Founded in 1974, MDRC is committed to improving the lives of people with low incomes. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs, and provide technical assistance to build better programs.
MDRC develops evidence about solutions to some of the nation’s most difficult problems. Explore our projects and variety of products, including publications, videos, podcast episodes, and resources for researchers and practitioners.
High school and college students need more and better training to find jobs in the quickly evolving technical workforce. Courses of study in career and technical education (CTE) aim to provide these skills. This working paper examines the challenges to providing CTE and highlights the need for further research.
MDRC recently conducted an evaluation of training and technical assistance for elementary schools implementing a widely used approach called multi-tiered systems of support for student behavior (MTSS-B). This essay summarizes the findings and offers lessons for future applications of the approach.
A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Male Student Success Initiative for Men of Color
Research literature is rich with theories about the challenges faced by male students of color who strive to achieve college success and completion. This report provides the first causal estimates of the effects of a college program targeting male students of color on academic outcomes.
Findings from a Descriptive Evaluation of Roca Baltimore
Roca Baltimore works with young men who have been involved in the justice system and who are at high risk of violence. This brief assesses the extent to which Roca identified and engaged its target population, through an analysis of data on participants.
Findings from Teacher Interviews on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Early Care and Education Curricula and Professional Development
Communities of color and those with high poverty rates have disproportionately few high-quality options for early education. In this study, preschool teachers were interviewed about equity and inclusion in their classrooms. The findings suggest that curricula and professional development could provide more guidance on incorporating children’s lived experience in classroom learning.
There is limited evidence on how best to implement high quality early care and education curricula and professional development that is aligned with the diverse backgrounds of children in pre-K settings. An MDRC research team led a project to learn more about how that might be accomplished.
MDRC led an implementation study of 59 student success programs across Texas that were funded by a COVID-relief grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This report presents findings; highlights research findings from previously conducted, rigorous evaluations of student support programs; and offers recommendations for future research and practice.
An Analysis of Participants in the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration
This brief explores how the COVID-19 pandemic shifted employment, earnings, and unemployment benefit receipt among workers who have historically faced obstacles to finding and keeping jobs in a more typical economic context—workers who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration, a large-scale research project designed to build evidence on the latest generation of subsidized employment models. This brief presents effects on earnings over a follow-up period of up to eight years.
Two new MDRC reports published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development highlight both the long-term potential of the Jobs Plus employment program to improve economic mobility and the challenges of effectively expanding the model.
Changing labor market needs—particularly with regard to the clean energy sector—highlight the importance of developing new career and technical education (CTE) pathways. This working paper provides an overview of CTE policies and examines the need to improve the education and training pipeline to expand the climate workforce.
This brief provides background information about three substance use disorder treatment sites—in Illinois, Ohio, and Oklahoma—that are implementing the Individual Placement and Support model to provide employment services to participants. MDRC is leading an evaluation of the programs as part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES) project.
In this commentary originally published in Community College Daily, Lena Novak and DeShawn Preston describe the Texas Completion Repayment Grant program, which provided financial support to college students at risk of dropping out during the pandemic. When coupled with comprehensive student support services, this strategy could help more students complete college.
System-Wide Strategies for Helping Adults Access Training and Earn Credentials
This blog post discusses two programs, developed by the Virginia Community College System, for helping adults access training and earn credentials that improve their labor market prospects and provide on-ramps to further education. MDRC and the Community College Research Center are conducting studies of the two programs.
This toolkit was created to help human services agencies build the culture and infrastructure needed to apply data analysis routinely, effectively, and accurately. While it was developed with state TANF agencies in mind, many of the techniques may be useful for a range of government agencies and other organizations.
High-dosage tutoring (HDT) programs are a proven way to accelerate student learning. The Personalized Learning Initiative is studying and supporting the expansion of HDT across the country. This post shares what the team has learned so far plus a planning tool that districts can use to implement such programs.
A Synthesis of the Research for Employers and Local Governments
The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 encourages applicants for federal funding in domestic semiconductor manufacturing to include sectoral partnerships. MDRC has conducted nearly 15 years of research on sector strategies. This paper presents recommendations drawn from evidence that employers and local governments can use to implement sector strategies well.
Resisting Erasure in Higher Education Policy and Practice
A virtual roundtable brought together students, administrators, faculty members, and funders to examine and hear firsthand about the disparities, needs, and knowledge gaps affecting women of color in postsecondary education. This brief offers recommendations from the roundtable participants aimed at improving education and career outcomes for women students of color.
A Qualitative Sub-Study from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE)
This report sheds light on participants’ perspectives of home visiting, using mothers’ own words. It explores how mothers who participated in home visiting programs perceived their experiences and relationships with home visitors, with a particular focus on building trusting relationships.
Full Findings from the Pretrial Justice Collaborative
Many jurisdictions use electronic monitoring (electronic devices that monitor people’s locations) and sobriety monitoring (drug and alcohol testing) as alternatives to pretrial detention. The analyses described in this report from four jurisdictions found that neither form of monitoring improves court appearance rates or the avoidance of new arrests.