Rita Karam

Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office

Education

Ph.D. in education, University of California, Riverside; M.A. in sociology, California State University, Fullerton; B.A. in sociology, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

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 media@rand.org.

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Overview

Rita T. Karam is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on studying educational policies, educational organizations, educational equity, and program improvement. For over 14 years Karam has been investigating school reforms and educational programs (e.g. college access, STEM), decentralization policies and school monitoring/evaluation and accountability systems through the use of experimental and quasi-experimental methods. Karam has conducted summative and formative assessments of such programs and reforms where she examined their implementation and their effects on student academic and non-academic outcomes. In her research, she takes into account various factors such as the complexity of reforms and programs, their coherence with local policies as well as other government policies, and their alignment with cultural values

Karam utilizes surveys, case studies, interviews, and classroom observation methodologies to measure implementation both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Currently, Karam is leading or co-leading several educational projects including the examination of the role of technology in developing online communities of practice among science teachers, the implementation of Common Core Standards in mathematics and a strategic review of graduate education in Texas.

She earned her Ph. D. in Education from the University of California, Riverside.

Commentary

  • A man studying in his apartment

    How to Navigate Public-Private Partnerships in Higher Ed

    Universities are partnering with private companies that have the resources to help them compete in the online learning market and maximize student enrollment. Do their different missions—providing high-quality education and making a profit—dilute the quality of the courses?

    May 26, 2017 RealClearEducation

  • Boys study with a shared book at their school in a village outside Sanaa, Yemen, February 2, 2016

    Countering Extremism: Early Childhood Education Forgotten

    Global attention has turned to education as a way to counter extremism. But what has been missing from the conversation is a focus on learning in children's first years, when much brain development occurs. In the Middle East and North Africa, government underinvestment in formal programs for young children is the norm.

    Jun 8, 2016 The National Interest

  • Elementary students in a classroom with a teacher

    Implementing Education Reforms to Enhance School Performance

    Although countries differ greatly in how their education systems are structured, financed, and the extent to which they are centralized, they share common obstacles that undermine reform success. Beyond the obvious steps of providing adequate resources and professional development, there are ways to improve the implementation of school-wide reforms.

    Nov 13, 2015 The RAND Blog

Publications