Texas

At the time this project began, a third of all babies in the United States were born to unmarried mothers, and the fraction was even higher among low-income families. Although many children of unwed couples flourish, research has shown that, on average, they are at higher risk of living in poverty and of developing social, behavioral, and academic problems than are...

For low-income youth who lack basic skills and drop out of school, finding employment at a living wage is a challenge. Developed by MDRC as a nonresidential alternative to Job Corps, JOBSTART was an unusual collaborative effort to help disadvantaged young people join the economic mainstream. The idea guiding this demonstration project was that training coupled with...

Over the past two decades, poverty has become increasingly concentrated in the nation’s inner cities, while many employment opportunities — especially entry-level jobs for people with limited education and skills — have relocated to the urban periphery. Roughly eight million residents in the urban communities where poverty is most entrenched do not have access to jobs...

The wages and earnings of low-income workers have been stagnant or declining in real terms for approximately 35 years. Nationwide, the labor market-driven growth of the low-wage workforce has become a major issue for both the business community and the public. Low-wage workers represent a significant segment of the nation’s workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor...

Developed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education ( IRRE ), First Things First is an ambitious comprehensive school reform model that seeks to address the impersonal nature and poor performance of many secondary schools serving disadvantaged students. Calling for changes in structure, instruction, governance, and accountability in low-performing middle...

Big-city school districts play a critical role in educating America’s children. Although there are almost 17,000 public school districts in the United States, just 100 of them serve 23 percent of all students, 30 percent of economically disadvantaged students, and 40 percent of students from racial minorities. It is in the big cities that the challenges facing the...

Launched in Houston in 1993 by James Ketelsen, retired CEO of Tenneco, and since expanded to 12 additional school districts, Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams ( GRAD ) combines a variety of promising reforms to improve instruction and raise student achievement in schools that serve primarily minority and low-income students. With the overarching objective of...

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