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.
Interim Implementation and Impact Findings from New York City’s P-TECH 9-14 SchoolsMay, 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 FocusApril, 2020
School closures have left many high school students without in-person access to the advisers and counselors they were relying on to help them transition to college. Crystal Byndloss offers resources from MDRC’s College Match Project to help advisers provide virtual assistance.Issue Focus
Reflections on Running the College Match ProgramJuly, 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.Report
An Evaluation of SEED DCJune, 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.Report
A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College ChoicesApril, 2015
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.Brief
Lessons for PractitionersSeptember, 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.Report
Lessons from the Developmental Education InitiativeJanuary, 2013
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.Report
Progress and Challenges During the First Year of the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education InitiativeMay, 2011
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.Report
Findings from the First Implementation YearDecember, 2003
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.
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.
ProjectsRachel Rosen, Ivonne Garcia, D. Crystal Byndloss, Shelley Rappaport, Emma Alterman, Hannah Dalporto, Hannah Power, Crystal Nuñez
New models of career and technical education (CTE) have expanded student choices and shifted towards high-quality, career-themed programs of study and pathways to careers. Advising within CTE programs plays a key role in guiding student pathway choices and ensuring that career information is received by all students,...Rachel Rosen, D. Crystal Byndloss, Sonia Drohojowska, Leigh Parise, Rebecca Unterman, Emma Alterman, Jedediah J. Teres, Michelle Dixon
The idea for this high school model began in 2010 in New York City when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a public-private partnership of the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology, and IBM to develop a new approach to secondary and postsecondary education....
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. These trends are particularly pronounced in urban areas and...
Unprecedented national attention is now focusing on the community college as a critical institution for helping American workers secure economic well-being and for helping the nation as a whole to retain a competitive edge in the world economy. President Obama announced his intention to invest billions of federal dollars to strengthen these schools, with the goal of...Fred Doolittle, D. Crystal Byndloss, Marie-Andrée Somers, Michelle Ware, Rebecca Unterman, Yana Kusayeva
To remain globally competitive and to advance economic opportunity for all its residents, the United States must dramatically increase the number of low-income students who enroll in and graduate from college. Despite the broad political consensus on this point — and a significant investment of resources by public and private funders — efforts to restructure high...