Educational Curriculum

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The set of courses that a school, university, or other educational institution offers—and, at times, requires for graduation—constitutes its curriculum; these courses may be determined at the school or district level, but more frequently they are influenced by educational legislation and policy. RAND has investigated and advised policymakers on curriculum development in schools worldwide, including helping to redesign the entire curriculum for Qatar's K-12 schools and universities.

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    Commentary

    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Make Testing Work

    Jan 21, 2015

    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.

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    Report

    Measuring Hard-to-Measure Student Competencies

    Nov 3, 2014

    Interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies such as communication and resilience are important predictors of success and civic engagement after high school. They're also difficult to measure. Practical, high-quality measures could help educators and policymakers improve outcomes for students.

Explore Education Curriculum

  • Report

    Evaluation of the Regional Choice Initiative

    This evaluation describes the Regional Choice Initiative (RCI), a large-scale initiative in 17 school districts in Pennsylvania. The RCI sought to expand school choice and offer more-rigorous courses for students in grades 7 to 12.

    Jan 8, 2016

  • Students pledging allegiance to the American flag

    Commentary

    Strengthening Our Democracy Starts in School

    The teaching of civics and other social studies courses has hit hard times in most states, driven in part by accountability systems that reward schools for math and reading scores. Yet civic education is critical to the stability of our democracy and seems warranted now more than ever.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • Piggy bank and school books in a classroom

    Tool

    A Tool for Reviewing K-12 Financial Education Curricula

    A bewildering array of curricula and materials is available to support K–12 financial education. This reviewing tool helps educators assess which to use, and to better understand the strengths and gaps in the curriculum currently in use.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • Report

    Development of a K–12 Financial Education Curriculum Assessment Rubric

    RAND researchers document the current state of the literature and advance a set of criteria for assessing the content, utility, quality, and efficacy of K-12 financial education curricula.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • An apple sits on a stack of booklets on a teacher's desk

    Brochure

    Two Innovative New Tools to "Take the Pulse" of America's Educators

    In an era of dramatic change in education, the American Teacher Panel and the American School Leader Panel provide quick and easy access to nationally representative panels of teachers and principals—fulfilling the critical need for information on a wide range of educational topics.

    Oct 28, 2015

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    Report

    Competency-Based Programs Are an Innovative Approach to Higher Education

    Among other benefits, competency-based education programs have the potential to increase the alignment between graduate skills and employer needs, as well as address degree-completion rates by offering new pathways to students.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Woman using a laptop at her kitchen table

    Commentary

    Exploring New Approaches to Higher Education: The Expansion of Competency-Based Programs

    Policymakers and educators must determine if the risks of maintaining the status quo outweigh the potential benefits of competency-based programs, especially for those students who are ill-served by the traditional higher education model.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Workers prepare to change drilling pipes on the rotary table of a natural gas rig near Towanda, Pennsylvania, February 3, 2010

    Research Brief

    Aligning Education and Training to Meet Energy Workforce Needs

    Energy-sector employers in West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania report having difficulty filling semiskilled jobs. And the sector's technology is changing quickly. How can the region's leaders improve the workforce-development pipeline?

    Aug 31, 2015

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    Report

    Energy-Sector Workforce Development in West Virginia

    The production of natural gas and gas liquids from shale in West Virginia has increased demand for workers. Ten action items can help the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia and other stakeholders support a well-aligned and coherent workforce-development pipeline.

    Aug 31, 2015

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    Report

    Energy-Sector Workforce Development in Southwestern Pennsylvania

    Technological innovations in the energy sector have increased demand for semiskilled labor in southwestern Pennsylvania. How can postsecondary educational and training programs adapt to the evolving skills demand?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Mathematics Teacher Development in the Context of District Managed Curriculum

    The purpose of this study was to develop and test the viability of a conceptual framework for analyzing mathematics instruction and mathematics teacher development within the context of policies regarding district-wide adoption of curriculum.

    Jun 2, 2015

  • A gorup of students with hands up in the classroom

    Journal Article

    Teachers' Social Networks and Sustaining Instructional Improvement

    What dimensions of teachers' social networks matter for sustaining instructional improvement? Elements like strong ties, high levels of expertise, and depth can all contribute to teachers' ability to maintain high-quality instruction the face of ever-changing students, classrooms, schools, and districts.

    Jun 1, 2015

  • Teacher helping a high school student on a computer

    Commentary

    Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization That Support Innovation

    As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Students taking a test in a classroom

    Commentary

    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Make Testing Work

    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

  • Two Indian college students outdoors

    Commentary

    Building a Sound Technical and Vocational Education and Training System

    Technical and vocational education and training in India has expanded significantly over the past two decades. But quality and relevance remain significant issues. What may be learned from other countries' experiences?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • Two high school or college students working together

    Commentary

    A Plan for Measuring Hard-to-Measure, 'Soft' Skills

    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

  • High school students collaborating

    Report

    Measuring Hard-to-Measure Student Competencies

    Interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies such as communication and resilience are important predictors of success and civic engagement after high school. They're also difficult to measure. Practical, high-quality measures could help educators and policymakers improve outcomes for students.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • U.S Marine with many medals

    Commentary

    Mending the Marriage Between Colleges and the Military

    Without a concerted effort to change military executive education, military services will continue a misguided effort to buy academic credibility, and some elite universities will continue selling their names. Most importantly, the United States will miss an opportunity to hone the critical thinking of its next generation of military leaders.

    Aug 18, 2014

  • A high school student gets instruction from her teacher

    Research Brief

    Competency-Based Education in Three Pilot Programs: What It Is, How It's Implemented, and How It's Working

    In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extended grants to three organizations involved with competency-based education approaches. RAND examined these organizations' implementation, student experiences, and student outcomes.

    Aug 4, 2014

  • High school students with teacher in class, using laptops

    Report

    Examining Competency-Based Education

    Competency-based education meets students where they are academically, provides opportunities for choice, and awards students credit for evidence of learning, not time spent studying a subject. Researchers identify lessons for policy, partnerships, and practice regarding this approach.

    Aug 4, 2014