D. Crystal Byndloss
D. Crystal
Director, Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion
Senior Associate, K-12 Education

Byndloss holds dual roles at MDRC. She is the organization’s first director of outreach, diversity, and inclusion, working with MDRC’s leadership team, the human resources department, the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Council, and other organizational stakeholders. Byndloss is also a senior associate in the K-12 Education policy area, where for more than a decade she has researched and directed initiatives to promote college access and success for students with low incomes. Current project work includes studies of the Black Teacher Collaborative and CTE Advise. She also serves as a senior advisor to the study of the New York City P-TECH Grades 9-14 school model. Prior work includes serving as lead implementation researcher on the evaluation of the SEED School of Washington, DC, and as the project director of the College Match pilot program. Byndloss has experience building and maintaining relationships with school districts, high schools, and other partners; collaborating on program and research design; directing program start-up, operations, and close-out; and leading dissemination activities. Past employment includes roles as director of research and analysis for Symphonic Strategies, and assistant dean for research and associate director at the College of Education at Temple University. Byndloss earned a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in sociology from Harvard University, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds an executive education certificate from the Harvard Business School. Byndloss is also a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia fellow.

  • MDRC Publications


      Interim Implementation and Impact Findings from New York City’s P-TECH 9-14 Schools

      May, 2020

      This report evaluates a program focused on preparing students for college and career. Based on partnerships among high schools, community colleges, and employers, the program offers accelerated high school course work, early college, and work-based learning experiences. The findings suggest that students are meeting the benchmarks they need to succeed.

      Issue Focus

      Reflections on Running the College Match Program

      July, 2019

      In this commentary originally published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, MDRC’s Crystal Byndloss offers lessons from our College Match demonstration in Chicago and New York, which helped college-ready, low-income high school students choose selective colleges that matched their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs.


      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.


      A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices

      April, 2015
      D. Crystal Byndloss, Rebecca Coven, Yana Kusayeva, Christine Johnston, Jay Sherwin

      This guide for counselors and advisers offers strategies for helping low-income high school students choose selective colleges that match their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs. It tracks the many steps in the college search, application, and selection process, suggesting ways to incorporate a “match” focus at each stage.


      Lessons for Practitioners

      September, 2013

      Too many low-income, college-ready students enroll in colleges for which they are academically overqualified or don’t go to college at all. This brief offers five strategies from MDRC’s College Match Program in Chicago for practitioners interested in helping high school students make the best college match possible.


      Lessons from the Developmental Education Initiative

      January, 2013
      Janet Quint, Shanna S. Jaggars, D. Crystal Byndloss, Asya Magazinnik

      This report examines the efforts of 15 community colleges that expanded preexisting interventions or put in place new ones directed toward helping students move through developmental coursework more quickly and more successfully.


      Progress and Challenges During the First Year of the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative

      May, 2011
      Janet Quint, D. Crystal Byndloss, Herbert Collado, Alissa Gardenhire, Asya Magazinnik, Genevieve Orr, Rashida Welbeck, Shanna S. Jaggars

      This report examines the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative, an effort to expand promising developmental education interventions in 15 community colleges. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the colleges made progress and encountered challenges in implementing reform strategies in four key areas: changes in curriculum and instruction, academic and student supports, institutionwide policy changes, and precollege interventions.


      Findings from the First Implementation Year

      December, 2003
      Janet Quint, D. Crystal Byndloss

      Based on survey data and findings from interviews and observations, this report describes the First Things First reform initiative and its first year of implementation at seven secondary schools, with a focus on three key components: small learning communities, a family advocacy system, and instructional improvement strategies.

  • Other Publications

      Byndloss, D. Crystal. 2010. “Struggling to Educate Its Own: The Obama College Attainment Challenge and the City of Philadelphia.” Pages 149-174 in Donald Cunnigen and Marino Bruce (eds.), Race in the Age of Obama (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations 16).

      Byndloss, D. Crystal. 2004. Book review of Frances Julia Riemer’s Working at the Margins: Moving off Welfare in America. Education and Urban Society 36, 4: 505-510.

      Byndloss, D. Crystal. 2001. “Revisiting Paradigms in Black Education.” Education and Urban Society 34, 1: 84-100.

      Byndloss, D. Crystal. 1999. “Community Control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville.” In Richard J. Altenbaugh (ed.), Historical Dictionary of American Education. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

  • Projects