Brian Stecher is an adjunct social scientist at the RAND Corporation. His research focuses on measuring education quality and evaluating education reforms, with a particular emphasis on assessment and accountability systems.
During his 30 years at RAND, Stecher has directed evaluations of large-scale educational reforms, including No Child Left Behind (U.S. Department of Education), the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching (Gates Foundation), mathematics and science systemic reforms (National Science Foundation), and Class Size Reduction (California Department of Education). Stecher has done extensive research on measuring educational practices and outcomes, including developing assessments (prototype performance assessments for teacher certification, hands-on science tasks for middle school students), validating tests (the quality of portfolio assessments in Vermont and Kentucky), studying the use of assessments for school improvement (formative and interim assessments, measures of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies), and developing alternative measures of instructional practice (vignette-based survey items, mathematics and science teacher notebooks, and electronic tablet-based science teacher portfolios).
Stecher has published widely in professional journals, and he has served on expert panels related to standards, assessments, and accountability. He received his Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles.
L. S. Hamilton, H. Schwartz, B. M. Stecher and J. Steele, "Improving Accountability Through Expanded Measures of Performance," Journal of Educational Administration, 51(4), 2013
Martínez, J.F., Stecher, B., and Borko, H., "Classroom Assessment Practices, Teacher Judgments, and Student Achievement in Mathematics: Evidence from the ECLS," Educational Assessment, 14, 2009
Stecher, B. M., Le, V., Hamilton, L. S., Ryan, G., Robyn, A., and Lockwood, J. R., "Using structured classroom vignettes to measure instructional practices in mathematics," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 28(2), 2006
B. M. Stecher and L. S. Hamilton, Measuring Hard-to-Measure Student Competencies: A Research and Development Plan, RAND (RR-863), 2014
Stecher, Brian M., Frank Camm, Cheryl L. Damberg, Laura S. Hamilton, Kathleen J. Mullen, Christopher Nelson, Paul Sorensen, Martin Wachs, Allison Yoh, Gail L. Zellman, and Kristin J. Leuschner, Toward a Culture of Consequences: Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services, RAND Corporation (MG-1019), 2010
Stecher, B.M. & Vernez, G., Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind: Facts and Recommendations, RAND (MG-977), 2010
Hamilton, L.S. & Stecher, B.M. "Expanding what counts when evaluating charter school effectiveness," in Betts, J.R. & Hill, P.T., Taking the measure of charter schools: Better assessments, better policymaking, better schools, Rowman and Littlefield, 2010
Stecher, Brian M., Michael S. Garet, Laura S. Hamilton, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Abby Robyn, Jeffrey Poirier, Deborah J. Holtzman, Eleanor S. Fulbeck, Jay Chambers, and Iliana Brodziak de los Reyes, Improving Teaching Effectiveness: Implementation: The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Through 2013–2014, RAND Corporation (RR-1295-BMGF), 2016