California

Interim Findings on Aid Like A Paycheck

June, 2017

This study examines whether an alternative approach to distributing financial aid — in biweekly payments instead of one or two lump sums — can improve outcomes for low-income community college students. After one semester, the policy reduced students’ debt and use of federal loans but showed little consistent evidence of academic effects.

Are School Districts Ready to Meet New Federal Goals?

March, 2017

This brief, which draws on data from a large survey of secondary school teachers and principals, discusses how existing evaluation and support systems could be better used to realize the vision of teacher improvement now included in federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

December, 2016

As the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States, the BIAS project demonstrated the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.

The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration

November, 2016

This demonstration is testing seven enhanced transitional jobs programs that offer temporary, subsidized jobs and comprehensive support to people recently released from prison and unemployed parents behind in child support payments.

A Randomized Controlled Trial

November, 2016

A randomized controlled trial conducted by REL West and MDRC finds that counseling and text-messaging “nudges” boosted the proportion of community college students who completed academic plans by 20 percentage points.

Which Improves Welfare Recipients’ Earnings More in the Long Term?

October, 2016

Findings after 10-15 years from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies suggest that while initially stressing job search for participants led to greater earnings in the short term than did initially stressing education and training, neither approach produced substantial effects past the five-year follow-up period.

August, 2016

Jobs-Plus – a “place-based,” workforce-development model proven to help public housing residents find employment – is about to be replicated across the country. This infographics depicts the program model,  its effects on earnings, and the history of its development over the past 20 years.

An Implementation Study of Children’s Institute, Inc.

August, 2016

Children’s Institute, Inc., combines clinical mental health and other supportive services to meet the holistic needs of children affected by trauma. This report describes the implementation of the service model and includes an in-depth fidelity study of its Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy services.

Interim Impact Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation of Diplomas Now

June, 2016

The Diplomas Now whole-school reform model, including targeted interventions for students at risk of dropping out, had an impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators related to attendance, behavior, or course performance, and had more encouraging results in middle schools than high schools.

Third Annual Report

April, 2016

MIHOPE-Strong Start is the largest random assignment study to date examining the effects of home visiting services on birth and health outcomes and health care use. This report describes a partial sample of 1,200 families, explores the priorities and practices of the study programs, and discusses program recruitment.

Using Behavioral Economics to Engage TANF Recipients

March, 2016

A low-cost, low-effort behavioral intervention in Los Angeles County modestly increased the percentage of TANF recipients who reengaged in the county’s welfare-to-work program within 30 days of their scheduled appointment. The test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Lessons from the Replication of the Center for Employment Opportunities

January, 2016

An earlier MDRC evaluation found that the original Center for Employment Opportunities transitional jobs program reduced the rates at which important subgroups of participants committed new crimes or were reincarcerated. The current evaluation finds that five new replication programs have implemented the model faithfully.

Incremental Delivery of Financial Aid to Promote College Success

December, 2015

This infographic explains MDRC’s large-scale test of whether an innovative approach to distributing financial aid – through bi-weekly payments, like a paycheck, instead of one or two lump-sum payments – can improve academic outcomes for low-income college students.

Final Report on the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

November, 2015

Performance-based scholarships are designed to give students more money for college and to provide incentives for academic progress. This report analyzes data from rigorous evaluations of six different programs, in six states, with more than 12,000 students. The scholarship programs improved academic progress, including modest effects on degree completion.

Lessons from Implementing a Rigorous Academic Program for At-Risk Young People

September, 2015

In Gateway to College, students who have dropped out of high school and who are at risk of dropping out simultaneously earn credits toward a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree. This report describes the program model and shares lessons learned from its implementation at three program sites.

Findings from a Brief Study of Alternative Staffing Organizations

July, 2015

Temporary agencies have become an increasingly important employer of low-skilled, low-wage workers. Alternative staffing organizations that use this model to serve disadvantaged workers (such as welfare recipients and people with disabilities) appear to fill a need, but they must build the capacity to run a viable, competitive business.

Teachers’ Voices on Professional Development

June, 2015

Through the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping school districts and networks redesign their professional development systems. This brief — the first in a series — introduces the case study component of MDRC’s evaluation and presents some early findings from interviews with teachers.

Interim Findings from the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in California

June, 2015

This report presents early findings from a random assignment evaluation of performance-based scholarships targeting college-bound high school seniors in California. The scholarships were completely portable, meaning that a student could use them at any accredited, degree-granting college or university.

Two-Year Impact Report

May, 2015

RExO increased the number and types of services received by participants and improved their self-reported labor market outcomes as well. But there is little evidence it had any impacts on recidivism or other outcomes. Further, the impacts on employment, while statistically significant, are quite small in practical terms.

May, 2015

MDRC’s Aid Like A Paycheck evaluation is testing whether the distribution of financial aid to students in biweekly payments over the course of a term — like a paycheck — can improve academic and financial outcomes for low-income community college students. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the project.

Changing School Practices During the Second Year of Diplomas Now

May, 2015

Diplomas Now, a partnership of three national organizations, aims to increase graduation rates in high-risk schools, targeting support to students who need it most. This second report finds that Diplomas Now schools are differentiating themselves from comparable schools in their implementation of structural and instructional reforms.

A Summary of Impact and Implementation Findings from Head Start CARES

April, 2015

This two-page issue focus summarizes the main findings from Head Start CARES, a test of three distinct classroom-based approaches to enhancing children’s social-emotional development: Incredible Years Teacher Training Program, Preschool PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies), and Tools of the Mind–Play.

