MDRC runs and evaluates programs that work with high school students inside and outside of schools to increase their academic achievement, reduce their chances of leaving school before receiving their diploma, and smooth the transition into postsecondary education and work.

The Latest
Brief

Schools have long struggled to reengage students who have poor attendance or who drop out—a situation that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2021–2022, Communities In Schools introduced the Reengagement Coordinator Initiative, aimed at reengaging high school students who did not reenroll or were chronically absent.

Report

This report from the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and MDRC examines the impact of 37 CTE-dedicated high schools in New York City on a range of outcomes, including academic engagement, high school graduation, and college enrollment.

Key Documents
Report

An Exploratory Study of College Readiness Partnership Programs in Texas

College readiness partnership programs bring together colleges and K-12 institutions to reduce the number of students who need remedial courses when they get to college. This report examines 37 partnerships in Texas to identify key characteristics of the programs, as well as benefits and challenges associated with their implementation and sustainability.

Report

Eight-year findings on Career Academies — a popular high school reform that combines academics with career development opportunities — show that the programs produced sustained employment and earnings gains, particularly among young men. Career Academy participants were also more likely to be living independently with children and a spouse or a partner.

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.