Maryland

Highlights from the Jobs Plus Pilot Program Evaluation

September, 2017

Jobs Plus promotes employment among public housing residents through employment services, rent rule changes that provide incentives to work, and community support for work. Within the first 18 months, all nine public housing agencies in this evaluation had begun structuring their programs, building partnerships, and implementing the model’s core components.

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 Evaluation of SEED DC

June, 2016

The nation’s first public, urban, college-prep boarding school emphasizes academic excellence and personal development. A six-year evaluation using SEED’s admission lotteries found that SEED DC raised lottery winners’ test scores but did not increase the on-time graduation rate or reduce teen pregnancy or involvement in the criminal justice system.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 2012

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 Career Transition Program were more likely to have used employment-promoting services than youth in a control group, there were no impacts on work, income, or school completion.

A Relationship Skills Education Program for Unmarried Parents

November, 2012

The Building Strong Families evaluation assessed the effects of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child. This report presents final results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.

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.

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.

What Two Rigorous Studies Tell Us

July, 2011

This synthesis reviews findings from two rigorous, large-scale evaluations — the Professional Development in Reading Study and the Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study. Both interventions had only limited effects on teachers’ knowledge and instruction and no impacts on students’ test scores. The report ends with suggestions about how professional development might be improved to achieve better results.

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.

The Impact of Supplemental Literacy Courses for Struggling Ninth-Grade Readers

July, 2010

Over the course of ninth grade, two supplemental literacy courses modestly improved students’ reading comprehension skills and helped them perform better academically in their course work. However, these benefits did not persist in the following school year, when students were no longer receiving the supplemental support.

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.

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.

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.

November, 2008

This report presents findings from the second year of the Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) study, a demonstration and random assignment evaluation of two supplemental literacy programs — Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy and Xtreme Reading — that aim to improve the reading comprehension skills and school performance of struggling ninth-grade readers.

September, 2008

This report presents findings on the effectiveness of two specific professional development strategies on improving the knowledge and practice of second-grade teachers in high-poverty schools and on the reading achievement of their students.

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.

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.

January, 2008

This report presents early findings from a demonstration and random assignment evaluation of two supplemental literacy programs that aim to improve the reading comprehension skills and school performance of struggling ninth-grade readers. On average, the programs produced a positive, statistically significant impact on reading comprehension among students.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Learning from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

May, 2001

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

May, 2001

Origins and Early Accomplishments of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

September, 1999

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

May, 1998

The Evolution of Innovative School-to-Work Programs

January, 1997

Innovative Programs Linking School and Work

January, 1994

The Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects

June, 1984
Project Overview

MyGoals for Employment Success is a new workforce program intended to help recipients of federal housing subsidies who are not employed find work, build careers, and advance toward greater self-sufficiency.

Project Overview

Economic and labor-market changes over the past three decades have dramatically reduced the availability of well-paying jobs for workers without postsecondary education. And yet one in four high school freshmen do not graduate in four years, and many who do complete high school are poorly prepared for college.

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

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

It is important that children who are learning to read be exposed to high-quality, research-based curricula, but it is also essential that teachers be well versed in the instructional practices that promote early literacy (see the description of Reading First for more on this topic)

Project Overview

Low-performing high schools, particularly those serving low-income communities and students of color, are often characterized by high absentee and course failure rates, substantial dropout rates, and — even for graduates — inadequate preparation for postsecondary education and the labor market.

Project Overview

At the time this project began, a third of all babies in the United States were born to unmarried mothers, and the fraction was even higher among low-income families.

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

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.