In 1985 the Legislature passed a truly unique piece of legislation called the Senate Bill 65 Dropout Prevention and Recovery Act. For the first time in California, a legislative act supported the belief that the best dropout prevention efforts need to be directed at providing the earliest possible identification, the earliest possible intervention, and the greatest opportunities for success. One of the programs created by SB 65 is the School-Based Pupil Motivation and Maintenance (M&M) Program. The M&M program places dropout prevention specialists, called “outreach consultants,” in 300 California schools organized into 50 kindergarten-through-grade-twelve clusters in a four-school feeder pattern.
The underlying theme of this work and, for that matter, the M&M program is that when we care for students and take care of their needs, they will be free to reach ever-higher levels of academic performance. When dealing with students in at-risk situations, this program supports the belief that “the problem is the problem”; the student is not the problem.