Robin Tepper
  • MDRC Publications


      Challenges and Opportunities in Summer Programs for Rising Kindergarten Students

      May, 2018
      Barbara Condliffe, Anna Foster, Robin Tepper Jacob

      One focus of the Expanding Children’s Early Learning (ExCEL) Network is the potential value of programs to promote school readiness in the months preceding kindergarten. This brief summarizes lessons learned from a six-week pilot program and consultation with practitioners on three implementation issues — recruitment, attendance, and family involvement.


      The Impacts of Making Pre-K Count and High 5s on Kindergarten Outcomes

      March, 2018
      Shira Kolnik Mattera, Robin Tepper Jacob, Pamela Morris

      This project tested whether high-quality, aligned math instruction, via an evidence-based curriculum in pre-K and innovative math clubs in kindergarten, could improve children’s outcomes. The effect of two years of enriched math translates into closing more than a quarter of the achievement gap between low-income children and their higher-income peers.


      The Implementation of High 5s in New York City

      March, 2018
      Robin Tepper Jacob, Anna Erickson, Shira Kolnik Mattera

      Small-group math clubs in kindergarten are an innovative way to align children’s elementary and pre-K math experiences. In a demonstration of the High 5s kindergarten supplement aligned with the principles of an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate pre-K curriculum, attendance and engagement were high, and children participated in hands-on, individualized activities.


      Implementation, Impacts, and Costs of the Reading Partners Program

      March, 2015
      Robin Tepper Jacob, Catherine Armstrong, Jacklyn Willard

      One-on-one tutoring by volunteers improves the reading proficiency of struggling second- to fifth-graders, according to MDRC’s random assignment study. As a program staffed mostly by volunteers, Reading Partners is substantially less costly than other supplemental reading services typically offered to struggling readers.


      The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers

      June, 2014
      Robin Tepper Jacob, Thomas J. Smith, Jacklyn Willard, Rachel E. Rifkin

      After one year, Reading Partners, a one-on-one tutoring program delivered by volunteers, improved three different measures of reading proficiency for second- to fifth-graders — impacts equaling 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy achievement over a control group (who also received supplemental reading services).

      September, 2013

      This paper examines the properties of two nonexperimental study designs that can be used in educational evaluation: the comparative interrupted time series (CITS) design and the difference-in-difference (DD) design. The paper looks at the internal validity and precision of these two designs, using the example of the federal Reading First program as implemented in a midwestern state.

      August, 2012

      Despite the growing popularity of the use of regression discontinuity analysis, there is only a limited amount of accessible information to guide researchers in the implementation of this research design. This paper provides an overview of the approach and, in easy-to-understand language, offers best practices and general guidance for practitioners.

      April, 2011
      Pei Zhu, Robin Tepper Jacob, Howard Bloom, Zeyu Xu

      This paper provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing and analyzing studies that randomize schools — which comprise three levels of clustering (students in classrooms in schools) — to measure intervention effects on student academic outcomes when information on the middle level (classrooms) is missing.


      Interim Report

      May, 2008
      Beth C. Gamse, Howard Bloom, James J. Kemple, Robin Tepper Jacob

      This report, written by Abt Associates and MDRC and published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, finds that Reading First increased the amount of time that teachers spent on the five essential components of reading instruction, as defined by the National Reading Panel. While Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension on average, there are some indications that some sites had impacts on both instruction and reading comprehension. An overview puts these interim findings in context.

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