Urban Labs Education Lab

The Education Lab partners with civic and community leaders to identify, rigorously evaluate, and learn how to scale programs and policies that improve education in America’s most distressed urban neighborhoods.

Progress is Possible

Improving schooling outcomes for disadvantaged youth is one of our nation’s most urgent challenges. Graduation rates of black and Hispanic youth remain far lower than those of their white counterparts, and this gap is mirrored by striking disparities between rich and poor. While there is agreement about the importance of this problem, there remains considerable uncertainty about the best way to solve it.

While policymakers, school leaders, and practitioners innovate every day, there is relatively little evidence of the impact of novel programs and policies designed to improve education outcomes, particularly among disadvantaged adolescents. And, when promising educational programs and practices are discovered, cities often struggle to deliver them effectively and to enough youth to make a meaningful difference at large scale. 

Finding scalable, cost-effective approaches to help kids—particularly in our nation’s most underserved communities—succeed in school will improve the lives of individuals and families, help communities thrive, and strengthen the economic health of our cities. The Education Lab partners with policymakers and educators to design and evaluate programs and policies to improve educational achievement, prevent high-school dropout and truancy, help students succeed in community colleges, and improve education for youth in correctional settings. This work is demonstrating that it is not too late to help disadvantaged youth, even once they have reached adolescence, and that progress in American education is possible.

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Projects and Publications

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Our People

Education Lab staff partner with with civic and community leaders to generate evidence on what works to improve educational outcomes, especially for at-risk urban youth.

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