V. Darleen Opfer

V. Darleen Opfer
Vice President and Director, RAND Education and Labor; Distinguished Chair in Education Policy


Ph.D. in education policy studies, University of Virginia; M.Ed. in behavior disorders, University of Virginia; B.A. in education, Stetson University

Media Resources

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V. Darleen Opfer is vice president and director of RAND Education and Labor and holds the Distinguished Chair in Education Policy at the RAND Corporation. She served as director of RAND Education from 2011 to 2018; from 2005 to 2011, she was director of research and senior lecturer in research methods and school improvement at the University of Cambridge's (England) Faculty of Education. Opfer has conducted policy research studies for a number of local, state, and national governments on issues that affect teachers and schools, including recruitment and retention, professional development, and impact of policies on teacher practice. She led the TALIS Video Study (also referred to as the Global Teaching Insights Study) for the OECD. Her research also includes national studies of teacher professional development for England and Turkey, a study of teacher professional development and its relationship to school outcomes in six U.S. states, and a study of recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders for the Scottish Government. 

Opfer recently has served as an advisor to Israel's Ministry of Education's Strategy team. She previously served as an advisor to the National Council for Education Research and Training, India. She also served as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on the Increased Access to Quality Education and Training Initiative in South Africa. Opfer is the author of numerous books, reports, and journal articles and has presented to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers worldwide. She holds a Ph.D. in education policy studies from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in education from Stetson University. 

Selected Publications

Opfer, V. Darleen, and David Pedder, "The Lost Promise of Teacher Professional Development in England," European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(1), 2011

Opfer, V. Darleen, and David Pedder, "Benefits, Status and Effectiveness of Continuous Professional Development for Teachers in England," The Curriculum Journal, 21(4), 2010

Opfer, V. Darleen, Gary T. Henry, and Andrew J. Mashburn, "The District Effect: Systemic Responses to High Stakes Accountability," Journal of American Education, 114(2), 2008

Opfer, V. Darleen, Julia H. Kaufman, and Lindsey E. Thompson, Implementation of K–12 State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literacy: Findings from the American Teacher Panel, RAND Corporation (RR-1529), 2016

V. Darleen Opfer, Conditions and Practices Associated with Teacher Professional Development and Its Impact on Instruction in TALIS 2013, OECD, 2014

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Arizona Republic Online/AZCentral.com; Crisis in Education Podcast; The EdUp Experience