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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Schirm, Allen; Stuart, Elizabeth; McKie, Allison
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    From 1995 to 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ford Foundation ran a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), mainly an after-school program that also began offering intensive and comprehensive services to at-risk youth when they entered ninth grade. QOP’s goals were to increase rates of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education or training; secondary goals included improving high school grades and achievement test scores and reducing risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, crime, and teen parenting. This final report from Mathematica's random assignment evaluation presents impacts on outcomes measured when most sample members were 22 to 25 years old. Overall, QOP did not achieve its primary or secondary objectives, but the lack of overall impacts masks some suggestive evidence of promising effects for some sites and subgroups. (author abstract)

    From 1995 to 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ford Foundation ran a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), mainly an after-school program that also began offering intensive and comprehensive services to at-risk youth when they entered ninth grade. QOP’s goals were to increase rates of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education or training; secondary goals included improving high school grades and achievement test scores and reducing risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, crime, and teen parenting. This final report from Mathematica's random assignment evaluation presents impacts on outcomes measured when most sample members were 22 to 25 years old. Overall, QOP did not achieve its primary or secondary objectives, but the lack of overall impacts masks some suggestive evidence of promising effects for some sites and subgroups. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jehl, Jeanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation invests in educational programs that focus on bridging the gaps between schools, communities and families. Schools are the gateway to best serving children. By promoting programs that create quality educational options for families and young people, communities can provide the services and supports that are needed to ensure that children succeed in school and in life.

    Young peoples' educational success is important to the economic success of neighborhoods and cities, and community stakeholders play an important role in providing opportunities for that success.

    This report presents how Casey has invested in educational programs, the guiding principles they use to decide where their investment will do the most good, as well as the impact and influence measured across seven programs:

    1.District of Columbia Public Charter School Cooperative, Washington, D.C.

    2.Foundations, Inc., Moorestown, New Jersey/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    3.Fund for the City of New York—Youth Development Institute, New York, New York

    4....

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation invests in educational programs that focus on bridging the gaps between schools, communities and families. Schools are the gateway to best serving children. By promoting programs that create quality educational options for families and young people, communities can provide the services and supports that are needed to ensure that children succeed in school and in life.

    Young peoples' educational success is important to the economic success of neighborhoods and cities, and community stakeholders play an important role in providing opportunities for that success.

    This report presents how Casey has invested in educational programs, the guiding principles they use to decide where their investment will do the most good, as well as the impact and influence measured across seven programs:

    1.District of Columbia Public Charter School Cooperative, Washington, D.C.

    2.Foundations, Inc., Moorestown, New Jersey/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    3.Fund for the City of New York—Youth Development Institute, New York, New York

    4.George Washington Community School, Indianapolis, Indiana

    5.Harlem Children’s Zone, New York, New York

    6.Project GRAD Atlanta—Communities In Schools Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

    7.Washington Scholarship Fund, Washington, D.C. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kemple, James J.; Willner, Cynthia J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Established more than 30 years ago, Career Academies have become a widely used high school reform initiative that aims to keep students engaged in school and prepare them for successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment. Typically serving between 150 and 200 students from grades 9 or 10 through grade 12, Career Academies are organized as small learning communities, combine academic and technical curricula around a career theme, and establish partnerships with local employers to provide work-based learning opportunities. There are estimated to be more than 2,500 Career Academies operating around the country. Since 1993, MDRC has been conducting a uniquely rigorous evaluation of the Career Academy approach that uses a random assignment research design in a diverse group of nine high schools across the United States. Located in medium- and large-sized school districts, the schools confront many of the educational challenges found in low-income urban settings. The participating Career Academies were able to implement and sustain the core features of the approach,...

    Established more than 30 years ago, Career Academies have become a widely used high school reform initiative that aims to keep students engaged in school and prepare them for successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment. Typically serving between 150 and 200 students from grades 9 or 10 through grade 12, Career Academies are organized as small learning communities, combine academic and technical curricula around a career theme, and establish partnerships with local employers to provide work-based learning opportunities. There are estimated to be more than 2,500 Career Academies operating around the country. Since 1993, MDRC has been conducting a uniquely rigorous evaluation of the Career Academy approach that uses a random assignment research design in a diverse group of nine high schools across the United States. Located in medium- and large-sized school districts, the schools confront many of the educational challenges found in low-income urban settings. The participating Career Academies were able to implement and sustain the core features of the approach, and they served a cross-section of the student populations in their host schools. This report describes how Career Academies influenced students’ labor market prospects and postsecondary educational attainment in the eight years following their expected graduation. The results are based on the experiences of more than 1,400 young people, approximately 85 percent of whom are Hispanic or African-American. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kemple, James J.; Poglinco, Susan; Snipes, Jason
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This is the third in a series of reports from an ongoing evaluation of the Career Academy approach, a widely established high school reform initiative aimed at improving students’ performance in high school and providing them with clearer pathways to post-secondary education and careers. The evaluation is being conducted by MDRC with support from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and a group of private foundations. It focuses on 10 Career Academies across the country. Career Academies share three basic features. First, the programs are typically organized as schools-within-schools in an effort to create more supportive teaching and learning communities. Second, they have a career theme and attempt to integrate a college preparatory academic curriculum with more applied, occupation-related courses. Third, they establish partnerships with local employers as a means of increasing students’ awareness of career options in a given field and providing them with learning opportunities in a work setting.

