Educational Program Evaluation

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RAND rigorously evaluates all kinds of educational programs by performing cost-benefit analyses, measuring effects on student learning, and providing recommendations to help improve program design and implementation. Our portfolio of educational program evaluations includes studies of early childhood education, summer and after-school programs, educator pay-for-performance, programs intended to reduce educational disparities, and choice- and standards-based reforms.

Explore Educational Program Evaluation

  • Offenders read and write papers inside the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary library located in the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men's prison in Rosharon, Texas

    Blog

    Using Education to Stop the Prison Revolving Door

    Providing education and vocational training to inmates is a cost effective way to reduce recidivism rates and thus shrink prison populations and ease the strain on prison budgets. Education is far less expensive than incarceration.

    Sep 30, 2014

  • Report

    Three Essays on Education Reform in the United States

    Examines California's state education accountability reform and comprehensive reform to improve teacher and principal talent in high-poverty, low-performing schools.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • An adult classroom

    Blog

    The State of Washington and Its Focus on Rehabilitation

    California can learn a great deal from the state of Washington, which has implemented a series of reforms focused on rehabilitation—on diverting offenders to treatment and other options and making serving time in prison the last option.

    Sep 16, 2014

  • Yes and no boxes on a clipboard

    Blog

    If You Want Ex-Cons to Be 'Productive Members of Society,' Ban the Box

    When an inmate is released, you often hear Americans say that he's “paid his debt” and can now become “a productive member of society.” But the reality is ex-cons pay for their crimes long after sentences end. On the outside, the stigma of incarceration makes it extremely difficult to land a job.

    Sep 5, 2014

  • Instructor assisting students on computers

    Project

    RAND Competency-Based Education

    The RAND Competency-Based Education project examined pilot programs in the K-12 sector to better understand student outcomes resulting from this type of instruction, along with equity challenges that competency-based education could create or intensify.

    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

  • 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

  • Teacher and preschool students reading outside

    Blog

    Ask Me Anything: Catherine Augustine on Summer Learning

    With summer now underway, RAND's Catherine Augustine hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, answering questions about year-round schooling, how to get the most out of summer learning programs, and more.

    Jul 3, 2014

  • group of young children in art class

    Project

    Innovative Preschool Academy Project

    RAND is helping bring evidence-based practice into Hopkins House's Innovative Preschool Academy (IPA), an early childhood education center located in Northern Virginia.

    Jun 13, 2014

  • pre-school girls drawing

    Report

    Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success: Year 1 Report (2014)

    As a first step in a larger study of Delaware Stars, a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning and care programs, RAND research reviewed prior literature, examined existing data, and interviewed key stakeholders.

    Jun 9, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Effectiveness of Cognitive Tutor Algebra I at Scale

    This article examines the effectiveness of a technology-based algebra curriculum in a wide variety of middle schools and high schools in seven states.

    Jun 1, 2014

  • Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    Report

    Are Prisoners Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    A comprehensive literature review enabled the examination of the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment upon release from prison, and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education.

    May 22, 2014

  • businesswoman at the office

    Report

    Four Ways to Foster Successful School Leadership

    Principals are second only to teachers as the most important school factor affecting student achievement. States and school districts can help principals by implementing effective hiring practices, building high-quality evaluation systems, entrusting principals with autonomy, and providing resources and supports.

    May 8, 2014

  • a man holding a book on his lap

    Blog

    Sending Prisoners to College Will Save You Money

    Correctional education works for states because it saves money and shrinks prison populations. It works for prisoners, the public, law enforcement, and the judicial system because educated prisoners are less likely to return to their criminal ways once released.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Journal Article

    The Academic Impact of Enrollment in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs: A Case Study of Chicago Public Schools

    In schools accredited as IB World Schools by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), teachers use IB curriculum and pedagogy to teach a range of courses that are intended to prepare IB-enrolled students for college.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • prisoner graduating holding a diploma

    Report

    Prison-Based Education Declined During Economic Downturn

    Large states cut spending on prison education programs by an average of 10 percent between the 2009 and 2012 fiscal years, while medium-sized states cut spending by 20 percent. While the drop appears to have resulted from budget cuts prompted by the economic downturn, evidence suggests that the curtailment of prison education could increase prison system costs in the longer term.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Pencil and notebook with crumpled paper

    Research Brief

    Correctional Education in the United States: How Effective Is It, and How Can We Move the Field Forward?

    Assesses the effectiveness of correctional education for both incarcerated adults and juveniles, presents the results of a survey of U.S. state correctional education directors, and offers recommendations for improving correctional education.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • Report

    Developing Army Leaders: Lessons for Teaching Critical Thinking in Distributed, Resident, and Mixed-Delivery Venues

    Evaluated the effectiveness of the Common Core -- the first phase of the U.S. Army's system for developing critical thinking skills in its officer corps -- and the extent of differences among distributed, resident, and mixed-delivery course venues.

    Mar 3, 2014

  • standardized test

    Report

    How New Deeper Learning Tests Measure Up

    English language arts and mathematics items from a group of nationally and internationally administered “deeper learning” tests were more cognitively demanding than previously studied state tests. Demand also varied by subject and item format. These and other findings provide a benchmark for comparing how well new tests assess deeper learning.

    Mar 3, 2014

  • two male students looking at a laptop

    Blog

    What to Make of P-TECH Schools

    There is no doubting the viability of STEM skills in the 21st century job market and the long-term benefits of going to college. But the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program could be promising for two reasons that have nothing to do with technology.

    Feb 21, 2014

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