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.
Lessons from the New York City Change Capital Fund’s Economic Mobility Initiative (2014-2018)
A group of 17 donors are collaborating to provide multiyear funding to help community organizations build data capacity and integrate services — an uncommon opportunity. This report reviews the progress made among the first round of grantees and considers lessons involving donor expectations, technical assistance, and stakeholder involvement.
Studying implementation is a multidisciplinary exercise requiring careful planning and coordination. This post, the first of several from the Implementation Research Incubator describing the processes and procedures of MDRC’s work, shows how a wide array of staff members contribute to the effort.
Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) is an initiative to help young people who have been involved in the foster care or juvenile justice systems, or who are homeless. This brief provides details on the models in LEAP and the young people participating, and offers some early implementation findings.