Professional Development/ Teacher Training

A Literature Review

October, 2017
Barbara Condliffe, Janet Quint, Mary Visher, Michael Bangser, Sonia Drohojowska, Larissa Saco, Elizabeth Nelson

Examining the scholarly literature published since a seminal review in 2000, this working paper discusses the principles that underlie project-based learning, how it has been used in K-12 settings, the challenges teachers have confronted in implementing it, and what is known about its effectiveness in improving students’ learning outcomes.

Introducing ExCEL P-3, a Study from the Expanding Children’s Early Learning Network

July, 2017
Meghan McCormick, JoAnn Hsueh, Christina Weiland, Michael Bangser

The ExCEL Network, a collaboration of researchers, preschool providers, and local officials, is exploring how benefits of early childhood interventions persist. The ExCEL P-3 project examines whether one preschool program, reinforced by a system-wide alignment of instruction into elementary school, has impacts on a range of skills through third grade.

A Report from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation

June, 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.

This study evaluates a new two-year intervention focused on student writing called Drive to Write. The intervention integrates technology coaching into a global history curriculum to create opportunities for focused student writing and revision and increased teacher feedback on writing.

Preliminary Kindergarten Impacts of the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s Programs

February, 2017

Can children’s math skills be strengthened in pre-K and kindergarten, and can such improvements have longer-term effects? This preliminary analysis examines the cumulative effects of two early math programs and demonstrates that this enhanced experience can have modest, positive impacts on children’s math and executive function skills in kindergarten.

Improving Math Instruction in New York City

October, 2016

An evidence-based preschool math curriculum called Building Blocks, combined with ongoing professional development, was compared with “business as usual” pre-K programs across 69 public schools and community-based organizations. This report contains interim findings on the implementation of the model, the amount and quality of its math instruction, and children’s learning outcomes.

Interim Impact Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation of Diplomas Now

June, 2016

The Diplomas Now whole-school reform model, including targeted interventions for students at risk of dropping out, had an impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators related to attendance, behavior, or course performance, and had more encouraging results in middle schools than high schools.

April, 2016
Joshua Malbin, Rekha Balu

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states greater responsibility for choosing strategies to improve underperforming schools. For over a decade, MDRC has rigorously evaluated school improvement strategies, collecting evidence that can help states determine which strategies are likely to work. This Issue Focus describes four of MDRC’s most recent studies.

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