational Education

Third-Year Results from Replications of the California Peninsula Academies
David Stern
University of California, Berkeley
Charles Dayton
University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education
Il-Woo Paik
Yonsei University
Alan Weisberg
University of California, Berkeley


This paper reports 1987–88 results from an evaluation of 11 academy programs in California high schools. Academies are schools within schools, combining academic and vocational courses in a program designed to reduce dropout rates. The evaluation used a matched comparison group for each cohort of academy students at each site. Results for in-school outcomes were generally positive. Focusing on one grade-level cohort for which graduation rates are available, the number of dropouts saved was estimated, along with the costs and economic benefits to society. The estimated net benefit from dropout prevention among this cohort of 327 students is between $1.0 and $1.3 million.

This article was originally published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis by the Educational Research Association and SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationStern, D., Dayton, C., Paik, I., & Weisberg, A. (1989, December). Benefits and costs of dropout prevention in a high school program combining academic and vocational education: Third-Year results from replications of the California Peninsula Academies [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.