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Child Trends’ education research focuses on how children and youth can flourish in school. We examine supportive characteristics of the individual, the school, and the family to improve student outcomes . Areas of research expertise include: social and emotional learning and non-academic competencies; college and workplace readiness; school climate and discipline; bullying; integrated student services; charter schools; family strengths and involvement in education; international comparisons; character education; dropout prevention and recovery; and afterschool and summer learning.  We offer technical assistance, including survey, measure, and indicator development, research syntheses, data and policy analysis, program evaluation, and reviews of best practices to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

Bullying Prevention and Intervention in DC Educational Institutions: A Training Toolkit

May 2015 | Child Trends

The Bullying Prevention and Intervention in DC Educational Institutions training toolkit is a comprehensive package of guides, presentation slides, scenarios and self-assessments for schools or other entities to train their staff on how to prevent and respond to incidents of bullying.

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J.C. Nalle Community School: A Study of a School Turnaround Effort - Executive Summary

Apr 2015 | Zakia Redd; Daniel Princiotta; Brandon Stratford; Selma Caal; Weilin Li

J.C. Nalle is a public elementary school in one of the District’s poorest neighborhoods. The school is also the first D.C. public “community school,” working with local organizations to address students’ non-academic needs. Child Trends took an independent look at whether test scores were improving for students at J.C. Nalle, and if they were, to see what had contributed to this feat.

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The Academic Achievement of English Language Learners: Data for the U.S. and Each of the States

Dec 2014 | David Murphey

This brief compares national trends over time in academic achievement for students who are English language learners (ELLs) and their peers who are not English language learners. The measures used are from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): the percentage of fourth-graders scored as performing at a “basic or above” level in reading, and the percentage of eighth-graders scored as performing at a “basic or above” level in mathematics.

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Connecting the Dots: Raising A Reader Builds Evidence Base for its Parent Engagement and Early Literacy Program

Nov 2014 | Karen Walker; Rachel A. Gooze; Alicia Torres

This brief examines the case of Raising A Reader (RAR), which has been steadily building its evidence base over many years and is now positioned to undertake such a comprehensive evaluation. RAR is a national nonprofit literacy organization which, through work with direct service agencies, helps develop sustainable home literacy routines essential to language and literacy development. The brief first summarizes the research base for family literacy programs and the emerging evidence base for RAR. It then describes the RAR program and how it uses a variety of data to regularly improve its program, inform programming integrity, and prepare for a randomized controlled trial. In closing, the brief addresses the lessons for the broader field.

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