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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

Key "Soft Skills" that Foster Youth Workforce Success: Toward a Consensus across Fields - Executive Summary

Jun 2015 | Laura Lippman; Renee Ryberg; Rachel Carney; Kristin Anderson Moore

Soft skills are skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable youth to navigate their environment, work with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. We’ve identified five key soft skills that — according to researchers, employers, youth, and program implementers — most enable youth (15-29) worldwide to be successful in the workplace.

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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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