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
Brief

Latinos are enrolling in California colleges in rising numbers, but their outcomes lag behind those of white students. The Latino Academic Transfer and Institutional Degree Opportunities project is examining the approaches taken by Hispanic-Serving Institutions in California to improve the rates at which they transfer to universities and complete college.

Issue Focus

This issue focus discusses the conclusions of a recent MDRC working paper, Project-Based Learning: A Literature Review. The paper found that project-based learning holds promise for improving students’ outcomes but that much remains to be learned about its effectiveness and about how its implementation can be strengthened.

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.