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
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. In 2014, she was selected as a Thomas J. Alexander Fellow by the OECD where she used TALIS 2013 data to explore conditions that support teacher professional development. 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. She recently completed the TALIS Video Study for the OECD.
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.
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
V. Darleen Opfer, Julia H. Kaufman and Lindsay E. Thompson, Implentation of K-12 State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literacy: Findings from the American Teacher Panel, RAND (RR-1529), 2016
V. Darleen Opfer, Conditions and Practices Associated with Teacher Professional Development and Its Impact on Instruction in TALIS 2013, OECD, 2014
Interviews: Arizona Republic Online/AZCentral.com