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applications were used to capture information about the number of students each school trained monthly, whether the school had multiple training sites, the location of the school administration office and each training site, the classroom capacity at each site, and days and times that the classrooms were available for the department to use to conduct exit examinations. The applications were due by the end of April 2000.

Initial Sample of Schools

The selection of provider schools was based on the following criteria: (a) their willingness to participate in the study and comply with all regulations, (b) their having taught a classroom-based driver education course in California, (c) their being in good standing with the department’s Occupational Licensing Program, (d) the estimated number of students under age 18 they trained monthly, and (e) the geographic location of the school in California. Provider schools were not considered at all for inclusion in the study if they failed to meet any of the first three criteria.

It was intended to choose schools that widely represented the geographical regions of California. Therefore, the applications were clustered into regions of the state (using the eight California DMV field office regions) and rank-ordered within each region from the highest to lowest number of students under age 18 trained by the school monthly. The initial list of candidate schools consisted of the top three volume schools in each region that trained at least 30 students per month. Because field office Regions I and VII had only two schools meeting these initial criteria, and Region V had only one such school, the initial pool of selected schools was 20. The 20 selected provider schools were sent study agreement contracts and trained in-person in the written study procedures.

Changes to the Sample of Schools over the Course of the Study

The ranked nonselected eligible candidate schools in each region were used as alternates. During the study, four of the initial 20 schools opted to no longer participate in the study and were replaced by the next-best alternate within the field office region. In June 2002, 10 additional schools were selected from the alternates list to bring the total number of participating schools to 30. This was done in an attempt to increase the volume of students participating in the program.

Administration and Description of Instruction Methods

The content of all four courses was based on a standardized driver education curriculum created by subject matter experts from the California DMV and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. It was necessary that all courses covered the same basic information to ensure that the questions on the exit exam and written tests administered to all study students upon completion of their driver education courses would fairly represent the material taught across all four courses. The standardized curriculum was divided into 10 different chapters, each presenting all of the content material for that subject area in a lecture-ready format. The curriculum also


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