MDRC is building a body of evidence on strategies that work to increase graduation rates, boost academic achievement, and improve the transition to postsecondary education and employment for high school students.

The Latest
Working Paper

High school and college students need more and better training to find jobs in the quickly evolving technical workforce. Courses of study in career and technical education (CTE) aim to provide these skills. This working paper examines the challenges to providing CTE and highlights the need for further research.

Working Paper

Changing labor market needs—particularly with regard to the clean energy sector—highlight the importance of developing new career and technical education (CTE) pathways. This working paper provides an overview of CTE policies and examines the need to improve the education and training pipeline to expand the climate workforce.

Key Documents

A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices

This guide for counselors and advisers offers strategies for helping low-income high school students choose selective colleges that match their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs. It tracks the many steps in the college search, application, and selection process, suggesting ways to incorporate a “match” focus at each stage.


The Effects of New York City’s Small High Schools of Choice on Postsecondary Enrollment

New data from a rigorous study confirm that New York City’s small public high schools, which have nonselective admissions and serve many disadvantaged students, increase rates of graduation and college attendance for a wide range of groups, including students of color.


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

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.