The GiveWell Blog

Fryer and Dobbie on Harlem Children’s Zone: What they found

The Fryer/Dobbie study on the Harlem Children’s Zone is, in my view, an extremely important work that should seriously affect how donors think about the cause of promoting equality of opportunity in the U.S. (Longtime readers of this blog know that we don’t often say something like this.) This post will simply summarize what it… Read More

Harlem Children’s Zone closes achievement gap?

Fascinating claim reported by David Brooks. The study (by Roland Fryer and Will Dobbie) doesn’t seem to be available anywhere as of this writing. Fryer and his colleague Will Dobbie have just finished a rigorous assessment of the charter schools operated by the Harlem Children’s Zone. They compared students in these schools to students in… Read More

Philanthropy Action points to more evidence on education interventions

Board member Tim Ogden writes, Mathematica Policy Research has conducted a multi-year randomized controlled trial of sixteen educational software programs (covering both reading and math) aimed at elementary and middle school students. The products selected were generally those that had at least some evidence of positive impact … the educational software didn’t make much difference…. Read More

Volunteer tutoring program

Via Joanne Jacobs: a large randomized controlled trial found statistically effects of a volunteer tutoring program on reading skills. The effect size (.1-.16 standard deviations on 3 measures; insignificant on one other – see pg 13 of the full study) is in the same ballpark as the effect observed in a recent study of vouchers… Read More

Positive but underwhelming voucher study

The third-year evaluation of a federally funded school voucher program in D.C. has recently been released (H/T Joanne Jacobs). We’ve written before that past voucher studies have shown extremely underwhelming (if any) effects, and at first glance this report would seem to be a change in the pattern: “The evaluation found that the OSP improved… Read More

KIPP and self-selection

The Knowledge is Power Program is one of our current recommended charities, but I think that Sarah Mosle’s critique in Slate is very much worth keeping in mind. Mosle writes: While KIPP does have outreach efforts to broaden its applicant pool, only the most determined parents are likely to respond to … sign KIPP’s demanding… Read More