Professional Development/ Teacher Training


An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances

February, 2015
Karen E. Walker, Jean Grossman, Kristine Andrews, Nicholas Carrington, Angela Rojas

Nonprofit organizations, which deliver many of the social services Americans receive, often face financial management challenges that affect the quality of their services. This report examines how 25 Chicago-based organizations responded over a four-year period to an initiative designed to improve their ability to address those financial challenges.


Exploratory Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration

December, 2014
JoAnn Hsueh, Amy Lowenstein, Pamela Morris, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Michael Bangser

This report suggests that evidence-based approaches can improve 3-year-olds’ social-emotional competence in mixed-age preschool classrooms. While the findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the results and to better understand how these benefits are generated.

Issue Focus

Early Reflections from MDRC’s Evaluation of the Innovative Professional Development Challenge

January, 2015

In the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping school districts redesign their teacher professional development systems to better support teachers in increasing student success. This Issue Focus, the second in a series, offers some early reflections from MDRC’s study of it.

Nonprofit organizations, which deliver many of the social services Americans receive, often suffer from weak financial management capacity that affects the quality of their services. Between 2009 and 2013, the Wallace Foundation undertook an initiative to test if it could: (1) strengthen the financial capabilities of nonprofit staff, comparing the results of two models...


Design Report

July, 2014
Eboni Howard, Kathryn Drummond, Jonathan Farber, James Taylor, Barbara S. Goldman, Marie-Andrée Somers, Chrishana M. Lloyd, Michael Fishman, Jessica Wille

This report provides recommendations for an evaluation of coaching that may impact teacher and classroom practices in Head Start and other early childhood settings — including about the research questions; the design of the impact study, implementation research, and cost analysis; and logistical challenges for carrying out the design.


Design Options for an Evaluation of Head Start Coaching

July, 2014

Using a study of coaching in Head Start as an example, this report reviews potential experimental design options that get inside the “black box” of social interventions by estimating the effects of individual components. It concludes that factorial designs are usually most appropriate.


The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now

August, 2014
William Corrin, Susan Sepanik, Aracelis Gray, Felix Fernandez, Ashley Briggs, Kathleen K. Wang

Three national organizations formed Diplomas Now in an effort to transform urban secondary schools so fewer students drop out. This report introduces Diplomas Now and the associated evaluation, shares first-year implementation fidelity findings, and discusses collaboration among the Diplomas Now partners and between those partners and schools.


Adapting a Preschool Social-Emotional Curriculum

June, 2014
Michael Fishman, Jessica Wille

In this study, an existing evidence-based curriculum was adapted for use with a special population by focusing on structural, cultural, and language issues. The findings indicate that adaptations can account for a specific population’s needs while staying true to the core principles and components of the program.

Issue Focus

The Importance of Evidence

July, 2014
Gordon Berlin

In this essay, adapted from remarks made to the Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange 2014 Conference on Scaling Impact, MDRC President Gordon Berlin explains why developing reliable evidence of effectiveness is critical when expanding programs to a large scale.