    This report focuses on the third of these features, the employer...

    This is the third in a series of reports from an ongoing evaluation of the Career Academy approach, a widely established high school reform initiative aimed at improving students’ performance in high school and providing them with clearer pathways to post-secondary education and careers. The evaluation is being conducted by MDRC with support from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and a group of private foundations. It focuses on 10 Career Academies across the country. Career Academies share three basic features. First, the programs are typically organized as schools-within-schools in an effort to create more supportive teaching and learning communities. Second, they have a career theme and attempt to integrate a college preparatory academic curriculum with more applied, occupation-related courses. Third, they establish partnerships with local employers as a means of increasing students’ awareness of career options in a given field and providing them with learning opportunities in a work setting.

    This report focuses on the third of these features, the employer partnerships and how they evolved in each of the 10 participating Career Academies. It also assesses the extent to which Career Academies increased student participation in various career awareness and work-based learning activities that were sponsored by the employer partners. The findings presented in this report provide insights into the opportunities and challenges that high schools and local employers face as they seek to build constructive partnerships. The report suggests several lessons that can guide the development of employer partnerships and work-related learning opportunities for students in the context of Career Academies or other school-to-work programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rui, Ning; Dynarski, Mark; Webber, Ann; Gutmann, Babette
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    School voucher, which allows families to have the opportunity to send their children to a school of their choice, has been the subject of much debate over the last few decades. While for some voucher serve as a useful vehicle for expanding school choice for the disadvantaged students, for others it might exacerbate the already severe racial and social segregation among schools, without extensive investments in schools' capacity in the beginning (Elmore 2002; Kim & Sunderman, 2005). The District of Columbia (DC) Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is the only federally funded program that provides vouchers to low-income families to send their children to private schools that agree to accept them. The program selected students to receive scholarships using a lottery process in 2012, 2013, and 2014, which allows for an experimental design that compares outcomes for a treatment group and a control group.

    This paper examines how the offer and use of scholarship affected student and family outcomes, such as student achievement, satisfaction with schools, perceptions of...

    School voucher, which allows families to have the opportunity to send their children to a school of their choice, has been the subject of much debate over the last few decades. While for some voucher serve as a useful vehicle for expanding school choice for the disadvantaged students, for others it might exacerbate the already severe racial and social segregation among schools, without extensive investments in schools' capacity in the beginning (Elmore 2002; Kim & Sunderman, 2005). The District of Columbia (DC) Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is the only federally funded program that provides vouchers to low-income families to send their children to private schools that agree to accept them. The program selected students to receive scholarships using a lottery process in 2012, 2013, and 2014, which allows for an experimental design that compares outcomes for a treatment group and a control group.

    This paper examines how the offer and use of scholarship affected student and family outcomes, such as student achievement, satisfaction with schools, perceptions of school safety, and parent involvement, in the first and second year after entering a lottery. The study also analyzes variations in the impacts across subgroups of students, which can be useful for understanding whether the program was effective, or more effective, for some and not others. In particular, we estimated the effects for four student subgroups that defined at the time students applied for the scholarship: (1) whether students were attending or not attending a school in need of improvement (SINI), (2) whether students scored above or below the mediation in reading, (3) whether students scored above or below the median in mathematics, and (4) whether students were in an elementary grade (k-5) or secondary grade (6-12).

    Overall, the study found a statistically significant negative impact on mathematics achievement and no impacts on reading achievement after one year. Negative impacts on both math and reading scores were found for students who were not applying from low-performing schools and for students in grades K-5. The program did not have a statistically significant impact on parents or students general satisfaction with the school the child attended in the first year. The program had a statistically significant positive impact on parents perceptions of safety at the school their child attended in that first year, but student perceptions of school safety were not significantly different between the groups. The OSP did not have a statistically significant impact on parent involvement in education. However, for parents of students in grades 6-12, the program had statistically significant positive impacts on involvement in education-related activities and events at home. (Author abstract)

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