The Programs We’ve Identified Are Linked Below
Programs identified as having the most credible evidence of effectiveness, based on careful review in consultation with outside experts, are categorized as “Top Tier” or “Near Top Tier” (see sidebar for definitions). The other listed programs have been found promising but not yet Top Tier or Near Top Tier due to study limitations (such as only short-term follow-up) that underscore the need for additional testing prior to larger-scale implementation. As a nonprofit philanthropic foundation, we receive no financial benefit from any program, enabling us to serve as an impartial reviewer of the evidence.
Top Tier Career Academies (Small learning communities in low-income high schools, offering academic and career/technical courses as well as workplace opportunities): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable positive impact on earnings of participants eight years after their scheduled high school graduation.
Top Tier Success for All (A school-wide reform program, primarily for high-poverty elementary schools, with a strong emphasis on reading instruction): Randomized controlled trial shows positive impact in raising school-wide reading achievement in grades K-2.
Near Top Tier Annual Book Fairs in High-Poverty Elementary Schools (Book fairs providing summer reading over three consecutive years, starting at the end of first or second grade): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable increase in students’ reading achievement.
Near Top Tier First Grade Classroom Prevention Program (Program that combines a classroom management strategy – the Good Behavior Game – with an enhanced academic curriculum): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable reduction in students’ substance use, and major increase in high school graduation and college enrollment.
Near Top Tier New York City’s Small Schools of Choice (Small public high schools created citywide in mostly high-poverty communities to replace large, low-performing high schools): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable increase in the rates of four-year high school graduation and receipt of a New York State Regents diploma.
Near Top Tier Promise Academy Charter Middle School (A charter middle school in New York City, serving mainly low-income, minority students): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable increase in math and English language arts achievement over a three year period.
Check and Connect (Dropout prevention program for high school students with learning, emotional, and/or behavioral disabilities): Randomized controlled trials show a sizable decrease in students’ dropout rates, and increase in attendance and academic credits earned.
Montreal Prevention Program (Delinquency prevention program for disruptive elementary school boys): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable increase in high school graduation rates, and decrease in criminal behavior, in early adulthood.
SMART – Start Making a Reader Today (Volunteer reading tutoring program for at-risk readers in early elementary school): Randomized controlled trial shows this low-cost intervention has sizable positive impact on students’ reading ability.
Tutoring with the Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing reading curriculum (An intervention for at-risk readers in grades K-2): Randomized controlled trial shows sizable positive impacts on reading ability for students with poor phonological processing (e.g., letter naming, and awareness of the sounds within words).