Education Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access education research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

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    Alerts & Newsletters

    RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about education.

    • teacher calling on students

      Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Key Issues for Lawmakers

      Jun 17, 2015

      As lawmakers consider reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (better known as No Child Left Behind), they should carefully consider four key issues: testing requirements, school improvement, teaching effectiveness, and innovation.

    • Students hold diplomas

      Education Issues in the New Congress

      Feb 24, 2015

      The list of education issues for the new Congress is long, but RAND research on No Child Left Behind, tests and testing, teachers and teaching effectiveness, early childhood and postsecondary education, and summer learning can provide insight for decisionmakers.

    • Instructor helping students on computers

      Competency-Based Education: A New Direction

      Nov 18, 2014

      A RAND evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Project Mastery grant program, which supports competency-based education initiatives in school systems and schools, contains lessons for policy, partnerships, and practice.

    • summer learning

      Putting the Brakes on Summer Break Losses

      Jun 27, 2014

      RAND research provides insight into how to fund and structure summer learning programs that will generate the greatest value on an investment intended to help students avoid losing ground in their academic performance over summer breaks.

    • students in class

      How to Assess 21st Century Competencies

      Jun 2, 2014

      Parents, educators, employers, and policymakers agree that students need to learn critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and creativity, but these skills are difficult to teach and learn. RAND researchers identify key lessons from assessments of these “21st century competencies.”

    •'s Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

      Mar 20, 2014 has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

    • a piggy bank with a graduation cap surrounded by U.S. currency

      The Cost of Higher Education: The Big Picture

      Jul 26, 2013

      The rapidly increasing cost of college tuition has left policymakers searching for ways to reduce the economic burden students face, with the recent debate over the interest rate for Stafford loans further highlighting the problems posed by increased college costs.

    • Preschool or kindergarten student raising her hand as teacher reads a book

      High-Quality Early Childhood Programs Require High-Quality Teachers

      Apr 8, 2013

      While high-quality early childhood programs can have a dramatic effect on academic achievement and childhood development, federal policymakers must be careful not to expand early childhood education programs faster than an adequate number of qualified teachers can be prepared, credentialed, and recruited.

    • a teacher talking to a principal or parent

      Performance-Based Incentives for School Principals

      Oct 18, 2012

      In 2007, the Pittsburgh Public Schools implemented reforms to improve school leadership in the district, which included the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program (PPIP). PPIP provides principals with capacity-building interventions: professional development focused on leadership, feedback and coaching from their supervisors, and bonuses.

    • Lightbulb in a natural landscape, photo by Thinkstock

      Looking Beyond the 2012 U.S. Election

      Oct 3, 2012

      As the U.S. presidential election draws to a close, there is increasing demand for simple answers to complex questions, immediate solutions to entrenched challenges, and ten-second sound bites to sum it all up. RAND has always focused on big, long-term, core public policy issues and has cultivated the farsighted perspectives required to address those issues.

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