High School Dropouts

MDRC designs and evaluates projects that serve young people who have dropped out of high school (or are at risk of dropping out) and that seek to connect them with educational and work opportunities.

The Latest
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.

Report

In a program to reduce criminal justice involvement, participants received mentoring, case management, subsidized internships, and the opportunity to earn a high school credential. The program reduced the arrest rate for felonies and violent crimes but did not affect overall rates of arrest or incarceration, educational or training certification, or employment.

Key Documents
Brief

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes targeting out-of-school youth with training and services that are employer driven and linked to labor market demand. Drawing upon available research and on-the-ground experience, this paper summarizes existing knowledge that can guide implementation of key WIOA provisions for serving out-of-school youth.

Report

Evidence from Promising Programs

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

Working Paper

A Scan of the Evidence

Disconnected young people are the focus of several recent national initiatives to improve their life prospects. Drawing on interviews and available research, this MDRC Working Paper scans the current state of policy and evidence regarding what works in helping young people reconnect to work or school.