Implementation, Impacts, and Costs of the Reading Partners Program

March, 2015

One-on-one tutoring by volunteers improves the reading proficiency of struggling second- to fifth-graders, according to MDRC’s random assignment study. As a program staffed mostly by volunteers, Reading Partners is substantially less costly than other supplemental reading services typically offered to struggling readers.

The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start Second Annual Report

January, 2015

Policymakers have increasingly encouraged greater use of administrative data to produce timely, rigorous, and lower-cost evaluations of health and social programs. This report details MIHOPE-Strong Start’s process of acquiring administrative vital records and Medicaid data from 20 states and more than 40 state agencies to measure health, health care use, and cost outcomes.

Early Reflections from MDRC’s Evaluation of the Innovative Professional Development Challenge

January, 2015

In the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping school districts redesign their teacher professional development systems to better support teachers in increasing student success. This Issue Focus, the second in a series, offers some early reflections from MDRC’s study of it.

Exploratory Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration

December, 2014

This report suggests that evidence-based approaches can improve 3-year-olds’ social-emotional competence in mixed-age preschool classrooms. While the findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the results and to better understand how these benefits are generated.

December, 2014

In the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping school districts redesign their teacher professional development systems to better support teachers in increasing student success. This Issue Focus introduces the iPD Challenge and presents some early findings from MDRC’s study of it.

November, 2014

The Youth Transition Demonstration identified and tested service strategies, combined with waivers of certain Social Security Administration program rules to enhance work incentives, to help youth with disabilities maximize their economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood.

October, 2014

Jobs-Plus — a model proven to help public housing residents find work — is about to be replicated across the country. But to expect similar results as have been achieved in the past, practitioners need to learn from others’ experiences with the program.

The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now

August, 2014

Three national organizations formed Diplomas Now in an effort to transform urban secondary schools so fewer students drop out. This report introduces Diplomas Now and the associated evaluation, shares first-year implementation fidelity findings, and discusses collaboration among the Diplomas Now partners and between those partners and schools.

Adapting a Preschool Social-Emotional Curriculum

June, 2014

In this study, an existing evidence-based curriculum was adapted for use with a special population by focusing on structural, cultural, and language issues. The findings indicate that adaptations can account for a specific population’s needs while staying true to the core principles and components of the program.

National Evaluation of Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence

June, 2014

This demonstration tested the effectiveness of three program enhancements implemented at scale that were designed to improve preschool children’s social-emotional competence. All three had positive impacts on teacher practice and on children’s social-emotional outcomes during the preschool year, although to varying degrees and not necessarily in the expected ways.

Student Characteristics and Patterns of (Un)Affordability

February, 2014

This paper reviews the literature on financial aid and college achievement, examines data from MDRC’s Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration to identify relationships between students’ financial aid and their persistence and academic achievement, and concludes with recommendations for how these collective findings should affect financial aid policy.

A Technical Assistance Guide for Developing and Implementing Performance-Based Scholarships

February, 2014

Drawing on the findings and experiences of two research demonstrations that tested the effectiveness of performance-based scholarships, this guide provides helpful information for colleges and scholarship-granting organizations on this type of aid, which can reduce the financial burden on low-income students while offering incentives for good academic progress.

Large-Scale Implementation of Programs to Improve Children’s Social-Emotional Competence

December, 2013

This report describes the extent to which three different classroom-based social-emotional strategies and related professional development supports were implemented as intended in Head Start centers, as well as the degree to which teachers’ practices changed as a result.

December, 2013

MIHOPE-Strong Start, a collaboration of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, assesses the impacts of home visiting programs for disadvantaged expectant mothers. This report describes the study and the programs: Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership.

Incremental Aid to Promote Student Success

September, 2013

Aid Like A Paycheck is based on a simple idea that is gaining national attention: after tuition and fees have been paid to a college, disburse the remaining financial aid to students evenly throughout the term — like a paycheck. This brief describes successful pilot tests at two colleges and discusses policy implications.

Interim Findings from the PBS Demonstration

August, 2013

Interim results suggest that performance-based scholarships improve students’ academic performance and increase the number of credits they earn. In some sites, the scholarships also appear to reduce student debt. In the one location for which data are available so far, the program increased the proportion of students earning a degree.

Early Findings from the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project

May, 2013

Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may serve low-income individuals with disabilities. Yet the two programs’ differences in approach and structure pose challenges to coordinating services. This report describes how TANF agencies interact with local SSA offices and documents the extent to which adult TANF recipients are connected with the SSI system.

How Career Academies Can Build College and Career Exploration Programs

January, 2013

MDRC and Bloom Associates developed and piloted a program to help Career Academies, a popular high school reform, build college and career exploration programs for their students. This report presents lessons learned from its implementation in 18 academies in California, Florida, and Georgia.

Implementation and Final Impacts of the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) Demonstration

September, 2012

WASC sought to increase the incomes of low-wage workers by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. The program increased workers’ receipt of work supports. In the two sites that eased access to funds for training, WASC increased the receipt of certificates and licenses and increased earnings in the third year.

A Synthesis of Findings from Six Community Colleges

July, 2012

This report looks at the short-term impacts of 174 one-semester learning communities for developmental students at six community colleges. On average, the programs produced a modest impact on credits earned.

July, 2012

Two reports offer findings on the effectiveness of learning communities, a popular strategy that places small cohorts of students together in two or more thematically linked courses, usually for a single semester, with added support, such as extra advising or tutoring.

Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

April, 2012

Many recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals find or keep jobs for a while, but far fewer remain steadily employed and advance in the labor market. This report describes results and draws lessons from rigorous evaluations of 12 programs seeking to improve employment retention and advancement among low-wage workers.

March, 2012

This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.

