Teachers and administrators are central to initiatives that MDRC is evaluating, from teacher coaching and intensive professional development to improving the instructional leadership capacities of principals and their supervisors and promoting changes in structure, instruction, governance, and accountability in low-performing schools.

The Latest
Issue Focus

Funders at all levels are investing in programs to support expectant parents and families with young children. MDRC is conducting research in that field in three areas: integrating systems of services that work together, getting families and children the right services, and building evidence about promising models.

Brief

There is growing evidence that alignment between preschool and elementary school can help sustain the learning gains that children make in preschool. A new policy brief examines two large-scale, multiyear projects seeking to build rigorous evidence about the promise of aligning instruction from preschool through third grade.

Key Documents
Report

In a study sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences, intensive professional development programs for seventh-grade math teachers were implemented as intended, but teacher turnover limited the average dosage received. The programs had no impact on teacher knowledge or student achievement.

Report

What Two Rigorous Studies Tell Us

This synthesis reviews findings from two rigorous, large-scale evaluations — the Professional Development in Reading Study and the Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study. Both interventions had only limited effects on teachers’ knowledge and instruction and no impacts on students’ test scores. The report ends with suggestions about how professional development might be improved to achieve better results.

Report

Improving Classroom Practices in Head Start Settings

This report offers lessons about using coaches to help teachers carry out a program for improving pre-kindergarteners’ social and emotional readiness for school. It addresses selection of the coaching model; coach hiring, training, support, and supervision; coaching processes; and program management, data, and quality assurance.