Sy Doan

Sy Doan
Associate Policy Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. in K–12 educational leadership and policy studies, Vanderbilt University; B.A. in English, University of Notre Dame


Sy Doan (he/his) is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research uses quantitative methods to study K–12 education policy, with current work in educator effectiveness, educator professional development, educator use of instructional materials, and K–12 education finance. He works extensively with the American Educator Panels, where he conducts research on issues facing K–12 educators and students using the American Instructional Resources Survey, the Learn Together Survey, and the State of the American Teacher Surveys. In addition to these topics, he is interested in research on K–12 students' post-secondary and labor force transition and student access to diverse and culturally responsive educators and teaching practices. Prior to joining RAND, he earned his Ph.D. in education leadership and policy at Vanderbilt University.

Recent Projects

  • The American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS)
  • The State of the American Teacher (SoT) Survey
  • Evaluation of Delaware's Opportunity Funding and Student Success Block Grant Programs

Selected Publications

Doan, S., Schweig, J.D., & Mihaly, K., "The consistency of composite ratings of teacher effectiveness: Evidence from New Mexico," American Educational Research Journal, 56(6), 2019

Joshi, E.H., Doan, S., & Springer, M.G., "Student-teacher race congruence: New evidence and insight from Tennessee," AERA Open, 4(4), 2019

Rogers, L.K. & Doan, S., "The magnitude of student sorting for new-to-assignment teachers," Elementary School Journal, 120(2), 2020


  • Teachers and Teaching

    Keeping Teachers of Color in the Classroom Will Take More Than a Pay Raise

    All students—but particularly Black and Latinx students—benefit academically and socially from having teachers who are people of color. Policymakers and education leaders can help these teachers stay in the profession by making teaching more financially sustainable and fostering collegial relationships within school communities.

    Dec 1, 2022

    Word in Black

  • Educator Well-Being

    Will Teachers Quit? What Surveys Can and Can't Tell Us

    There is no single source for reliable current data about teacher and principal turnover or job openings, so it's understandable that journalists rely on survey data to monitor the health of the teacher and principal workforce. But media coverage that focuses only on the connection, or lack thereof, between teachers' intentions to leave and actual turnover stands the risk of minimizing the clearly stated dissatisfaction that educators are expressing.

    Aug 11, 2022

    The Grade