An Introduction to the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in California

March, 2012

One of six sites in MDRC’s national demonstration, California’s program, run in partnership with Cash for College, is testing performance-based scholarships of differing amounts and durations that supplement existing aid and that students can use at any accredited postsecondary institution.

Impact Studies at Merced College and The Community College of Baltimore County

February, 2012

Two colleges implemented semester-long learning communities linking developmental English with a range of other courses. At Merced, learning communities students earned more developmental English credits and passed more English courses than a control group. At CCBC, there were no meaningful impacts on students’ credit attempts or progress. Neither college’s program had an impact on persistence or on cumulative credits earned.

Improving Classroom Practices in Head Start Settings

February, 2012

This report offers lessons about using coaches to help teachers carry out a program for improving pre-kindergarteners’ social and emotional readiness for school. It addresses selection of the coaching model; coach hiring, training, support, and supervision; coaching processes; and program management, data, and quality assurance.

Four-Year Findings from Chaffey College’s Opening Doors Program

November, 2011

This program included a “College Success” course and offered enhanced counseling. A change from optional to required services led to increased program participation, and the new program decreased the percentage on academic probation after the two program semesters. Nevertheless, after four years, the program had no discernible effect on academic outcomes.

Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

June, 2011

After three years, participants in National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, an intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, are more likely than their control group counterparts to have obtained a GED or high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be working. Their earnings are also 20 percent higher.

April, 2011

This paper provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing and analyzing studies that randomize schools — which comprise three levels of clustering (students in classrooms in schools) — to measure intervention effects on student academic outcomes when information on the middle level (classrooms) is missing.

A Synthesis of Findings from an Evaluation at Six Community Colleges

March, 2011

MDRC’s Opening Doors Demonstration, launched in 2003 with six community colleges, provides some of the first rigorous evidence that a range of interventions can improve educational outcomes for community college students. This 12-page policy brief describes the strategies tested, discusses the results, and offers suggestions to policymakers and practitioners for moving forward.

February, 2011

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. While participants in the Erie County, NY, site were more likely to participate in self-sufficiency services, the program has had no impact on employment or school completion in its first year.

Findings from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

January, 2011

This 12-page practitioner brief examines the work, education, and training patterns of single parents in the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project, which evaluated strategies to promote employment stability among low-income workers. The findings support other research in underscoring the importance of changing jobs and of access to “good” jobs as strategies to help low-wage workers advance.

Strategies for Interpreting and Reporting Intervention Effects on Subgroups

November, 2010

This revised paper examines strategies for interpreting and reporting estimates of intervention effects for subgroups of a study sample. Specifically, the paper considers: why and how subgroup findings are important for applied research, the importance of prespecifying subgroups before analyses are conducted, and the importance of using existing theory and prior research to distinguish between subgroups for which study findings are confirmatory, as opposed to exploratory.

November, 2010

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project examines the 27,000 single parents who participated in the studied programs to understand the characteristics of those who successfully advanced in the labor market.

November, 2010

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project demonstrates that low-income single-parent and two-parent families have a roughly equivalent need for services to support employment retention and advancement and that this need does not differ substantially between men and women in two-parent families.

Evidence from the WASC Demonstration

October, 2010

Although many states are taking steps to offer simplified access to the food stamp program, little is known about the effect this might have on food stamp error rates. This paper studies the effects on error rates in two sites that were part of the Work Advancement Support Center demonstration, which aimed to help individuals in low-income jobs boost their income by making the most of available work supports, including food stamps.

Reemployment Strategies in Retention and Advancement Programs for Current and Former Welfare Recipients

June, 2010

When current and former welfare recipients find jobs, they often lose them quickly and have trouble finding another job. This brief, based on the experiences of 12 programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement evaluation, offers advice on how to design and implement practices that turn a recent job loss into an opportunity to find a better one.

Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

May, 2010

Interim results from a random assignment evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, an intensive, residential program for high school dropouts, show that young people who had access to ChalleNGe were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate. They were also somewhat more likely to be working, in college, or enlisted in the military.

May, 2010

This report examines the financial benefits and costs of three different programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families, that have increased employment and earnings among current and former welfare recipients.

Final Impacts for Twelve Models

April, 2010

This report presents the final implementation and impact findings for 12 programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families. These programs attempted to promote steady work and career advancement for current and former welfare recipients and other low-wage workers, most of whom were single mothers.

March, 2010

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. This report offers six overall implementation lessons to help policymakers and administrators develop, fund, and provide interventions for youth with disabilities.

The Experience of Six Community Colleges

March, 2010

Learning communities, which enroll groups of students together in coordinated classes, are increasingly being used to help developmental-level students succeed. This report on the Learning Communities Demonstration, a large-scale, random assignment evaluation, describes the strategies that six community colleges used and the challenges they faced in scaling up their programs.

The Policy and Practice of Assessing and Placing Students in Developmental Education Courses

March, 2010

This paper reports on case studies conducted at three community colleges to learn about how the colleges assess students for placement in developmental education courses. The case studies identify several problems and challenges, including lack of consensus about the standard for college-level work, the high-stakes nature of the assessments, and the minimal relationship between assessment for placement and diagnosis for instruction.

Seven-Year Findings from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

January, 2010

An extended analysis of Jobs-Plus, an ambitious employment program inside some of the nation’s poorest inner-city public housing developments, finds substantial effects on residents’ earnings a full three years after the program ended.

The Employment Retention and Advancement Project

November, 2009

A program in Los Angeles offering individualized and flexible case management services to working welfare recipients did not substantially increase the use of work-based services by participants – and did not lead to greater employment or higher earnings than did the county’s existing postemployment program.

Lessons for Practitioners

November, 2009

This 12-page brief distills practical implementation lessons from four programs that help low-wage workers access and retain child care subsidies, public health insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and other related government benefits.

