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
Issue Focus

Focusing on NYC’s small high schools of choice, this reflection on MDRC’s recent high school reform research considers responses to five challenges: creating personalized, orderly learning environments; assisting students with poor academic skills; improving instructional content and practice; preparing students for the future; and stimulating change in overstressed high schools.

Brief

This brief, a collaboration with Results for America, identifies the major categories of career and technical education within the nation’s secondary and postsecondary education systems and describes the existing research on whether these programs are achieving desired outcomes for students.

Key Documents
Report

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.

Brief

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.

Report

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.