Studies of Reading First released in 2008 found no overall effect on student reading comprehension, and the program was eliminated in 2009. However, the research findings were more nuanced than was widely reported, and they offer lessons for policymakers making critical choices today about how the federal government can best support the teaching of reading to young children.
This research brief, published by the National High School Center, draws on findings from four studies by MDRC that shed light on both the nature of the problems found in low-performing high schools and on the effectiveness of promising interventions that attempt to address those problems.
Evidence from the Talent Development High School Model
James J. Kemple, Corinne Herlihy, Thomas J. Smith
Talent Development, a high school reform initiative, produced substantial positive effects on attendance, academic course credits earned, tenth-grade promotion, and algebra pass rates for students in very low-performing schools in Philadelphia.
Context, Components, and Initial Impacts on Students’ Performance and Attendance
Corinne Herlihy, James J. Kemple
During the first three years of implementation in six urban schools, The Talent Development Middle School model—an ongoing, whole-school reform initiative—had a positive impact on math achievement for eighth-graders but appeared to produce no systematic improvement in outcomes for seventh-graders.
Context, Components, and Initial Impacts on Ninth-Grade Students’ Engagement and Performance
James J. Kemple, Corinne Herlihy
An examination of the implementation and early impacts of Talent Development, a whole-school reform initiative, found that the model produced substantial gains in ninth-grade students’ course completion and promotion rates.
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.