Professional Development/ Teacher Training

Issue Focus

Early Reflections from MDRC’s Evaluation of the Innovative Professional Development Challenge

January, 2015

In the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Challenge, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping school districts redesign their teacher professional development systems to better support teachers in increasing student success. This Issue Focus, the second in a series, offers some early reflections from MDRC’s study of it.

Methodology

Design Report

July, 2014
Eboni Howard, Kathryn Drummond, Jonathan Farber, James Taylor, Barbara S. Goldman, Marie-Andrée Somers, Chrishana M. Lloyd, Michael Fishman, Jessica Wille

This report provides recommendations for an evaluation of coaching that may impact teacher and classroom practices in Head Start and other early childhood settings — including about the research questions; the design of the impact study, implementation research, and cost analysis; and logistical challenges for carrying out the design.

Methodology

Design Options for an Evaluation of Head Start Coaching

July, 2014

Using a study of coaching in Head Start as an example, this report reviews potential experimental design options that get inside the “black box” of social interventions by estimating the effects of individual components. It concludes that factorial designs are usually most appropriate.

Report

The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now

August, 2014
William Corrin, Susan Sepanik, Aracelis Gray, Felix Fernandez, Ashley Briggs, Kathleen K. Wang

Three national organizations formed Diplomas Now in an effort to transform urban secondary schools so fewer students drop out. This report introduces Diplomas Now and the associated evaluation, shares first-year implementation fidelity findings, and discusses collaboration among the Diplomas Now partners and between those partners and schools.

Report

Adapting a Preschool Social-Emotional Curriculum

June, 2014
Michael Fishman, Jessica Wille

In this study, an existing evidence-based curriculum was adapted for use with a special population by focusing on structural, cultural, and language issues. The findings indicate that adaptations can account for a specific population’s needs while staying true to the core principles and components of the program.

Issue Focus

The Importance of Evidence

July, 2014

In this essay, adapted from remarks made to the Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange 2014 Conference on Scaling Impact, MDRC President Gordon Berlin explains why developing reliable evidence of effectiveness is critical when expanding programs to a large scale.

Report

National Evaluation of Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence

June, 2014
Pamela Morris, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Nina Castells, Michael Bangser, Karen Bierman, Cybele Raver

This demonstration tested the effectiveness of three program enhancements implemented at scale that were designed to improve preschool children’s social-emotional competence. All three had positive impacts on teacher practice and on children’s social-emotional outcomes during the preschool year, although to varying degrees and not necessarily in the expected ways.

Issue Focus

Educational Challenges and MDRC’s Research

May, 2014

MDRC hosted a recent colloquium to celebrate our 40th anniversary and the contributions of former Board Chair Robert Solow. This issue focus summarizes a panel presentation, featuring Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane, Cecilia E. Rouse, and Ronald F. Ferguson, about current challenges in education and how MDRC’s research can help address them.

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