Issue Focus

MDRC Commentaries in 2021

December 2021

To reach policymakers, practitioners, and other important decisionmakers, MDRC experts authored or coauthored more than a dozen commentaries on evidence-based solutions for a variety of venues this year, including The Hill, Community College Daily, Higher Ed Dive, The Hechinger Report, The 74, District Administration, Early Leaning Nation, and New America’s Early Ed blog. Here’s a selection from across the organization:

Biden Wants to Boost the EITC for Workers Without Dependent Children—What Does the Research Say?

In this commentary originally published in The HillMDRC’s Cynthia Miller and Lawrence Katz, Harvard economist and member of MDRC’s Board, describe why expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers without dependent children can be an effective part of the recovery effort. [February 2021]

How Should School Districts Spend Their Summer? The Case for Investing Pandemic Relief Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten Summer Programs

In this commentary originally published by New America, Meghan McCormick and Amena Sengal argue that states and districts should allocate some pandemic relief dollars to strengthening summer learning for pre-k and kindergarten students. [March 2021]

It Will Take More Than Free Tuition to Improve Graduation Rates

In this commentary, originally published in Community College DailyMDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge draws on years of research to make the case for the importance of adding robust support services to free tuition programs at community colleges. [April 2021]

Three Ways to Improve the Quality of Preschool Programs

In this commentary, originally published in District Administration, MDRC’s Michelle Maier and Shira Mattera offer evidenced-backed advice for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest new federal funds to enhance the quality of preschool programs. [September 2021]

How $24M in Cash Grants Provided a Lifeline for Returning Citizens During Pandemic

In this commentary, which originally appeared in The Crime Report, Sam Schaeffer of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and MDRC’s Ivonne Garcia describe how temporary cash grants provided by CEO helped more than 10,000 returning citizens transition from prison during the pandemic. They also share findings about the program from MDRC’s recent study. [October 2021]