Andrew McEachin

Photo of Andrew McEachin
Senior Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in education policy, University of Southern California; M.A. in economics, University of Southern California; A.B. in history, Cornell University


Andrew McEachin is a senior policy researcher in the economics, statistics, and sociology department at the RAND Corporation and a Professor of Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prior to joining RAND, he was an assistant professor of education policy at North Carolina State University and an Institute of Education Sciences postdoctoral fellow at University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. The unifying goal of his research is to generate rigorous policy-relevant evidence to help educators and policymakers in their efforts to raise student achievement and narrow achievement gaps.

His research agenda focuses on using advanced quantitative methods to study the determinants of persistent achievement gaps, as well as evaluating the effect of popular responses by policymakers and educators to reduce these gaps. Examples of these include standards-based accountability, school choice initiatives, teacher labor markets, and curricular intensification. His work has been published in education, public policy, economics, and sociology journals. He is also currently working on projects funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. He is also a co-editor of Educational Researcher.

He received his Ph.D. in education policy and M.A. in economics from the University of Southern California and his B.A. in history from Cornell University.

Selected Publications

Atteberry, Allison and Andrew McEachin, "School's out: The role of summers in understanding achievement disparities," American Educational Research Journal (forthcoming)

Andrew McEachin, Thurston Domina, and Andrew Penner, "Heterogeneous effects of early algebra across California middle schools.," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (forthcoming)

Nathan Barrett, Andrew McEachin, Jonathan Mills, and Jon Valant, "Disparities in student discipline by race and family income," Journal of Human Resources (forthcoming)

McEachin, Andrew, Richard Welsh, and Dominic J Brewer, "The Variation in Student Achievement and Behavior within a Portfolio Management Model: Early Results from New Orleans," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(4), 2016

Domina, Thurston, Andrew McEachin, Andrew Penner, and Emily Penner, "Aiming high and falling short: California’s 8th grade algebra-for-all effort," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(3), 2015

Strunk, Katharine, Andrew McEachin, and Theresa Westover, "Does intensive district-level technical assistance improve student achievement? An evaluation of California's District Assistance and Intervention Teams," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(3), 2014

McEachin, Andrew, and Allison Atteberry, "The impact of summer learning loss on measures of school performance," Education Finance and Policy, 12(4), 2017

Ahn, June, Andrew McEachin, "Student Enrollment Patterns and Achievement in Ohio’s Online Charter Schools," Educational Researcher, 46(1), 2017

Honors & Awards

  • Co-Editor, Educational Researcher
  • Board of Directors, Association for Education Finance and Policy
  • Editorial Board, American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Education Finance and Policy


  • Students wait to receive books during a materials distribution for distance learning at Heather Hills Elementary School in Bowie, MD, on August 26, 2020, photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Unpacking COVID-19's Long-Term Effects on Students

    The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented set of obstacles for schools and exacerbated existing structural inequalities in public education. It may take years to unpack how the pandemic affected student learning and social and emotional development and to identify any lasting effects on low-income communities and communities of color.

    Dec 29, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Children stand on smiley faces to maintain social distancing in the courtyard of a school in Paris, France, May 14, 2020, photo by Benoit Tessier/Reuters

    How to Reopen Schools: Q&A with RAND Experts

    The debate over opening U.S. schools is growing more heated by the day. In this Q&A, RAND researchers discuss the different approaches for reopening, how online learning went in the spring, ways to help disadvantaged students, and more.

    Jul 23, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A male student getting reprimanded by a teacher

    Discipline Disparities and Discrimination in Schools

    In the United States, black and poor students are suspended at much higher rates than their white and non-poor peers. While the existence of these disparities is not controversial, how to interpret the disparities is bitterly disputed.

    Nov 21, 2017 Brookings Institution's Brown Center Chalkboard

  • A teacher meeting with a parent and her child in a classroom

    How Parents Can Find Out What They Need to Know in an Era of School Choice

    To make an informed choice about schools, parents need to know about the quality of instruction, services, and the overall school climate. Schools need a better system of measuring and collecting data on performance, and a way to make it accessible to families.

    Feb 21, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • Children raise their hands in a classroom

    How School Choice Could Disadvantage Low-Income Students

    The flexibility to allow Title I-A funds to follow students across schools has a certain appeal. But it could have negative consequences for some of the poorest students.

    Sep 1, 2015 U.S. News & World Report