Catherine H. Augustine

Photo of Catherine Augustine
Director, Pittsburgh Office; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in education and organizational behavior, University of Michigan; B.A. in political philosophy, Michigan State University

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

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Catherine Augustine is director of the RAND Pittsburgh Office and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, with 20 years of experience conducting education research. She is also a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Augustine focuses on improving academic and social-emotional learning (SEL) outcomes for students in urban school districts, specializing in out-of-school time. She both evaluates implementation of reforms and assesses their impact. For example, she is leading a multi-million-dollar nine-year national randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the impact on academic and SEL outcomes from five urban districts’ summer learning programs. Augustine recently conducted a systematic evidence review on summer programs based on the evidence tiers specified in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), adding to the knowledge base of what works in summer programming. A recently-completed RCT examined the use of restorative practices in 44 schools in an urban district adding to our knowledge of SEL interventions. She is on the boards of The World Affairs Council and The Mentoring Partnership and is committed to providing mentoring and other pro-social opportunities to local students in Pittsburgh. Augustine earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in education from the University of Michigan.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating summer learning programs in five school districts throughout the United States
  • Assessing the impact of reforms intended to improve teaching
  • Evaluating efforts to improve school leadership
  • Evaluating the use of restorative practices in an urban district
  • Assessing arts education partnerships

Selected Publications

Catherine H. Augustine et al., Can Restorative Practices Improve School Climate and Curb Suspensions? An Evaluation of the Impact of Restorative Practices in a Mid-Sized Urban School District, RAND Corporation (RR-2840-DOJ), 2018

Catherine H. Augustine and Lindsey E. Thompson, Making Summer Last: Integrating Summer Programming into Core District Priorities and Operations, RAND Corporation (RR-2038-WF), 2017

Yael Z. Silk and Catherine H. Augustine, How to Support More and Stronger Arts Education Partnerships in Allegheny County, RAND Corporation (RR-1923-JBF), 2017

Catherine H. Augustine et al., Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth, RAND Corporation (RR-1557-WF), 2016

Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al., Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students’ Learning Opportunities and Outcomes, RAND Corporation (RR-815-WF), 2014

Catherine H. Augustine et al., Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success, RAND Corporation (RR-366-WF), 2013

Catherine H. Augustine et al., Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems, RAND Corporation (MG-885-WF), 2009

Susan J. Bodilly and Catherine H. Augustine, Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination, RAND Corporation (MG-702-WF), 2008

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: City News Service, Los Angeles; KCBS-AM San Francisco; Los Angeles Daily News; News Journal DE; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Santa Monica Star

Commentary: Education Week


  • Multiracial group of children raising their hands in a classroom with a smiling Black woman teacher, photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Summer Learning Is More Popular Than Ever. How to Make Sure Your District's Program Is Effective

    In the best of times, it is no small feat to put together a quality summer learning program. Given that districts are focusing not only on academic recovery from COVID learning loss, but on retaining teachers, supporting students' and teachers' mental health, and addressing increases in misbehavior, they need immediate, digestible guidance for summer programming.

    Mar 30, 2022 The 74 Million

  • Elementary schoolchildren wearing face masks in a classroom, photo by kevajefimija/Getty Images

    Commit Now to Get Summer Programming Right

    When summer programs are targeted to needs, intentionally designed, and well attended, they produce positive outcomes in math and reading. But these programs need federal support, and they require early planning.

    Apr 15, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Teacher helps students resolve conflict, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Restorative Justice Isn't a Panacea, but It Can Promote Better Relationships Among Students

    Restorative practices aren't necessarily a cure-all. But if implemented well, they can contribute to an overall solution. Teaching children to treat one another with respect has the potential to make schools safer and to help kids get along better throughout their lives.

    Oct 21, 2019 The Hechinger Report

  • Students and a counselor sit in a circle, photo by Steve Debenport/Getty Images

    What Two New Studies Reveal About Restorative Justice in Middle School and How It Can Be Done Better

    There are many nuances to the implementation and impact of restorative practices. This suggests that continued experimentation could allow school districts to realize the benefits of instituting these practices and reduce the cost of doing so.

    Apr 17, 2019 The 74 Million

  • Students having discussion

    The Impact of Restorative Practices

    A recent RAND report focuses on estimates of the impact of restorative practices on comprehensive outcome measures for all students. The report defines these measures in seven outcome domains and leads with the impact on suspensions. It estimates the impact on 50 secondary measures and on the seven primary measures for numerous student subgroups defined by race, income, special needs and English language learner status.

    Jan 17, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • A young student sitting outside in a school corridor

    Rethinking Student Discipline and Zero Tolerance

    Restorative practices are an alternative to zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Rather than mandating prescribed punishments for specific misbehaviors, this more tailored approach aims to empower students.

    Oct 14, 2015 Education Week