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
Brief

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.

Working Paper

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.

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.