Curricular/Instructional Reforms

Testimony of Alexander Mayer, Deputy Director, Postsecondary Education, MDRC, Before the New Jersey State Assembly Higher Education Committee

May, 2018

On May 7, Alex Mayer discussed the challenge of developmental education for low-income college students in New Jersey and nationwide, citing recent innovations and growing evidence about what works to overcome barriers to college success. The strongest programs integrate several strategies, combining opportunity and obligation to address multiple student barriers.

Implementation and Outcome Findings for the AVID Central Florida Collaborative Study

March, 2018
Susan Sepanik, Stephanie Safran, Larissa Saco

Implemented in eight secondary schools and a local college, this program was designed to build students’ college preparedness by training instructors in shared teaching strategies and best practices, strengthening academic rigor in the classroom, and promoting collaboration and consistency in teaching and study strategies across grades and schools.

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.

Testimony Before the California State Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance

February, 2018

On February 6, Alex Mayer, MDRC’s Deputy Director of Postsecondary Education, explained to members of two California State Assembly committees that combining and integrating evidence-based strategies to address multiple factors can be highly effective in improving completion rates among low-income college students.

Launching the Drive to Write Program

January, 2018
Rekha Balu, Emma Alterman, Zeest Haider, Kelly Quinn

How do schools encourage students to write more and teachers to offer more comments on student writing? How can schools use technology more effectively to support this shift in instruction? What makes achieving both of these goals difficult? The Drive to Write program tackles these challenges.

The Effects of the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs After Six Years

October, 2017
Himani Gupta

The City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is an uncommonly comprehensive and long-term program shown to raise graduation rates among community college students. Following up after six years, MDRC finds that ASAP increases graduation rates and enables some students to earn their degrees sooner.

New Approaches to Serving the Lowest-Skilled Students at Community Colleges in Texas and Beyond

October, 2017

Faced with many applicants with very low math skills, community colleges are responding with a variety of reforms, including restricting developmental courses to students with high-school-level skills. This brief provides context for the policy changes and describes the alternatives two colleges offer to those who don’t make the cut.

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