Garcia currently serves as the project manager for the Higher Achievement Evaluation and for the implementation study of YouthForce NOLA. She also serves as a data manager for the Investing in Innovation evaluation of the expansion of the Success for All program in middle school mathematics. Garcia played a vital role as a data manager and impact analyst in the evaluation of Response to Intervention for struggling readers in early elementary grades. She also conducted the impact analysis and served as a data manager for the evaluation of Ninth Grade Academies in Florida. In various projects she has been responsible for recruiting study sites, managing and analyzing quantitative data, designing surveys and interview protocols, and conducting interviews and focus groups. Before joining MDRC, she worked as a research analyst at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. She also taught math in a high school in Queens, NY. She holds an MPA from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
MDRC PublicationsCommentaryNovember, 2021
In this commentary, which originally appeared in The Crime Report, Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia describe how temporary cash grants provided by the Center for Employment Opportunities helped more than 10,000 returning citizens transition from prison during the pandemic. They also share findings about the program from MDRC’s recent study.Report
An Evaluation of the Returning Citizens Stimulus ProgramSeptember, 2021
In April 2020, the Center for Employment Opportunities launched the Returning Citizens Stimulus (RCS), a cash transfer program that offered financial support to people released from prison or jail. The findings in this report suggest that RCS may provide a promising model for smoothing reentry from incarceration.Report
Assessing Higher Achievement’s Out-of-School Expansion EffortsJune, 2020
The intensive program for middle school students was successfully replicated in three new cities, significantly improving grades after two years. The findings suggest that Higher Achievement could be a model nationwide to help close the learning gap between children born into poverty and their middle-class peers.ReportJune, 2020
Higher Achievement, which serves fifth- through eighth-graders, is an effective after-school and summer program that improved middle school students’ math and reading test scores and the academic quality of many students’ high schools. These short-term gains did not translate into impacts on the types of colleges that students attended.ReportDecember, 2019
This report evaluates an early education program aimed at providing high-quality language and literacy instruction to children in underserved communities. The report examines how services delivered by senior volunteers enhanced preschoolers’ experiences in the classroom and whether this program model shows promise for improving children’s literacy and social-emotional development.Report
An Independent Evaluation of the National Study of Learning MindsetsNovember, 2019
One type of intervention to help students navigate the tricky transition to ninth grade communicates to them that their brains can grow “stronger.” This evaluation of one such intervention finds that it changed students’ beliefs and attitudes and produced impacts on their average academic performance.Issue FocusApril, 2019
This evaluation examines a “growth mindset” intervention for ninth-graders as they make the transition to high school. It aims to boost students’ ability to meet challenges and persist in school by demonstrating that academic setbacks do not indicate poor intelligence ― with the goal of enhancing academic resilience and, ultimately, performance.Report
A Report from the Investing in Innovation (i3) EvaluationJune, 2017
PowerTeaching emphasizes cooperative learning to instruct middle school math and has shown strong evidence of effectiveness. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education funded an effort to scale up the program, and in 2012 MDRC began a multiyear evaluation of it. This report describes the evaluation and presents its findings.Report
The Effect of Ninth Grade Academies on Students’ Academic and Behavioral OutcomesJune, 2016
A Ninth Grade Academy is a self-contained learning community within a high school that aims to create a more personalized environment for freshmen. The model has shown promise in the context of whole-school reform, but successful implementation is challenging. The academies studied did not improve students’ academic or behavioral outcomes.
Maguire, Cindy, Jacob Mishook, Ivonne Garcia, and Genevieve de Gaillande. 2013. “Creating Multiple Pathways in the Arts: A New York City Case Study.” International Journal of Education and the Arts 14, 10: 143-172.
Maguire, Cindy, Corinne Donovan, Jacob Mishook, Genevieve de Gaillande, and Ivonne Garcia. 2012. “Choosing a Life One Has Reason to Value: The Role of the Arts in Fostering Capability Development in Four Small Urban High Schools.” Cambridge Journal of Education 42, 3: 367-390.
MDRC is leading an evaluation of JPMorgan Chase’s Summer Youth Employment Program, a national program that aims to help economically disadvantaged and out-of-school youth enter the labor market and pursue economic mobility. MDRC will conduct semi-structured interviews with program staff at 27...
The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), which provides subsidized employment and other services to individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration, launched the Returning Citizens Stimulus (RCS) program in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided...Rachel 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,...
Jumpstart is a national early education organization with a commitment to enriching the learning experiences of children from underserved communities. Since 1993, teams of volunteers have delivered Jumpstart’s research-based curriculum, which is designed to improve children’s language and literacy skills and social-emotional development. The program is characterized by...
The transition into high school is a volatile time for adolescents and a precarious point in the course of their education. Students who successfully navigate this transition and pass their ninth-grade classes are far more likely to graduate from high school with their peers and attend college than those who fail courses in the ninth grade.
The growing awareness...
Apprenticeship programs have been more limited in the United States than they have been in many European countries, both in the numbers of individuals and the number and type of employers who participate in them. Only a few thousand apprenticeship programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and these are mostly in construction...
Career-pathways models designed to prepare high school students for success in college and careers are proliferating in school districts around the country. Each typically includes a sequence of career/technical education courses in a broad career theme such as health or computer science. Some initiatives also offer work-based learning experiences for students, a...
Under-resourced students will have a steep road ahead as they master new Common Core standards. Schools will also face the challenge of finding sufficient resources to deliver higher-level content in effective, engaging ways. Out-of-school-time (OST) programs, particularly those focused on academic performance, could be one way to provide...
Middle school is a crucial stage for math instruction because students must master the context needed for more advanced high school math. But middle school math achievement has been difficult to improve. While the mathematics performance of American students has improved in recent years it still remains unimpressive by international standards, and the steep decline in...
Students with learning difficulties are more likely to demonstrate low academic achievement despite recent advances in curriculum design, assessments to inform instructional decisions, and research-based intervention strategies. To better serve these students — and to avoid unnecessary referrals for special education services — researchers and practitioners have...
The transition into high school is a volatile time for adolescents and a precarious point in the educational pipeline. Evidence shows ninth grade to be one of the leakiest junctures in this pipeline. MDRC’s research in urban districts suggests that as many as 40 percent of students fail to get promoted from ninth to tenth grade on time, and...