Jennifer McCombs is a senior policy researcher and director of the Behavioral and Policy Science Department at the RAND Corporation. Her education research focuses on evaluating the extent to which public policies and programs improve outcomes for at-risk students.
Over the course of her career, she has studied how to improve teacher effectiveness (through professional development, teacher training, and incentives); whether literacy coaching improves student reading outcomes; the development of systems for out-of-school-time programs; the implementation and impact of test-based promotion policies; and the effects of federal accountability policies on schools, classrooms, and students. McCombs currently co-leads a five-district randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of voluntary summer learning programs for low-income elementary youth. Her studies combine implementation and outcome data to provide practitioners and policymakers guidance on how to improve programs and promote student outcomes. She earned her Ph.D. in public policy from The George Washington University.
McCombs, J.S., Pane, J, Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., and Zakaras, L, Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students Learning Opportunities and Outcomes, RAND (RR-815), 2014
Augustine, C.H., McCombs, J.S., Schwartz, H.L., and Zakaras, L, Getting to Work on Summer Learning, RAND (RR-366), 2013
McCombs, J.S., Augustine, C.H., Schwartz, H.L., Bodilly, S.J., McInnis, B., Lichter, D.S., and Cross, A, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning, RAND (MG-1120), 2011
Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al., Hours of Opportunity: The Power of Data to Improve After-School Programs Citywide, RAND (MG-1037/1), 2010
Jennifer Sloan McCombs et. al., Ending Social Promotion Without Leaving Children Behind, RAND Corporation (MG-894), 2009
Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al., Achieving State and National Literacy Goals a Long Uphill Road: A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York, RAND Corporation (TR-180-1), 2005
Sheila Nataraj Kirby et al., Reforming Teacher Education: Something Old, Something New, RAND Corporation (MG-506), 2002