Jennifer Sloan McCombs bio

Photo of Jennifer McCombs
Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in public policy, The George Washington University; B.A. in East Asian studies, College of William and Mary

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Jennifer McCombs is a senior policy researcher and director of the Behavioral and Policy Science Department at RAND, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her education research focuses on evaluating the extent to which public policies and programs improve outcomes for at-risk students.

Over the course of her career, she has studied how to improve teacher effectiveness (through professional development, teacher training, and incentives); whether literacy coaching improves student reading outcomes; the development of systems for out-of-school-time programs; the implementation and impact of test-based promotion policies; and the effects of federal accountability policies on schools, classrooms, and students. McCombs currently co-leads a five-district randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of voluntary summer learning programs for low-income elementary youth. Her studies combine implementation and outcome data to provide practitioners and policymakers guidance on how to improve programs and promote student outcomes. She earned her Ph.D. in public policy from The George Washington University.

Recent Projects

  • Summer learning demonstration randomized controlled trail (RCT)
  • Intensive Partnership Sites evaluation
  • Out-of-school time systems building evaluation
  • New York City's test-based promotion policy evaluation
  • Middle school reading coaches evaluation

Selected Publications

McCombs, J.S., Pane, J, Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., and Zakaras, L, Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students Learning Opportunities and Outcomes, RAND (RR-815), 2014

Augustine, C.H., McCombs, J.S., Schwartz, H.L., and Zakaras, L, Getting to Work on Summer Learning, RAND (RR-366), 2013

McCombs, J.S., Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., Bodilly, S.J., McInnis, B., Lichter, D.S., and Cross, A, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning, RAND (MG-1120), 2011

Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al., Hours of Opportunity: The Power of Data to Improve After-School Programs Citywide, RAND (MG-1037/1), 2010

Jennifer Sloan McCombs et. al., Ending Social Promotion Without Leaving Children Behind, RAND Corporation (MG-894), 2009

Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al., Achieving State and National Literacy Goals a Long Uphill Road: A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York, RAND Corporation (TR-180-1), 2005

Sheila Nataraj Kirby et al., Reforming Teacher Education: Something Old, Something New, RAND Corporation (MG-506), 2002

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Education Week

Commentary

Publications