Clear all

6 results found

reorder grid_view

Evidence Use in Congress: Options for Charting a New Direction; Volume 2

April 1, 2018

Lawmakers in Congress have expressed a growing interest in the promise of evidence-based policymaking. Bipartisan legislation has been pursued in Congress that would encourage the use of evidence to improve outcomes for key education, health, workforce, and other federal programs. These past legislative initiatives suggest growing potential for the wider use of evidence to better inform congressional decision-making in the future. However, key challenges remain for fostering a stronger culture of evidence in Congress. This stronger culture will be necessary to fully realize the potential benefits of evidence-based policymaking.

Evidence Use in Congress: Challenges for Evidence-Based Policymaking; Volume 1

March 1, 2018

Evidence-based policymaking holds the potential to restore some of the lost public trust in America's government institutions, including Congress. When evidence is used to make incremental changes to policies and programs, it can improve performance. The approach to collecting and using information about government policies and programs has been increasingly demanded in some parts of Congress, though its implementation today is not evenly applied throughout the institution.

Designing Scholarships To Improve College Success: Final Report On the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

November 16, 2015

Performance-based scholarships have two main goals: to give students more money for college and to provide incentives for academic progress. They are designed to reduce the financial burden on low-income students and help them progress academically by offering financial aid contingent upon meeting pre-specified academic benchmarks. The scholarships are intended to cover a modest amount of students' educational costs during the semesters they are offered -- generally between 15 and 25 percent of students' unmet financial need, the difference between students' calculated financial need to attend college and the financial aid they are awarded. The money is paid directly to students, on top of their existing federal and state need-based financial aid, and the students themselves decide how best to use the funds. MDRC launched the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in 2008 to evaluate the effectiveness of these scholarships for as broad a range of low-income students as possible, in a variety of settings, and with varying incentive structures. As such, the evaluation includes more than 12,000 students in institutions across six states to test different performance-based scholarship designs. These results show that even relatively moderate investments in low-income students' education can have modest but long-lasting impacts on their academic outcomes. These findings may be especially relevant to states, institutions, and private scholarship providers seeking purposeful and efficient ways to give low-income students additional financial aid that can also help them succeed academically.

Making School Choice Work Series: How Parents Experience Public School Choice

December 15, 2014

A growing number of cities now provide a range of public school options for families to choose from. Choosing a school can be one of the most stressful decisions parents make on behalf of their child. Getting access to the right public school will determine their child's future success. How are parents faring in cities where choice is widely available? This report answers this question by examining how parents' experiences with school choice vary across eight "high-choice" cities: Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Our findings suggest parents are taking advantage of the chance to choose a non-neighborhood-based public school option for their child, but there's more work to be done to ensure choice works for all families.

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color: Evidence From Promising Programs

June 25, 2014

In light of the momentum building to improve the fortunes of young men of color, this review examines what is known about this population -- particularly related to their struggles in the labor market -- and highlights programs that are shown by randomized controlled trials to be making a difference.

A Funder's Guide to Using Evidence of Program Effectiveness in Scale-Up Decisions

May 1, 2014

This Guide provides funders with practical advice on how to think about and use evidence of effectiveness when considering investments in scale-up opportunities. The Guide does not seek to turn private funders into evaluation experts or to delve into the methodological details of particular research approaches. Rather, the focus is on the right questions that funders should ask and the pitfalls they should avoid, including how to recognize the limitations of certain kinds of evidence. The Guide is divided into three sections:Section I, Eight Key Questions to Ask Throughout the Scale-Up Process, presents what funders should look for to determine whether programs are effective. These questions provide the building blocks for the discussion in the following section.Section II, Application of the Eight Questions to Scale-Up Decisions, shows how the questions apply to the different stages of a program's evidence-building and scale-up.Section III, Next Steps for the Field, highlights some remaining challenges for the field to consider in using evidence of effectiveness to guide scale-up decisions.