Program Areas | K-12 Education

New York City Department of Education: Longitudinal Evaluation of the Learning to Work Initiative

New York City is home to some 70,000 high school-age students who are not making sufficient progress to graduate before turning 21. Many begin to become disengaged in ninth grade. To help these students graduate, New York established the Office of Multiple Pathways, now called the Office of Postsecondary Readiness. Over three years, Metis evaluated the centerpiece initiative, Learning to Work (LTW), which enrolled about 12,000 students. LTW matches schools or school-based programs with community-based organizations that provide, within the school setting, services such as academic support, college connections, and job-skills development. Most offer subsidized internships that help the students learn the world of work. One model offered through the program is Young Adult Borough Centers, which operate after school hours, to serve older students who have family or work responsibilities during the day. GED classes are also offered at some of these centers. Another model, Transfer Schools, consists of smaller schools with more personal attention to students who have fallen behind in credits by the end of ninth grade.

Metis blended the results of its site visits, interviews, and focus groups with data it regularly receives from the New York City Department of Education to produce an extensive analysis of this program. The findings showed that the program was serving students who would not have been in school otherwise, and many were getting diplomas or GEDs as well as real-world experience. To read a full report of this evaluation, click here.