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 U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans - Link to ED.gov Home Page

Performance Highlights | Goal 3:
Develop safe and drug-free schools

This pie chart shows the amount of FY 2005 expenditures that support Goal 3, and the amount that supports all other goals. 1.2 percent of expenditures support Goal 3, and 98.8 percent of expenditures support all other goals.

To meet the universal student achievement goals of No Child Left Behind, schools must be safe and drug free. Without a safe and orderly learning environment, teachers cannot teach, and students have difficulty learning. Given the myriad causes of violence and drug prevalence in schools, educators must consider policies and approaches to ensure a supportive learning environment for every student. The Department administers programs that provide financial help and information to states, districts, and schools for implementing effective programs and strategies for the prevention of substance abuse and violence.

Key Results for Goal 3

  • Recent data from two ongoing comprehensive surveys, the Youth Risk Surveillance System and Monitoring the Future, show overall decreases in reported marijuana use despite little change in the reported availability of the drug. The Monitoring the Future survey also reported increased perceived drug use risk and disapproval among 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students from 2002 to 2004. See graph for disapproval of marijuana use.
  • Between 1993 and 2003, the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported being in a fight on school property declined from 16 percent to 13 percent.

Areas of Focus

Because drug use and violence in schools is often influenced by health-related behaviors and external societal risk factors, each school requires specific information to implement prevention programs that address the health and academic needs of students. The Department has made several long-term investments to provide detailed information on drug use and violence to inform the implementation of prevention programs.

  • Grantees under the Department's Grants to States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs are expanding their capacity to collect, analyze, and use youth drug use and violence data to improve the quality of drug and violence prevention programs administered in the grantee's state.
  • The Department's What Works Clearinghouse will conduct evidence-based reviews of violence prevention interventions in schools. Detailed information on the study topic, Interventions to Reduce Delinquent, Disorderly, and Violent Behavior in Middle and High Schools, is available on the What Works Clearinghouse Web site.