This paper provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing studies that randomize groups to measure the impacts of educational interventions.
Will the Past Be Prologue?
In remarks given at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, MDRC President Gordon Berlin looks at the extraordinary challenges the current labor market presents to employment policy generally and WIA reauthorization specifically, outlines what we have (and haven’t) learned from research, and makes recommendations for future directions.
Lessons for Practitioners
This 12-page brief distills practical implementation lessons from four programs that help low-wage workers access and retain child care subsidies, public health insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and other related government benefits.
The Employment Retention and Advancement Project
A program in Los Angeles offering individualized and flexible case management services to working welfare recipients did not substantially increase the use of work-based services by participants – and did not lead to greater employment or higher earnings than did the county’s existing postemployment program.
Implementation and Early Impacts for Two Programs That Sought to Encourage Advancement Among Low-Income Workers
While these two different programs in the Employment Retention and Advancement Project both increased service receipt, neither had effects on job retention or advancement after 1.5 years of follow-up.
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.
WASC is an innovative strategy to help low-wage workers increase their incomes by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. In its first year, WASC connected more workers to food stamps and publicly funded health care coverage and, in one site, substantially increased training activities.
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.
Camden During Receivership
This working paper gives a broad overview of redevelopment efforts under the first term of state receivership in Camden, New Jersey. It concludes that attempts to build public capacity to revitalize cities may need to be complemented by efforts to build civic capacity, or the ability to solve problems in coordination with major partners.
A Framework for Monitoring Outcomes for Residents and Housing Markets in Camden and the South Jersey Region
This paper offers a framework for tracking the extent to which demographic, labor, and housing market conditions are moving in or out of alignment with a range of goals for redevelopment in Camden, New Jersey.