Urban high schools are in trouble — high dropout rates, low student achievement, and graduates who are unprepared for the world of work are just some of the disappointing indicators. However, this policy memo, part of our “Looking Forward” series, explains how recent research has uncovered a number of approaches to improving student outcomes and reforming underperforming schools.
Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles
This report, a Public/Private Ventures project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, presents results from the nation’s first large-scale study to examine how the levels and sources of risk youth face may influence their mentoring relationships and the benefits they derive from participating in mentoring programs.
A Relationship Skills Education Program for Unmarried Parents
The Building Strong Families evaluation assessed the effects of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child. This report presents final results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.
Too many community college students arrive on campus unprepared, get placed into developmental (or remedial) courses, and never complete a credential, graduate, or transfer to a four-year institution. Part of our “Looking Forward” series, this policy memo calls for bolder action to learn what works to improve developmental education.
An Evaluation of Achieving the Dream in Washington State
In 2006, six community and technical colleges in Washington State joined the innovative Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative. This report describes the progress they made in implementing ATD’s “culture of evidence” principles for institutional improvement, examines strategies they implemented to improve student success, and charts trends in student outcomes before and after they joined ATD.
Eight programs, in various settings, successfully implemented a voluntary package of relationship skills services for low-income married couples with children, engaging a diverse group of couples who participated for eight months on average. A companion report finds that the programs produced a pattern of small, positive effects on couples’ relationships after 12 months.
Implementation and Final Impacts of the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) Demonstration
WASC sought to increase the incomes of low-wage workers by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. The program increased workers’ receipt of work supports. In the two sites that eased access to funds for training, WASC increased the receipt of certificates and licenses and increased earnings in the third year.
Six-Year Effects of a Freshman Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College
Students who participated in a one-semester learning community, in which small groups of student took three linked classes together and received other extra services, were more likely to have graduated six years later. The program also proved to be cost-effective.
Bridging the Gap between High School and College in Tacoma, Washington
Getting Ready for Success provides low-income students in Tacoma with academic and social supports and monetary incentives during the late high school and early college years to increase their motivation and ability to succeed in college.