Publications

Issue Focus

Top 10 MDRC Publications in 2014

12/2014

In 2014, MDRC published more than 40 reports and briefs on programs affecting low-income Americans in all realms of education and social policy: education from preschool to postsecondary, workforce development, criminal justice, youth development, welfare programs, early childhood, health and disability, and more. Here’s a list of our top 10 most popular publications released in 2014:

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color: Evidence from Promising Programs

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

Beyond the GED: Promising Models for Moving High School Dropouts to College

This report examines interventions that make adult education and GED standards more rigorous, that combine academic preparation with supports for transitioning to college, or that allow students to enroll in college while earning their GED. The most promising reforms integrate basic skills and GED instruction within specific career fields and support students’ entry into college.

A Funder’s Guide to Using Evidence of Effectiveness in Scale-Up Decisions

This guide, published with the Social Impact Exchange at Growth Philanthropy Network, provides practical advice on how to use evidence of effectiveness when considering opportunities to scale up interventions to improve employment, education, health, and other outcomes. It focuses on eight key questions that every funder should ask before deciding to invest in scale-up.

Impact Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration: National Evaluation of Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence

This demonstration tested the effectiveness of three program enhancements implemented at scale that were designed to improve preschool children’s social-emotional competence. All three had positive impacts on teacher practice and on children’s social-emotional outcomes during the preschool year, although to varying degrees and not necessarily in the expected ways.

Moving Into Adulthood: Implementation Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

This highly structured program offers clinically focused case management, support, and counseling to youth who are leaving state custody or are otherwise unprepared for independent adult living. It emphasizes treatment planning, ongoing client assessment, and evidence-informed practices. Early findings indicate that it has been implemented well and participation is high.

Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers: Implementation of a Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled Adults

The WorkAdvance program model aims to prepare individuals for good jobs in high-demand industries and to increase their prospects for staying employed and moving up. Participants receive career readiness and occupational skills training, job placement, and advancement coaching. This report looks at how four providers translated the model into workable programs.

Paying It Forward: A Technical Assistance Guide for Developing and Implementing Performance-Based Scholarships

Drawing on the findings and experiences of two research demonstrations that tested the effectiveness of performance-based scholarships, this guide provides helpful information for colleges and scholarship-granting organizations on this type of aid, which can reduce the financial burden on low-income students while offering incentives for good academic progress.

Behavioral Economics and Social Policy: Designing Innovative Solutions for Programs Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

This report describes three sites in the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, which applies tools from behavioral economics to improve the well-being of low-income individuals and families — the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Reading Partners: The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers

After one year, Reading Partners, a one-on-one tutoring program delivered by volunteers, improved three different measures of reading proficiency for second- to fifth-graders — impacts equaling 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy achievement over a control group (who also received supplemental reading services).

Headed to College: The Effects of New York City’s Small High Schools of Choice on Postsecondary Enrollment

New data from a rigorous study confirm that New York City’s small public high schools, which have nonselective admissions and serve many disadvantaged students, increase rates of graduation and college attendance for a wide range of groups, including students of color.

Bonus! Most Popular Infographic and Video