An Introduction to the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

October, 2009

This policy brief describes a demonstration launched by MDRC in four states in 2008 to evaluate whether performance-based scholarships — paid contingent on attaining academic benchmarks — are an effective way to improve persistence and academic success among low-income college students. The demonstration builds on positive results from an earlier MDRC study in Louisiana.

September, 2009

This report presents two-year implementation and impact findings on two supplemental academic instruction approaches developed for after-school settings – one for math and one for reading. It addresses whether one-year impacts are different in the second year of program operations and whether students benefit from being offered two years of enhanced after-school academic instruction.

Lessons from the SSPIRE Initiative

July, 2009

This report describes how community colleges in California that participated in the Student Support Partnership Integrating Resources and Education (SSPIRE) initiative took steps to better serve low-income and underprepared students by integrating student support services with academic instruction.

June, 2009

WASC is an innovative strategy to help low-wage workers increase their incomes by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. In its first year, WASC connected more workers to food stamps and publicly funded health care coverage and, in one site, substantially increased training activities.

Effects of a Community College Program for Probationary Students

April, 2009

Rates of graduation and degree completion at community colleges remain distressingly low. This report evaluates two versions of a program designed to help probationary students at community college succeed in school. One version increased the average number of credits earned, the proportion of students who earned a grade point average of “C” or higher, and the proportion who moved off probation.

Early Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program Evaluation

February, 2009

Very early results from a random assignment evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, an intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, show that the program has large impacts on high school diploma and GED attainment and positive effects on working, college-going, health, self-efficacy, and avoiding arrest.

January, 2009

The Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD), led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating six promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. This report presents a detailed, comprehensive design for the YTD evaluation.

December, 2008

The transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities, particularly youth receiving disability program benefits, can be especially challenging. The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating six promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work.

Engaging Low-Wage Workers in Career Advancement

December, 2008

The Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration offers a new approach to helping low-wage and dislocated workers advance by increasing their wages or work hours, upgrading their skills, or finding better jobs. This report presents preliminary information on the effectiveness of strategies that were used to attract people to the WASC program and engage them in services.

A Guide for Practitioners Based on the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

December, 2008

This guide contains practical advice on implementing a program model — known as the Jobs-Plus Community Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus) — aimed at helping public housing residents find and keep jobs.

A Final Report to the Funders

December, 2008

In 2000, The California Endowment and The Rockefeller Foundation launched the California Works for Better Health initiative, which brought together grantee agencies in four California regions — Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego — to form collaboratives that were charged with raising the level and quality of employment in targeted communities, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of workers and their families.

Career Academies Combine Academic Rigor and Workplace Relevance

August, 2008

This “snapshot,” published by the National High School Center, takes a close look at implementation of the Career Academy model in one high school in Oakland, California.

The Effects of Enhanced Versus Traditional Job Clubs in Los Angeles

August, 2008

This report, from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project, finds that unemployed welfare recipients in an enhanced job club had no better employment outcomes than participants in a traditional job club. At the end of the 18-month follow-up period, about half of both groups were employed.

Findings After the First Year of Implementation

June, 2008

This report presents one-year implementation and impact findings on two supplemental academic instruction approaches developed for after-school settings — one for math and one for reading. Compared with regular after-school programming, the supplemental math program had impacts on student SAT 10 test scores and the supplemental reading program did not — although the reading program had some effect on reading fluency.

June, 2008

Eight-year findings on Career Academies — a popular high school reform that combines academics with career development opportunities — show that the programs produced sustained employment and earnings gains, particularly among young men. Career Academy participants were also more likely to be living independently with children and a spouse or a partner.

Rationale, Sites, and Research Design

May, 2008

Launched in 2007 by MDRC and the National Center for Postsecondary Research, the Learning Communities Demonstration is testing models of this promising approach in six community colleges in five states. This report describes the research design, including information about the colleges and their models, the random assignment process, data sources, analysis plans, and reporting schedule.

Lessons from Research on Welfare Training Programs and Two Promising Community College Strategies

February, 2008

This working paper, prepared for a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, reviews what is known about education acquisition by low-wage workers and highlights promising strategies being tested at several community colleges.

The Employment Retention and Advancement Project

November, 2007

Two education and training programs for employed, single-parent welfare recipients had small impacts on attendance in basic education or training overall but had larger impacts for disadvantaged groups. However, over two years, neither program increased employment and earnings levels overall or for any subgroup.

Navigating Career Advancement for Low-Wage Workers

October, 2007

This report, from MDRC’s Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration, explores how WASC career coaches help low-wage workers understand the complex interactions between earnings and eligibility for work support programs and guide them to make the best advancement decisions possible.

The Employment Retention and Advancement Project

May, 2007

A random assignment evaluation of a voluntary postemployment program for workers who recently left welfare shows participants had increased employment and earnings during the first two years of follow-up.

Early Results from the Opening Doors Demonstration in Ohio

April, 2007

This report presents the early results from MDRC’s evaluation of the Opening Doors program at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. The two-semester program offered intensive student advising services and a modest scholarship to low-income students to encourage them to stay in school and earn credentials.

Building Evidence About What Works to Improve Self-Sufficiency

March, 2007

This working paper argues for building a stronger base of evidence in the housing-employment policy arena through an expanded use of randomized controlled trials.

Income Support Systems in Cuyahoga and Philadelphia, 2000 to 2005

March, 2007

This report, part of MDRC’s Project on Devolution and Urban Change, tells the story of Cleveland’s and Philadelphia’s welfare systems in the early 2000s, a time marked by an economic downturn, state budget cuts, and welfare time limits.

