To make an informed choice about schools, parents need to know about the quality of instruction, services, and the overall school climate. Schools need a better system of measuring and collecting data on performance, and a way to make it accessible to families.
Feb 21, 2017 U.S. News & World Report
Graduation rates among U.S. high schoolers have risen for the fourth straight year. Which reforms are making a difference? And who, or what, should get credit?
Oct 21, 2016 United Press International
Local organizations, educators, and leaders are creating remarkable learning experiences for Pittsburgh's young people, and other cities around the country are striving to replicate their innovations.
May 8, 2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
With the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress is broadening what it considers success when it comes to judging school quality. One potential new indicator being discussed in some states is social and emotional learning, which has been linked to success later in life.
Apr 7, 2016 U.S. News & World Report
The concept of personalized learning has gained favor in recent years, partly because new technology applications help to facilitate it. But those who characterize this instructional approach as "students just using computers or other devices" are greatly oversimplifying it.
Mar 4, 2016 The RAND Blog
Capping the amount of time students spend testing is a reasonable response to unchecked growth. However, a better response would be to systematically review testing programs, focusing on tests that offer the most value.
Nov 2, 2015 U.S. News & World Report
Federal policy should ensure that school improvement is a priority, that schools adopt proven reforms that fit the school context, and that schools and their districts are held accountable when federal resources are used for school improvement.
Feb 11, 2015 The RAND Blog
Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.
Feb 3, 2015 The RAND Blog
Will Congress be able to reauthorize ESEA in 2015? Success will depend on legislators clearing several hurdles, such as decisions regarding teacher quality, school improvement, and charter schools. And at the center of the debate remains the issue of federal requirements for testing.
Jan 21, 2015 The RAND Blog
Research increasingly suggests that 'soft' skills are important for college and career success, as well as for promoting civic engagement. So far, these skills are largely unmeasured in schools. But new research may pave the way for change.
Dec 10, 2014 Education Week
Assessing competencies such as creativity and global awareness can provide educators with a broader set of indicators they can use to inform instruction and set goals with students. However, evidence about the effects of testing suggests that caution and careful planning is warranted when developing a new assessment system.
Feb 18, 2014 Education Week
If we want testing to exert beneficial effects on teaching and learning, we need to advocate for higher-quality tests and for evaluation and accountability systems that use multiple measures and do not rely exclusively on test scores, write Laura Hamilton and Gabriella C. Gonzalez.
Apr 22, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It's fair to say the program turned out to be an important step for the district in the context of its overall reform plan considering how important high-quality school leadership is for improving teaching and learning, write Laura Hamilton and John Engberg.
Aug 15, 2012 RAND.org
Maintaining Accountability and Nurturing Innovation Through a Reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act
In this Congressional panel briefing RAND researchers discuss the possible reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)--how it will require several critical decisions about standards, assessments, reporting requirements, and school improvement initiatives.
May 31, 2012
The Limits of Average Test Scores, in Pittsburgh Business Times on May 11, 2007.
May 11, 2007 Pittsburgh Business TImes
Published commentary by RAND staff: Think It Through on Tests, in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mar 28, 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer
Published commentary by RAND staff.
Oct 10, 2004 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Published commentary by RAND staff.
Feb 20, 2002 Education Week