John F. Pane

Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation
Pittsburgh Office

Education

Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in computer science, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and mathematics, Carnegie Mellon University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

John F. Pane is a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation. From 2015 to 2018 he holds RAND’s Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation. Pane researches the implementation and effectiveness of innovations in education, with a focus on personalized/competency-based learning, education technology, math, and science. His expertise includes the application of experimental and rigorous quasi-experimental methods. He led or co-led numerous experiments with randomization of individuals or schools, including a large-scale effectiveness trial of mathematics tutoring software in 147 schools in 51 school districts in seven states. Among several efficacy experiments, one examined the effects of summer learning programs in five urban school districts. He led the first large-scale evaluation of schoolwide personalized learning, using quasi-experimental methods to achieve the highest level of rigor possible for the situation. Other quasi-experiments included evaluations of two rural Kentucky initiatives using technology to increase student readiness for college and careers, a NSF math and science partnership, and a school district’s one-to-one laptop program. He co-directed the Carnegie Mellon and RAND Traineeships in Methodology and Interdisciplinary Research (CMART), an IES postdoctoral training program. Pane is a frequent participant in the review of scientific research proposals and articles, and holds several advisory board positions. Sponsors of his research have included the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the U.S. Army, the Heinz Endowments, and the Grable, Pittsburgh, and Benedum Foundations. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Previous Positions

Project Scientist, Carnegie Mellon University

Recent Projects

  • Experimental studies of the implementation and effects of technology-based mathematics curricula
  • Study of the implementation and outcomes of innovative personalized learning school models
  • Experimental evaluation of summer learning programs
  • Study of the implementation of data-driven decisionmaking practices in schools
  • Evaluation of a school district's one-to-one laptop computer initiative

Selected Publications

John F. Pane, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Matthew D. Baird, Laura S. Hamilton, and Joseph D. Pane, Informing Progress: Insights on Personalized Learning Implementation and Effects, RAND Corporation (RR-1365), 2017

John F. Pane, Beth Ann Griffin, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Rita Karam, "Effectiveness of Cognitive Tutor Algebra I at Scale," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(2), 2014

John F. Pane, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Mary Ellen Slaughter, Jennifer L. Steele, and Gina S. Ikemoto, "An Experiment to Evaluate the Efficacy of Cognitive Tutor Geometry," Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 3(3), 2010

Augustine, C. H., McCombs, J. S., Pane, J. F., Schwartz, H. L., Schweig, J., McEachin, A., & Siler-Evans, K., Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth, RAND Corporation (RR-1557), 2016

John F. Pane, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Nidhi Kalra, Annie J. Zhou, "Effects of Student Displacement in Louisiana During the First Academic Year After the Hurricanes of 2005," Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 13(2-3), 2008

John F. Pane, Valerie L. Williams, Stuart S. Olmsted, Kun Yuan, Eleanor Spindler, Mary E. Slaughter, Math Science Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania: Measuring Progress Towards Goals, RAND Corporation (MG-857-AIU), 2009

Julie A. Marsh, John F. Pane, Laura S. Hamilton, Making Sense of Data-Driven Decision Making: Evidence from Recent RAND Research, RAND Corporation (OP-170), 2006

Kerri A. Kerr, John F. Pane, Heather Barney, Quaker Valley Digital School District: Early Effects and Plans for Future Evaluation, RAND Corporation (TR-107), 2003

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation, RAND Education

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Baton Rouge Advocate; Bloomberg News; Christian Science Monitor; EdSurge; Education Week; KPCC Pasadena; Louisiana Radio Network; Mindshift by KQED San Francisco; New York Times; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Sirius Satellite Radio

Commentary: Education Week

Commentary

  • A teacher discussing a mathematics problem with her student

    What Emerging Research Says About the Promise of Personalized Learning

    Personalized learning could lead to improved student outcomes. But those implementing this approach should temper their expectations for how big these benefits will be—and be patient while the benefits emerge. It's also important to consider the challenges of implementation.

    Aug 16, 2017 Brookings Institution's Brown Center Chalkboard

  • A teacher helps a high school student work on a laptop

    Helping Pittsburgh Stay on the Cutting Edge of Education Innovation

    Local organizations, educators, and leaders are creating remarkable learning experiences for Pittsburgh's young people, and other cities around the country are striving to replicate their innovations.

    May 8, 2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • A teacher and student in a classroom looking at a laptop

    Technology Is Only Part of Personalized Learning

    The concept of personalized learning has gained favor in recent years, partly because new technology applications help to facilitate it. But those who characterize this instructional approach as

    Mar 4, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Teacher helping a high school student on a computer

    Making Room for New Approaches: Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization That Support Innovation

    As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.

    Jan 27, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • hurricane

    Helping Displaced Students in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

    If Hurricane Sandy causes extensive disruptions in public schools—particularly in hard-hit New York City—our research shows that choices made by parents and policymakers could significantly limit the negative short-term effects of changing schools under such difficult circumstances, writes John Pane.

    Oct 31, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • When Students Disappear...

    Published commentary by RAND staff: When Students Disappear..., in Education Week.

    Feb 21, 2007 Education Week

Publications