William R. Johnston

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Associate Policy Researcher; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ed.D. in culture, communities, and education, Harvard University; M.S.Ed. in secondary English instruction, University of Pennsylvania; B.A. in English, The Ohio State University

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This researcher is available for interviews.

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William R. Johnston is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. His research explores how local, state, and national political and social contexts relate to educational opportunities and outcomes for youth. Johnston has extensive experience in working with district- and state-level administrative data systems, and he recently completed a study of racial preferences underlying kindergarten school choice patterns in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also engaged in a large-scale analysis if divergent population trends in high-poverty neighborhoods across the country between 1970 and 2010. Johnston holds an Ed.D. in culture, communities, and education from Harvard University.

At RAND he is leading a three-year impact evaluation of the New York City Community Schools Initiative and is co-directing a three-year national survey effort using the American Teacher Panel and American School Leader Panel, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prior to his training and work as an educational researcher, Johnston was a high school English and U.S. history teacher in Philadelphia and San Francisco. He holds an Ed.D. in  culture, communities, and education from Harvard University.