MDRC:

P-TECH 9–14 Schools: An Impact, Implementation, and Cost Study

About the Research Study

The P-TECH model is an approach to career and technical education that begins in high school and includes pathways to college and careers, employer and college partnerships, work-based learning, and opportunities to earn a high school diploma and an Associate in Applied Science or an associate's degree. Since the first school opened in New York City in 2011, the number of P-TECH schools has grown considerably, reaching more than 110 schools across the United States and abroad. Despite the momentum driving the expansion of P-TECH, there has yet to be a rigorous impact evaluation to examine the effects of the P-TECH model on student outcomes.

In this project, researchers are using an experimental design to assess the implementation, impact, and cost of the first seven P-TECH Grades 9–14 schools to open in New York City (NYC). The research team is using the NYC-wide lottery-based high school choice process to identify two sets of comparable students: those who randomly won the opportunity to attend one of the seven NYC P-TECH schools, and those who were randomly placed elsewhere. This experimental analysis will be complemented by an in-depth multiyear examination of program implementation in the NYC P-TECH 9–14 schools. As part of this implementation study, researchers will collect survey, interview, and focus group data from multiple participants, including faculty and staff, students, and postsecondary and employer partners. The evaluation will also include a descriptive cost study.

The evaluation will provide evidence about the rapidly expanding P-TECH Grades 9–14 model.

Study period: 5 years (07/01/2017–06/30/2022)

This project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A170250 to MDRC.

MDRC is excited to be conducting the evaluation of the NYC P‑TECH Grades 9–14 Schools. Given P‑TECH’s rapid expansion, it is important to start building reliable and actionable research knowledge about how P‑TECH model schools function and what their impact is on students.

em-dash Crystal Byndloss, Ph.D., Principal Investigator/Senior Associate, MDRC

About the Research Team

MDRC, in cooperation with the NYC Department of Education and the CUNY Early College Initiative, is conducting a five-year federally funded evaluation of the first seven NYC P‑TECH Grades 9-14 schools. This evaluation, which launched summer 2017, is assessing the implementation, impact, and cost of these schools in New York City.