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Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Therese Leung as she talks with MDRC researchers about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income peop

Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Therese Leung as she talks with MDRC researchers about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income peop
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Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Therese Leung as she talks with MDRC researchers about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income peop




After the Hurricane: Youth Employment in Puerto Rico

How should policymakers address the long-standing youth unemployment problem in Puerto Rico, which only worsened in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria? With support from the W. T. Grant Foundation, MDRC partnered with Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud, or the Youth Development Institute, to develop recommendations that can create pathways into the workforce for young people and that are supported by evidence-based and promising practices relevant to the current situation in Puerto...


CareerWise Colorado: A Modern Youth Apprenticeship Model

Career and technical education programs have taken on many different forms, but one that has been gaining in popularity is apprenticeships. Join Katie Beal as she talks to Noel Ginsberg, CEO of CareerWise Colorado, and Gretchen Morgan, former president of CareerWise Colorado, about the initiative that seeks to enlist hundreds of employers from many sectors to employ thousands of high school students in the nation’s first large-scale youth apprenticeship program. MDRC is currently working...


Career and Technical Education: Past, Present, and Future

This summer Congress passed the long-awaited reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which governs the federal investment in career and technical education (CTE). But what do CTE programs actually do? And how have they evolved over time? Join Katie Beal as she talks to Mary Visher, a senior research associate at MDRC, about CTE programs — including their development and challenges. They also discuss MDRC’s two-decade history of constructing and evaluating...


Improving Children’s Math Skills

Early math ability is one of the best predictors of children’s math and reading skills into late elementary school. Children with stronger math proficiency in elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. But most early childhood programs don’t focus on math instruction. What kinds of math programs can improve children’s early math abilities? And can they lead to positive impacts for other longer-term outcomes? The Making Pre-K Count and High 5s...


Predicting Risk in Social Service and Education Programs

Social service and education programs aim to help the people they serve achieve positive outcomes (for example, completing a degree or getting a job). But some participants still don’t succeed. Could predicting who is more at risk of not meeting important milestones allow programs to intervene with supports for those who most need them? Predictive analytics is a tool that can help programs use existing data to make predictions of risk for their clients. Program staff can identify...


Enhancing College Promise Programs to Support Student Success

College Promise is a widespread college access movement in the United States, with more than 200 programs across the country. Although these programs help students access college by covering the cost of tuition and fees, they do not typically address barriers to student success. The Detroit Promise Path, administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber, is a program that allows high school graduates to attend local colleges tuition-free and provides evidence-based support strategies to students...


Lessons on Making School Choice Easier for Families

School choice can be an arduous process and can prove especially challenging for low-income or recent-immigrant families. Offering supports, simplifying the process, and personalizing information, among other things, can help families navigate decisions about school choice. In this podcast, MDRC researcher Barbara Condliffe considers how lessons from other policy arenas can help improve school choice process.


Sector-Focused Training That Meets the Needs of Job Seekers and Employers

Can working closely with employers make job training programs more effective? Although many training programs exist, low-income individuals often cannot afford them, do not complete them, or do not obtain a marketable credential. At the same time, many employers claim that they cannot easily find people with the right occupational skills to meet their needs.


Using “Nudges” to Improve Social Programs

Can small changes based on the insights of behavioral science improve the effectiveness of social programs? Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. For example, a change in the way messages or requirements are worded may increase the likelihood that program participants make positive choices. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to...


Gordon Berlin Interviewed About the Role of Research Evidence in Shaping Social Policy

In April, MDRC President Gordon Berlin was interviewed by Denver Frederick, host of the “Business of Giving” radio show in New York City, about the role of rigorous research evidence in informing how government and philanthropy invest in education and social programs. The podcast was also featured on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website. Berlin describes MDRC’s experience evaluating existing programs and developing demonstrations of new interventions. He highlights a number of current...


Keeping Girls out of the Justice System

Girls are making up a larger share of the juvenile justice system than ever before. One program that’s trying to address this issue is the PACE Center for Girls in Florida.


Transitioning to Adulthood

How do young adults fare after they age out of the foster care or juvenile justice systems? And are there services that can help these young people make a successful transition to adulthood? With funding from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, MDRC just released results from an evaluation of the Transitional Living Program (now called YVLifeSet) run by the organization Youth Villages. The program provides intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and...


Tackling Youth Unemployment

What's worked to help disadvantaged youth get jobs? And how can we get more employers actively engaged in this issue? Therese Leung talks with Farhana Hossain, a researcher at MDRC, about the problem of youth unemployment.