Even in good economic times, workers with limited education may need help getting or regaining a foothold in the job market. Effective career training programs exist. Approaches that target in-demand industries and closely involve employers can get results, benefiting high school students, adults without diplomas, and long-term unemployed workers.
Evidence from the Evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls
Born out of research showing that girls and boys have different risk factors and pathways into the justice system, gender-responsive programs focus on girls’ unique needs and strengths. This brief summarizes the developing research on their effectiveness and describes how one program enacts the principles in its service delivery.
Pay for Success promises to generate funding to solve complex social problems while at the same time using ideas from the private sector to hold governments accountable. For the concept to work, though, parties in a Pay-for-Success deal must have some specific skills.
Funding requirements, new government policies, or budget realities may force organizations to alter components of a program model, complicating the assessment of its implementation. How can researchers anticipate such adaptations, and what can they learn from them? The Implementation Research Incubator offers some ideas.
Subsidized employment programs use public funds to create jobs for the unemployed. This two-page memo describes how they can provide short-term income support to individuals with serious barriers to employment or to broader groups during poor economic times — while having positive effects on reducing recidivism, increasing child support payments, or reducing reliance on welfare.
Preliminary Kindergarten Impacts of the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s Programs
Can children’s math skills be strengthened in pre-K and kindergarten, and can such improvements have longer-term effects? This preliminary analysis examines the cumulative effects of two early math programs and demonstrates that this enhanced experience can have modest, positive impacts on children’s math and executive function skills in kindergarten.
Democrats and Republicans agree it is necessary to build evidence concerning the nation’s social programs. But more should be done to improve the nation’s research capabilities, to embed evidence building in government programs, and to put evidence at the heart of making policy.
Researchers and funders often want to know not just whether a social program works, but how and why — the terrain of implementation research. This new series of monthly posts shares ideas from past program evaluations and insights from ongoing studies that can improve research approaches.
How a District Might Find a Program That Meets Local Needs
For school districts striving to meet both ESSA requirements and specific educational needs, this infographic shows how evidence can guide decisions. The evaluation of Reading Partners, a one-on-one volunteer tutoring program, serves as an example.
In 2016, MDRC has published more than 50 reports and briefs on programs affecting low-income Americans in all realms of education and social policy: education from preschool to postsecondary, workforce development, behavioral science, youth development, home visiting, and more.