January, 2007

MDRC’s research on Career Academies, First Things First, Project GRAD, and Talent Development suggests that the twin pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement.

January, 2007

In a rapidly growing low-wage labor market, the workforce investment system and the Workforce Investment Act should expand their focus to include job retention and advancement services by engaging private employers and to enhance the accessibility of work supports.

Elementary Student Achievement and the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative’s Focal Strategy

December, 2006

The Bay Area School Reform Collaborative’s focal strategy, a system-wide reform that coaches district and school leaders, supports evidence-based decision-making, and promotes networking within and among schools, has no strong association with changes in elementary student achievement.

Presented Before the Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census, House Committee on Government Reform

June, 2006

MDRC’s study of Jobs-Plus, an employment program for public housing residents, offered the first hard evidence that a work-focused intervention based in public housing can effectively boost residents’ earnings and promote their self-sufficiency. Congress may wish to consider introducing Jobs-Plus in additional housing developments across the country.

Launching the Work Advancement and Support Center Demonstration

March, 2006

The Work Advancement and Support Center demonstration tests an innovative approach to fostering employment retention, career advancement, and increased take-up of work supports for a broad range of low-earners, including reemployed dislocated workers. This report examines start-up experiences in the first two sites: Dayton, Ohio, and San Diego, California.

Elementary Student Achievement and the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative's Focal Strategy

February, 2006

The Bay Area School Reform Collaborative’s strategy seeks to raise student achievement in six elementary school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area by coaching supervisors, principals, and teachers, instituting evidence-based decision making, and promoting sharing of experiences among schools. During the first two years of implementation, MDRC found no strong, pervasive association with student achievement.

Design Principles for a Study on Teacher Incentives

February, 2006

This paper, produced by MDRC and the Laboratory for Student Success at Temple University, describes design principles for a study about the use of incentives to recruit and retain high-quality teachers for underperforming schools.

A Study in Four Big Cities
A Technical Report

December, 2005

This technical report describes food stamp caseload dynamics between January 1993 and December 2001 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Final Report on the Center for Employment Training Replication Sites

September, 2005

The Center for Employment Training (CET) in San Jose, California, produced large, positive employment and earnings effects for out-of-school youth in the late 1980s. However, in this replication study, even the highest-fidelity sites did not increase employment or earnings for youth over the 54-month follow-up period, despite short-term positive effects for women.

Evidence from a Sample of Recent CET Applicants

September, 2005

This working paper examines employment and earnings over a four-year period for a group of disadvantaged out-of-school youth who entered the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Training (CET) Replication Sites between 1995 and 1999. It assesses the importance of three key factors as barriers to employment: lack of a high school diploma, having children, and having an arrest record.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

August, 2005

Welfare caseloads fell, employment increased, and neighborhood conditions improved in Los Angeles during a period of economic growth and welfare reform. However, most welfare recipients still remained poor, the concentration of poverty increased, and those who worked were usually in low-wage jobs without benefits.

July, 2005

Early results are mixed for Employment Retention and Advancement project programs in four sites, but programs in two sites appear to help some welfare recipients work more steadily and advance to higher-paying jobs.

The Opening Doors Demonstration

June, 2005

The Opening Doors Demonstration is designed to show how community colleges can help more low-income students remain in school and improve other outcomes, including degree attainment, labor market success, and personal and social well-being.

New Findings on Policy Experiments Conducted in the Early 1990s

April, 2005

In welfare and employment programs that provide earnings supplements, increased family income plays a key role in improving children’s school achievement.

Evidence from Three States

March, 2005

In a study of over 3,500 women in welfare-to-work programs in three states, child care instability did not appear to be a major cause of employment instability.

The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus

March, 2005

Jobs-Plus, an ambitious employment program inside some of the nation’s poorest inner-city public housing developments, markedly increased the earnings of residents in the sites where it was implemented well.

A Study of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs

January, 2005

Library-based literacy programs face serious challenges to improving adult students’ participation. This study suggests programs should be prepared to accommodate intermittent participation by adult students and to connect students to social services and other supports.

Services That May Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College

November, 2004

Community colleges can pursue many strategies for enhancing student services, including offering “one-stop shopping,” which provides students with multiple services at the same time and place.

Lessons from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

July, 2004

This report examines how public housing authorities in six cities implemented one of the most innovative features of the Jobs-Plus demonstration: using incentives plans to keep rents lower than they would have been under existing rules as a way to encourage and reward work among public housing residents.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

June, 2004

Welfare caseloads fell, employment increased, and social conditions generally improved in Miami-Dade County after the 1996 federal welfare reform law was passed, but the county’s welfare-to-work program was poorly implemented and unusually harsh.

Implementing the Community Support for Work Component of Jobs-Plus

June, 2004

The “community support for work” component of Jobs-Plus relies on outreach workers from public housing developments to help extend Jobs-Plus’s reach in public housing communities.

March, 2004

Career Academies produced substantial and sustained improvements in earnings of young men after high school, without limiting opportunities to attend college.

Improving Services for Low-Income Working Families

March, 2004

A collaboration of MDRC and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, this report explores how best to improve job stability and career advancement of low-wage earners and increase their household income.

Lessons from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration in Public Housing

November, 2003

From the Jobs-Plus initiative, this report describes efforts to build participation among public housing residents in a program that offers services and financial incentives designed to promote work.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

October, 2003

Based on a comprehensive body of evidence, this report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how changes in Pennsylvania’s welfare reform policies combined with a strong regional economy in the late 1990s to create substantial change in the welfare system in Philadelphia.

The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children

October, 2003

Drawing on ethnographic interviews, this policy brief describes the patchwork child care arrangements made by low-income parents and discusses implications for policies that would promote the dual objectives of child well-being and parental employment.

