Design, Sites, and Data Sources
Project Transition’s impacts were estimated using a cohort comparison design. (Each entering ninth-grade class is referred to as a cohort). The study compared outcomes for cohorts that experienced Project Transition with outcomes for a cohort of ninth graders in the same schools prior to the project’s implementation. The differences in outcomes between the pre-Project Transition and Project Transition groups represent the program’s impacts.
Project Transition was field-tested in two large urban high schools, one located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other in Kansas City, Kansas.
Data sources used to assess implementation included observations, interviews, and focus groups conducted at the two schools by MDRC researchers. To estimate the project’s effects on students, data were obtained from a survey administered to each group of students during the spring semester of their ninth-grade year and from school records data maintained by the Milwaukee and Kansas City, Kansas, public school systems.