Fast Track is a comprehensive intervention program designed to reduce conduct problems and promote academic, behavioral, and social improvement. Prior to first grade, students are identified as being at risk for long-term antisocial behavior through teacher and parent reports of conduct problems. Delivery of the program begins in the first grade and continues through tenth grade. After the first year, the frequency of the supports is reduced based on the assessed functioning of the students and their families.
Fast Track consists of seven integrated intervention components: the Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum, parent groups, parent–child sharing time, child social skills training groups, home visiting, child peer-pairing, and academic tutoring. These components take place during the school day, during 2-hour long extracurricular enrichment programs involving both parents and children, and in the home.
Fast Track was found to have potentially positive effects on emotional/internal behavior, reading achievement/literacy, external behavior, and social outcomes for children classified as having an emotional disturbance (or children at risk for classification).
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified one study of Fast Track that both falls within the scope of the Children Classified as Having an Emotional Disturbance topic area and meets WWC group design standards. This study meets standards without reservations. This study included 891 students who were identified in kindergarten as being behaviorally disruptive and at high risk for long-term antisocial behavior in 54 schools in four locations.
The WWC considers the extent of evidence for Fast Track on the behavior and achievement outcomes for children classified as having an emotional disturbance (or children at risk for classification) to be small for four outcome domains—emotional/internal behavior, reading achievement/literacy, external behavior, and social outcomes. There were no studies that meet standards in the three other domains, so this intervention report does not report on the effectiveness of Fast Track for those domains.