Early Implementation Experiences of Employment Retention and Advancement Programs

October, 2003

Describing the initial experiences of 15 Employment Retention and Advancement programs in 8 states, this report emphasizes implementation issues and focuses on connections among the agencies and institutions that deliver retention and advancement services to low-income workers and hard-to-employ populations.

Instructional Innovations That Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College

July, 2003

This paper looks at curricular and program redesign strategies currently used by community colleges to speed nontraditional students’ advancement from lower levels of skill into credential programs and to shorten the time commitment required to earn a credential.

Thirty-Month Findings from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Training Replication Sites

June, 2003

Efforts to replicate the experience of the Center for Employment Training in San Jose, California — a uniquely successful program that helped at-risk youth develop skills needed to compete in today’s labor market — showed mixed results.

Evidence from Ten Experimental Welfare-to-Work Programs

June, 2003

Evidence from Random Assignment Studies of Welfare and Work Programs

June, 2003

The Effects of Welfare Reform Policies on Marriage and Cohabitation

April, 2003

Patching Together Care for Children When Parents Move from Welfare to Work

April, 2003

Ethnographic Evidence from Working Poor Families in the New Hope Intervention

April, 2003

Responding to the Challenges of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs

April, 2003

Based on a study of nine adult literacy programs in public libraries, this report examines student characteristics, participation patterns, and new strategies to raise student persistence.

Lessons from Jobs-Plus About the Mobility of Public Housing Residents and Implications for Place-Based Initiatives

March, 2003

This paper begins to fill a void in the understanding of residential mobility in low-income communities by examining intended and actual out-migration patterns of a cohort of residents of five public housing developments.

An Exploratory Focus Group Study

February, 2003

The Opening Doors initiative is designed to help low-wage workers, at-risk youth, and recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) earn college credentials as the pathway to better jobs and higher earnings. Concentrating on a program implemented in California, this report supplements efforts from an earlier Opening Doors focus group study to gain insights from low-income students on the factors that affect their ability to enroll in school and earn a college credential while balancing work and parenting responsibilities.

Key Features of Mature Employment Programs in Seven Public Housing Communities

February, 2003

Aiming to significantly increase employment and economic self-sufficiency among public housing residents since its inception in 1997, the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families created and operated on-site job centers at each of seven public housing developments in six cities across the nation.

How Are They Faring?

January, 2003

Responding to the growing need to understand whether people who have left the welfare rolls since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform law are able to find and keep jobs and earn enough to lift their families out of poverty, this study compares two groups of single-parent welfare recipients — one that left the welfare rolls in 1996, and a similar group who exited welfare in 1998 —investigating their background characteristics, their employment and earnings experiences, and their material well-being.

January, 2003

This report studies the post-welfare experiences of three groups — two that received federal housing assistance when they left the welfare rolls and an unassisted group that did not — to see how they differ with respect to their labor market outcomes, material well-being, and propensity to return to the welfare rolls or rely on other forms of public assistance.

An Examination of the Children at the Beginning of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

December, 2002

Children who live in public housing are commonly thought to be at greater risk of experiencing academic and behavioral problems than other low-income children, but this paper is among the few to explore empirically the characteristics and circumstances of these children.

The Jobs-Plus Experience in Public Housing Developments

September, 2002

Through extensive ethnographic interviews with staff and residents of two Jobs-Plus housing developments in Seattle and St. Paul, this report explains how a range of social and personal issues characteristic of largely immigrant public housing residents can render conventional employment and support services ineffective.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

September, 2002

This report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how welfare reform has played out in Ohio's Cuyahoga County, which encompasses Cleveland, based on a comprehensive body of evidence that includes administrative records, surveys, and ethnographic interviews.

Findings from the Jobs-Plus Baseline Survey

September, 2002

Tapping a deep pool of survey data to learn about residents' connections to the labor market, this report dispels some widespread misconceptions. For example, it finds that even in places with high rates of joblessness, many public housing residents have work histories that are extensive and varied, albeit typically in unstable, low-wage jobs.

Case Studies of How Urban School Systems Improve Student Achievement

September, 2002

Some of the nation's fastest improving urban school systems are raising overall academic performance while reducing achievement gaps among students of different racial groups. But instead of taking a school-by-school approach, they are tackling education reform on a district wide basis.

How Welfare and Work Policies Influence Parents' Decisions

August, 2002

Congressional deliberations on the future of welfare reform have reopened a debate about whether current child care assistance programs adequately support employment among low-income working parents while also fostering their children's development. Issues at the forefront of this debate are explored in this timely new policy brief.

Lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies

July, 2002

This report distills lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) with a focus on the effectiveness of employment-focused versus education-focused programs in helping people move from welfare to work.

July, 2002

The latest report from the Opening Doors project explores how to help low-wage workers move toward career advancement and higher wages by enrolling in and completing community college programs.

Evidence and Lessons to Guide TANF Reauthorization

June, 2002

A Synthesis of Research

May, 2002

The latest research synthesis from the Next Generation project takes a closer look at troubling findings regarding the effects of welfare and work programs on the teenaged children of program enrollees.

Lessons from Four Big Cities as They Implement Welfare Reform

March, 2002

The Effects of Adult Education in Welfare-to-Work Programs

March, 2002

Since the early 1980s, welfare policymakers and program operators have debated the role of adult education in program strategies to help welfare recipients make the transition from welfare to work. This report addresses key questions about how welfare-to-work programs that emphasize adult education activities affect the educational and economic outcomes of welfare recipients.

