This paper provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing studies that randomize groups to measure the impacts of educational interventions.
A Research Note for Funders
Targeted toward very low-income families in six high-poverty New York City communities, Family Rewards offers cash payments tied to efforts and achievements in children’s education, family preventive health care practices, and parents’ employment. This paper reviews data on participants’ receipt of rewards and offers preliminary estimates of the program’s impacts on selected educational outcomes during the first year.
What We Know, What We Don’t, and What’s Next
Studies of Reading First released in 2008 found no overall effect on student reading comprehension, and the program was eliminated in 2009. However, the research findings were more nuanced than was widely reported, and they offer lessons for policymakers making critical choices today about how the federal government can best support the teaching of reading to young children.
This report presents a preliminary analysis of the cost of operating Britain’s Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration, which is being evaluated though a large-scale randomised control trial. This assessment of costs will become an important element of the full cost-benefit analysis to be presented in future ERA reports.
A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families
In this article in The Future of Children journal, MDRC President Gordon Berlin answers the question: If you could do one thing to reduce poverty in America, what would it be? He explores the potential advantages of expanding the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to all low-wage adults who work full time — whether they have children or not and whether they marry or not.
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.
In his testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, MDRC President Gordon Berlin argues that the most direct way to alleviate poverty is to tackle the legacy of falling wages, particularly for men with less education.
This report published by the UK Department for Work and Pensions presents encouraging findings on the early effects of Britain’s Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Demonstration. Aimed at helping low-income individuals sustain employment and progress in work, ERA offers a combination of job coaching and financial incentives to participants once they are working.