MDRC is examining programs to help struggling students through “catch-up” classes, tutoring and mentoring, supplementary literacy classes, classes designed to counteract instructional deficits, and case management and “high-intensity” supports for children with the greatest challenges.

The Latest
Issue Focus

SUCCESS, a comprehensive coaching program designed to improve college graduation rates among low-income students, has quickly transitioned during the pandemic. It is offering virtual advising appointments, adapting meeting topics to include tips for distance learning, and connecting students with local resources including food, health care, and emergency financial aid.

Report

A four-week course to prepare students for developmental-level math did not attract many students who were referred to it. While some participants gained needed skills, most did not complete the course or move on to developmental math, and communication about the course among staff, faculty, advisors, and students was inconsistent.

Key Documents
Report

Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

After three years, participants in National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, an intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, are more likely than their control group counterparts to have obtained a GED or high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be working. Their earnings are also 20 percent higher.

Report

Evidence from the Talent Development High School Model

Talent Development, a high school reform initiative, produced substantial positive effects on attendance, academic course credits earned, tenth-grade promotion, and algebra pass rates for students in very low-performing schools in Philadelphia.

Report

Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

High school reform is increasingly focused on the role of career-technical education (CTE) in preparing all students for success in both college and career. Instead of stand-alone vocational courses, programs that merge CTE, rigorous academics, and career exploration are gaining momentum, but schools need resources and training to implement them.