An Introduction to the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

February, 2002

Welfare reform has resulted in millions of low-income parents replacing the receipt of public cash assistance with income from employment. But what strategies will help the new workforce entrants find more stable jobs, advance in the labor market, and achieve long-term self-sufficiency? The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation is a comprehensive effort to explore this urgent public policy question.

Integrating and Instrumental Variables Analytic Method with an Experimental Design

January, 2002

A Resource Directory for Career Academies

January, 2002

One of the most widely adopted school reform approaches in the nation, the Career Academies movement has spread to more than 3,000 schools and school districts — and, in the process, has spawned a rich network of information outlets and resources aimed at the communities of Career Academy adherents.

Welfare-Reliant Women's Post-TANF Views of Work-Family Trade-offs and Marriage

December, 2001

Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs

December, 2001

How best to help people move from welfare to work — particularly whether an employment-focused approach or an education-focused approach is more effective — has been a subject of long-standing debate. This report summary, which describes the long-term effects of 11 different mandatory welfare-to-work programs for single parents and their children, takes a major step toward resolving this debate. 

Situating Child Care and Child Care Subsidy Use in the Daily Routines of Lower-Income Families

December, 2001

Final Lessons from Parents’ Fair Share

November, 2001

Fathers provide important financial and emotional support to their children. Yet low-income noncustodial fathers, with low wages and high rates of joblessness, often do not fulfill their parenting roles. The child support system has not traditionally helped these men to do so, since its focus has been on securing financial support from fathers who can afford to pay.

Impressions of Community College Access and Retention from Low-Wage Workers

November, 2001

The Experiences of Current and Former Welfare Mothers Who Work

November, 2001

A Look at Early Implementation and Impacts on Student Achievement in Eight Elementary Schools

November, 2001

Methodological Lessons from an Evaluation of Accelerated Schools

October, 2001

The Effects of Welfare and Employment Programs on Child Care

September, 2001

Studying Efforts to Increase Adult Learner Persistence in Library Literacy Programs

September, 2001

New Experimental Evidence on Financial Work Incentives and Pre-Employment Services

July, 2001

Learning from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

May, 2001

Findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change

May, 2001

Collaboration Among Agencies and Public Housing Residents in the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

May, 2001

Factors That Aid or Impede Their Receipt

January, 2001

Building Services and Systems to Support California's Working Poor and Hard-to-Place

January, 2001

The Effects of a Mandate to Enter a Welfare-to-Work Program

November, 2000

The Impact of Parents' Fair Share on Low-Income Fathers' Employment

October, 2000

The Impact of Parents' Fair Share on Paternal Involvement

October, 2000

Impacts of 20 Welfare-to-Work Programs by Subgroup

August, 2000

Introducing a Study of Adult Learner Persistence in Library Literacy Programs

August, 2000

A Synthesis of Child Research Conducted as Part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies

June, 2000

Toward an Employer-Led Approach to Welfare Reform and Workforce Development

March, 2000
January, 2000

Developed as part of MDRC’s Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration, the Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is intended to help fathers more effectively fulfill their roles as parents, partners, and workers.

Origins and Early Accomplishments of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

September, 1999

Early Implementation and Ethnographic Findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change

April, 1999

Lessons for the Child Support Enforcement System from Parents' Fair Share

May, 1998

A Saturation and Place-Based Employment Initiative for Public Housing Residents

May, 1998

Final Report on a Comprehensive Program for Young Mothers in Poverty and Their Children

January, 1997

The Evolution of Innovative School-to-Work Programs

January, 1997

Two Year Findings on the Labor Force Attachment and Human Capital Development Programs in Three Sites

January, 1997

Five-Year Impacts on Employment, Earnings, and AFDC Receipt
Working Paper 96.1

July, 1996

AFDC Families with Preschool-Aged Children in Atlanta at the Outset of the JOBS Evaluation.

January, 1995

Innovative Programs Linking School and Work

January, 1994

Final Report on a Program for School Dropouts

October, 1993

This report, which completes the JOBSTART Demonstration, addresses issues closely linked to the nation’s ongoing debate about how best to improve the employment and earnings prospects of low-skilled, economically disadvantaged young people, who otherwise live outside the economic mainstream.

What Fathers and Mothers Say About Child Support

July, 1992

Findings from a Program for Disadvantaged High School Students

October, 1990
Project Overview

Twenty-first-century skills (also known as noncognitive or soft skills) are increasingly viewed as critical for both education and employment outcomes.

Project Overview

The transition from high school into postsecondary education and a career has become particularly challenging given today’s complex, fast-moving, and highly technological economy.

Project Overview

Young people with juvenile justice involvement face many challenges, which may include a lack of education and employment skills, antisocial attitudes and values, unstable housing, and much more. These challenges make it difficult for them to pursue educational pursuits or enter the workforce and become productive citizens.

Project Overview

The Office of Child Support Enforcement launched the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration to test the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles

Project Overview

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which recently made its second large investment in 26 colleges and universities engaged in technology-mediated advising reform.

Project Overview

Adults with disabilities and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) often struggle to find stable and meaningful employment, while state TANF agencies struggle to provide effective employment services in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Project Overview

Behavioral science sheds light on human decision-making and behavior to better understand why people make the choices that they do.

Project Overview

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) was the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) flagship redevelopment program and at the time its most significant neighborhood transformation initiative in decades.

Project Overview

This project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides research and evaluation support for the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, which seeks to clarify the extent to which changes in school district professional development systems lead to different teacher experiences and measu

Project Overview

Can existing financial aid programs do more to help low-income college students achieve academic success?

Project Overview

Youth in the child welfare system tend to have been exposed to multiple traumatic events over time.

Project Overview

MDRC will design and conduct a demonstration and rigorous evaluation of a web-based advising tool to improve the outcomes of students enrolled in career-technical programs in California community colleges.

