MDRC Awarded Grant from Institute of Education Sciences to Evaluate The Urban Assembly Network


With support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, MDRC is launching a new project: An Experienced School Support Organization at Scale: A Study of The Urban Assembly Network. The Urban Assembly Network (UA) is an experienced school support network based in New York City that has been working with schools since 1997. Under contract with the New York City Department of Education, UA supported 23 high schools in the 2019–20 school year, serving roughly 10,000 students throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

The study will evaluate the effects of the UA school support network on the academic and socio-emotional outcomes of students who were assigned to a UA school through a naturally occurring lottery as part of the NYC high school admissions process. A complementary propensity score matching design will be used to estimate effects for all students assigned to a UA school. An implementation study will explore the fidelity of implementation and facilitators/barriers to implementation. In addition, a landscaping study of school support networks in NYC will be used to understand the NYC school support system and a cost study will look at the cost of implementation and the cost-effectiveness of the model.