Kata Mihaly

Photo of Kata Mihaly
Senior Economist, Associate Director of the Economics, Sociology and Statistics Department; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Ph.D. and M.S. in economics, Duke University; B.S. in policy analysis, Cornell University


Kata Mihaly is a senior economist and associate director of the Economics, Sociology and Statistics Department at the RAND Corporation. She is also an affiliate faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Mihaly leads a number of studies that evaluate education programs using rigorous methods, including randomized control trials, regression discontinuity, propensity score matching methods, and other quasi-experimental evaluation designs. She is particularly interested in the topic of teacher quality and the impact of programs designed to support teachers. Her recently published work reviews the literature on value-added model design and examines how value-added model specifications impact the rankings of teacher preparation programs.

Mihaly has worked on developing statistical methods for combining multiple measures of teaching for the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She recently led a four-year randomized control trial study under RELSW examining the impact of providing a feedback checklist for principals to use with teachers following formal observations on teacher observation scores and student achievement. She is currently a principal investigator for a grant from IES to study the impact of labeling teachers ineffective or minimally effective in a formal evaluation setting using a regression discontinuity design.

She has been invited to provide technical assistance on the issue of teacher and preparation program evaluation by a number of districts and states. She was certified in WWC standards in September 2008. Mihaly earned her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.

Recent Projects

  • Teacher Effectiveness Labeling Impacts on Student and Teacher Outcomes
  • Leading Educators Program Impacts
  • Impacts of a Detailed Checklist on Formative Feedback to Teachers

Selected Publications

Quoc-Sy Doan, Jonathan Schweig and Kata Mihaly , "The Consistency of Composite Ratings of Teacher Effectiveness: Evidence from New Mexico,", 2019

Kata Mihaly, Heather L. Schwartz, Isaac M. Opper, Geoffrey Grimm, Luis Rodriguez, and Louis T. Mariano , "Impacts of a checklist on the feedback principals provide to teachers after observations," IES Report, (REL 2017– ), 2017

Cory Koedel, Kata Mihaly, and Jonah E. Rockoff, "Value-Added Modeling: A Review," Economics of Education Review, 47(1), 2015