This research brief, published by the National High School Center, examines the challenges and opportunities presented in evaluating whether an intervention achieves defined goals of increasing students’ educational attainment, employment, and earnings after high school.
No universal guideline exists for judging the practical importance of a standardized effect size, a measure of the magnitude of an intervention’s effects. This working paper argues that effect sizes should be interpreted using empirical benchmarks — and presents three types in the context of education research.
This “snapshot,” published by the National High School Center, explains how Thomas A. Edison High School in Philadelphia implemented a Ninth-Grade Success Academy.
This policy brief, published by the National High School Center, focuses on five key challenges that states, districts, and schools should address to support a successful transition into high school.
This issue brief, published by the National High School Center, suggests that transitions into high school can be eased when both structural and specialized curricula reforms are in place.
The Effects of Four Popular Improvement Programs
This research brief, published by the National High School Center, draws on findings from four studies by MDRC that shed light on both the nature of the problems found in low-performing high schools and on the effectiveness of promising interventions that attempt to address those problems.
Empirical Guidance for Studies That Randomize Schools to Measure the Impacts of Educational Interventions
This paper examines how controlling statistically for baseline covariates (especially pretests) improves the precision of studies that randomize schools to measure the impacts of educational interventions on student achievement.
Relying on 427 classroom observations conducted over a three-year period, this study traces changes in teachers’ instructional practices in the First Things First schools.
The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children
Drawing on ethnographic interviews, this policy brief describes the patchwork child care arrangements made by low-income parents and discusses implications for policies that would promote the dual objectives of child well-being and parental employment.
How Welfare and Work Policies Influence Parents’ Decisions
Congressional deliberations on the future of welfare reform have reopened a debate about whether current child care assistance programs adequately support employment among low-income working parents while also fostering their children’s development. Issues at the forefront of this debate are explored in this timely new policy brief.