The new book Randomistas describes how randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have revolutionized many fields. RCTs are a uniquely powerful tool, but they are not the only way to build knowledge about effective programs for low-income people.
Findings from Three New Studies of Youth Employment Programs
Over four million young people in the United States are “disconnected,” meaning they are not in school and are not working. In the past few months, studies of three programs aimed at such young people have released new findings. This brief discusses these findings and their implications.
Results from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation
Adverse experiences in children’s earliest years can negatively affect development. Home visiting for expectant parents and families with young children can help, but implementation research is scant. MIHOPE, a national evaluation of a federal home visiting program, is examining 88 local programs across four evidence-based models to learn about their implementation and impacts.
By combining prior beliefs about a program’s effectiveness with new data to produce a distribution of impacts, Bayesian statistics provides an alternative to classical methods that may be more useful for policymaking. Reflections on Methodology discusses some issues with and applications of this approach.
With its new Center for Data Insights, MDRC is furthering its long-standing commitment to helping our partners improve their programs and systems. This issue focus describes how the Center is assisting government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations use their data better to refine and target their services.
This paper reports outcomes for community college students who took modularized, self-paced, computer-assisted, remedial math courses with outcomes of students who took “traditional” (that is, mostly lecture-based) classes. Modularized courses were no more (or less) effective than traditional courses at helping students complete their developmental math requirements.
Subsidized Employment Programs Serving American Indians and Alaska Natives
This report describes the ways in which eight TANF programs primarily serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) families use subsidized employment. It found that their use of subsidized employment has the potential to provide work opportunities for AIAN individuals with limited work experience and barriers to employment.
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.
Final Impact Findings from the Paycheck Plus Demonstration in New York City
Paycheck Plus raises the top tax credit for low-income workers without dependent children from $500 to $2,000. In a three-year test, the program increased after-credit earnings, reducing severe poverty; modestly improved employment among women and more disadvantaged men; and led to more noncustodial parents paying child support.
An Implementation and Early Impacts Report
Early findings show that using multiple measures to assess college readiness reduces the number of students placed in remedial classes and increases the number who enroll in and complete college-level math and English.