Daniel F. McCaffrey

Photo of Daniel McCaffrey
Adjunct Statistician
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in statistics, North Carolina State University; B.A. in mathematics and economics, Mount Saint Mary's College


Daniel F. McCaffrey is an adjunct statistician at the RAND Corporation. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and is nationally recognized for his work on value-added modeling for estimating teacher performance. McCaffrey oversees RAND's efforts as part of the Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching study to develop and validate sophisticated metrics to assess and improve teacher performance. He is currently leading RAND's efforts on two additional studies comparing value-added measures to other measures of teaching, including classroom observations, and is a major partner in the National Center on Performance Incentives, which is conducting random control experiments to test the effects of using value-added to reward teachers with bonuses. He is co–principal investigator of a project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that is developing alternative value-added models of teachers' effectiveness. McCaffrey is also the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse–funded study, and recently worked on the design of an IES-funded random trial of the Cognitive Tutor Geometry curriculum. He led an evaluation of the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment Pilot Program (PVAAS) and was the lead statistician on two randomized field trials of school-based interventions: evaluations of the Project ALERT Plus middle and high school drug prevention program and the teen dating violence prevention curriculum, Break the Cycle. McCaffrey received his Ph.D. in statistics from North Carolina State University.

Recent Projects

  • The effects of value-added assessments on educator practice and student outcomes using data from the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System
  • Improved value-added estimation: developing statistical methods for estimating teacher effects using longitudinal student achievement data
  • Pay for performance for teachers
  • Randomized trials in education evaluation
  • Adolescent substance abuse treatment: propensity score estimation and weighting to estimate causal effects of treatments

Selected Publications

L. T. Mariano et al., "A Model for Teacher Effects from Longitudinal Data without Assuming Vertical Scaling," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 3(5):253-279, 2010

J. Pane et al., "Findings from an Experiment to Evaluate the Efficacy of Cognitive Tutor Geometry," Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 3(3):254-281, 2010

D. F. McCaffrey et al., "The Intertemporal Variability of Teacher Effect Estimates," Education Finance and Policy, 4(4):572-606, 2009

B. A. Griffin et al., "An Application of Principal Stratification to Control for Institutionalization at Follow-Up in Studies of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs," Annals of Applied Statistics, 2(3):1034-1055, 2008

Daniel F. McCaffrey et al., Evaluating Value-Added Models for Teacher Accountability, RAND Corporation (MG-158), 2006

D. F. McCaffrey and R. M. Bell, "Improved Hypothesis Testing for Coefficients in Generalized Estimating Equations with Small Samples of Clusters," Statistics in Medicine, 25(23), 2006

D. F. McCaffrey et al., "Models for Value-Added Modeling of Teacher Effects," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 29(1), 2004

D. F. McCaffrey et al., "Propensity Score Estimation with Boosted Regression for Evaluating Causal Effects in Observational Studies," Psychological Methods, 9(4):572-606, 2004