2009 News

CSD’s research on Experience Corps featured in Washington Post

In his popular education column in the Washington Post, “Class Struggle,” Jay Mathews praises CSD’s research on Experience Corps for its rigorous approach and use of a randomized selection process. Providing tutoring to some children (the treatment group) and not to others (the control group), Mathews writes, “provides more dependable results than the usual method: comparing how one school’s kids did with another school’s kids, with no careful assessment of the differences between those two populations.” Later, he adds: “It takes more time and money to study learning improvements in the way Washington University and Mathematica have done it. But the results are more trustworthy and can give policymakers — and taxpayers — greater confidence that money spent on such programs will have the desired effect.”

In addition, Mathews compliments CSD and the other organizations involved in the research. “Tutoring programs are common these days,” he notes, “But the fact that Experience Corps has persuaded the Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the savviest of foundations, to fund a $2 million study of their work impressed me, as did the organizations that did the research: the Center for Social Development at the Brown School of Social Work of Washington University in St. Louis and Mathematica Policy Research Inc. of Princeton, N.J.”