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U.S. Dept. of Education's Principles of Effectiveness for Anti-Drug Education Modified to Include DARE


July-August 1998

The U.S. Department of Education issued Principles of Effectiveness to give local communities guidelines for allocating their money to "effective" anti-drug programs. The principles, required by a provision of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act, are designed to "improve the quality of drug and violence prevention programming implemented with SDFSCA funds." The Act provides for grants to state and local governments for drug use prevention programs (Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, "Principles of Effectiveness," Federal Register, June 1, 1998, Vol. 63, No. 104, pp. 29901-29906; Gayle Reaves, "Some anti-drug efforts called ineffective," Dallas Morning News, July 22, 1998, p. A1).

The third principle originally proposed stated, "A grant recipient shall design and implement its activities based on research or evaluation that provides evidence that the strategies used prevent or reduce drug use, violence, or disruptive behavior." (emphasis added) Numerous evaluations of D.A.R.E. have found that it does not "prevent or reduce drug use" (see "The Debate Over D.A.R.E.," NewsBriefs, May-June 1997). The language was changed from "based on research or evaluation" to "programs that show promise of being effective." Asked if the principle was broadened to accommodate the D.A.R.E. program, William Modzeleski from the Department of Education told NewsBriefs that D.A.R.E. is one of many programs that was considered. Modzeleski said that the wording was changed so that each of these programs could be implemented and evaluated locally before it was determined whether or not they worked.

William Modzeleski, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Room 604, The Portals, Washington, DC 20202-6123, Tel: (202) 260-3954, E-mail: <>. The DOEd's Principles of Effectiveness can be found at: <> or <>.

"Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program," is in the Federal Register online at: <>.