Project Overview

Adverse birth outcomes result in significant emotional and economic costs for families and communities. One promising avenue for helping expectant women is home visiting programs, which work with parents to promote prenatal care and improve infant health.

Project Overview

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is the main federal program for increasing employment and earnings and reducing reliance on government subsidies among recipients of housing subsidies.

Project Overview

A central challenge in welfare policy arises from the dual imperatives to promote self-sufficiency among welfare recipients and to protect vulnerable families from economic deprivation.

Project Overview

Obesity is associated with poor health and high health care costs and has been increasing in the United States for several decades. It has also been linked to such health conditions as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, cancer, sleep disorders, and musculoskeletal pain and disability.

Project Overview

An estimated five million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are both out of school and unemployed. These youth are more likely than those who work or complete a degree to face long-term unemployment, permanent school dropout, welfare dependence, and criminal involvement and incarceration.

Project Overview

For many low-income college students, one of the biggest barriers to attendance is cost. While federal and state financial aid is available to help with tuition, fees, books, and some living expenses, students still often have unmet need, particularly if they are from the poorest families or are independent from their parents.

Project Overview

In recent decades, families have shown a steady decline in their ability to weather a financial emergency. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2011 estimated that about one-quarter of Americans lack the capacity to cover an unexpected expense by coming up with $2,000 within 30 days.

Project Overview

While educators and officials across the United States are struggling with how to raise student achievement and improve graduation rates, very few programs have been shown to work at scale in achieving either goal.

Project Overview

In the past three decades, broad economic shifts have sharply decreased the availability of good jobs for workers without postsecondary education. Disadvantaged men have been particularly hard hit by these trends.

Project Overview

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) is the federal government’s largest source of federally funded employment services and training. WIA is the latest in a series of federal employment and training programs, the first having arisen in response to the Great Depression.

Project Overview

In April 2005, approximately 776,000 young people with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 25 were receiving federal Supplemental Security Income benefits. Individuals who began receiving these benefits before age 18 were expected to stay on the disability rolls for an average of 27 years.

Project Overview

Head Start, which serves nearly 1 million low-income children, is the nation’s largest federally sponsored early childhood education program.

Project Overview

To prepare young people for productive and satisfying adult lives in the competitive global marketplace, local high schools and employers are being asked to develop effective school-to-work programs.

Project Overview

Public housing developments are among the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the United States. In fact, many public housing residents face obstacles to employment even beyond those normally experienced by other low-income people.

Project Overview

Elementary schools that educate children at risk of academic failure have traditionally responded by offering remedial instruction that slows the pace of learning. Research suggests, however, that remediation makes it harder for students to catch up and join the educational mainstream.

Project Overview

Community colleges, which tend to be accessible and affordable, serve as a critical resource for low-income individuals striving to improve their prospects in the labor market and life.

Project Overview

An approach to educational reform that is gaining increasing currency is the one taken by the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC), a not-for-profit grantmaking and support organization that aims to increase educational equity among students in six San Francisco Bay Area counties.

Project Overview

A postsecondary credential has become increasingly important in the labor market, and college attendance has grown. Unfortunately, college completion remains less common, particularly in community colleges, which serve many low-income and academically underprepared students who often need remedial (developmental) courses.

Project Overview

Many low-income children in the early grades need after-school care. And many of these children score well below their more advantaged peers on standardized tests of reading and math.

Project Overview

For low-income youth who lack basic skills and drop out of school, finding employment at a living wage is a challenge.

Project Overview

The welfare system has been transformed over the past two decades, notably through the introduction of stricter work requirements and time limits on cash assistance in the 1990s. At the same time, government at both the federal and the state level invested in offering financial work supports of unprecedented scope to low-income parents.

Project Overview

Young people without postsecondary education or vocational credentials face an uphill battle in the competition for jobs.

Project Overview

Reflecting the growing importance of a postsecondary credential in the labor market, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers are increasingly concerned with improving poor rates of college completion, particularly among low-income and traditionally underserved students enrolled in community colleges.

Project Overview

Policy debates about child poverty and welfare reform, which once focused almost exclusively on single mothers and their children, have in recent years begun to train the spotlight on fathers.

Project Overview

Career Academies were first developed some 35 years ago with the aim of restructuring large high schools into small learning communities and creating better pathways from high school to further education and the workplace. Since then, the Career Academy approach has taken root in an estimated 8,000 high schools across the country.

Project Overview

Today’s labor market puts a high premium on literacy skills, even in jobs that once required little education or training. Not being able to read or write can stand in the way of finding and keeping a job or earning a living wage.

Project Overview

Big-city school districts play a critical role in educating America’s children. Although there are almost 17,000 public school districts in the United States, just 100 of them serve 23 percent of all students, 30 percent of economically disadvantaged students, and 40 percent of students from racial minorities.

Project Overview

In the mid-1980s, three developments long in the making — a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock childbearing, the high cost of providing welfare to young poor women who become mothers, and the difficulties faced by their children — became a focus of concern among policymakers and the public alike.

Project Overview

The federal welfare overhaul of 1996 ushered in myriad policy changes aimed at getting low-income parents off public assistance and into employment.

Project Overview

It is widely recognized that having no job or a job that pays a low wage puts people at risk of living in poverty. Less well known, though also well documented, are the dangers that low-wage work and unemployment pose to health by exposing people to physical hazards and psychological stressors that satisfactory employment could prevent.

Project Overview

The wages and earnings of low-income workers have been stagnant or declining in real terms for approximately 35 years. Nationwide, the labor market-driven growth of the low-wage workforce has become a major issue for both the business community and the public.