John F. Pane

John F. Pane
Senior Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. 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

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John F. Pane is a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation. He studies the implementation and effectiveness of innovations in education, focusing on education technology, personalized/competency-based learning, math, and science. His expertise includes the application of experimental and rigorous quasi-experimental methods. He has led or coled numerous experiments that randomized students, teachers, or schools. Current experiments evaluate the efficacy of a popular digital mathematics curriculum supplement, and the relative efficacy of two ways such software can be used to help students who are behind in mathematics. Prior experiments included a large-scale effectiveness trial of mathematics tutoring software in 147 schools, 51 school districts, and seven states, and an efficacy trial of summer learning programs in five urban school districts. He led the first large-scale evaluation of schoolwide personalized learning. His published methodological collaborations include work on principal stratification, unbiased parameter estimation for experiments with noncompliance or partially-nested designs, and translating standardized effect sizes into more easily interpreted metrics. He codirected the IES postdoctoral training program, Carnegie Mellon and RAND Traineeships in Methodology and Interdisciplinary Research (CMART). From 2015-18 he held RAND’s Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation. He is a frequent participant in the review of scientific research proposals and articles, and sits on advisory boards of several nonprofit education organizations. Major sponsors of his research have included the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation. 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

Matthew D. Baird and John F. Pane, "Translating Standardized Effects of Education Programs into More Interpretable Metrics," Educational Researcher, 48(4), 2019

Pane, John F., Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning While Evidence and Resources Are Underdeveloped, RAND Corporation (PE-314), 2018

Pane, John F., 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-2042), 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, Catherine H., Jennifer Sloan McCombs, John F. Pane, Heather L. Schwartz, Jonathan Schweig, Andrew McEachin, and Kyle Siler-Evans, 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

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

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation (2015-2018), RAND Education

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: The 74; Associated Press; The Atlantic; Baton Rouge Advocate; Bloomberg News; Chalkbeat; Christian Science Monitor; District Administration; EdSurge; Education Week; Fast Company; Financial Times; The Hechinger Report; KPCC Pasadena; Louisiana Radio Network; Mindshift by KQED San Francisco; New York Times; NPR Online; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh Quarterly; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; POLITICO; Sirius Satellite Radio; Southern California Public Radio

Commentary: Brookings Brown Center Chalkboard; Education Week; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; The RAND Blog