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Founded as the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, they changed their name to MDRC in 2003, and they are "best known for mounting large-scale evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people." They "helped pioneer the use of random assignment — the same highly reliable methodology that is used to test new medicines — in the evaluation of such policies and programs." Their website goes on to note that:

"Once known primarily for evaluations of state welfare-to-work programs, today MDRC is also studying public school reforms, employment programs for ex-prisoners and people with disabilities, and programs to help low-income people succeed in college. We have worked in nearly every state and most major cities; we also helped create a sister organization in Canada and are currently managing a large project in the United Kingdom with British partners. The five main policy areas in which we work, illustrate the breadth and diversity of our current projects. Those areas include, (1) Promoting Family Well-Being and Child Development, (2) Improving Public Education, (3) Raising Academic Achievement and Persistence in College, (4) Supporting Low-Wage Workers and Communities, amd (4) Overcoming Barriers to Employment." [1]


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