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 ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • Commentary

    Louisiana's Education System Is Evolving: Here's What Parents Need to Know

    Sep 12, 2018

    Louisiana has taken big steps to improve its education policies and the education of the state's children, from birth to grade 12. Parents can help their children benefit from the reforms by being informed about the changes and knowing how to take advantage of new resources.

  • Essay

    Appalachia Partnership Helps Both Workers and Employers in a Changing Market

    Aug 30, 2018

    An innovative program in Appalachia is realigning the skills of the workforce with the needs of employers, getting people back on the job and providing a 21st-century model of workforce development.

  • Essay

    Social and Emotional Learning Prepares Students for Life

    Aug 27, 2018

    The goal of social and emotional learning is to give students the skills they need to work in teams, communicate their ideas, and manage their emotions. Research can help educators determine which programs work and which ones qualify for federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

  • Commentary

    How Early Childhood Education and Care Can Help to Tackle the Impact of Childhood Disadvantage

    Aug 20, 2018

    Disadvantaged children underperform educationally partly because on average they experience more risk factors. Interventions to address multiple causes of underperformance for disadvantaged children may have a better chance of success. The calibre of early childhood education and care professionals also likely matters.

  • Report

    How Well Do Math Teachers Follow Common Core State Standards?

    Aug 9, 2018

    Teachers are eager to engage their students in Common Core State Standards for mathematics if they only had the knowledge and tools they need to do so. They need access to high-quality instructional materials and help in distinguishing whether these materials are aligned with the standards.

More Research on Education

Briefings

  • Informing Investments in High-Quality Preschool

    May 5, 2017

    The new Congress is expected to reexamine spending on domestic programs like early childhood education. RAND senior economist Lynn Karoly will present her findings on the short- and long-term effects of high-quality preschool programs—and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns.

  • Reauthorizing ESEA: Key Issues and Federal Oversight Are Up for Debate

    Feb 18, 2015

    This might be the year that Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary School Act. However, debate continues over some of the law's key components and the appropriate federal role in annual assessments, state accountability, and teaching effectiveness.

  • Correctional Education: How Effective Is It and What Can We Do to Make It Better?

    Feb 18, 2014

    Ex-offenders do not have the knowledge and skills to support a successful return to their communities. Trying to reduce re-incarceration rates is partly why states devote resources to educating and training individuals while in prison. Lois Davis will present results from a comprehensive RAND study on the effectiveness of correctional education.

  • Improving Student Achievement Through Education Technology

    Jun 20, 2013

    RAND senior scientist John Pane will participate in a panel hosted by Carnegie Learning to discuss a large-scale randomized study of the blended learning algebra curriculum designed by Carnegie Learning, tracking the progress of more than 19,000 students in 147 schools in seven states.

  • Maintaining Accountability and Nurturing Innovation through a Reauthorized ESEA

    May 22, 2012

    In this panel briefing RAND researchers discuss the possible reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—how it will require several critical decisions about standards, assessments, reporting requirements, and school improvement initiatives.

More Education Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • School Safety in the U.S.

    Jun 27, 2018

    In the wake of several school shootings, policymakers have been weighing proposals aimed at improving school safety. Many of these promote technologies such as metal detectors and video cameras. How effective are these devices?

  • Spotlight on Higher Education

    Mar 26, 2018

    Colleges and universities have an opportunity to improve their response to sexual assaults, emerging evidence from Texas community colleges on the effectiveness of corequisite models, and more in a roundup of RAND's work in higher education.

  • STEM Workforce Disparities

    Jan 18, 2018

    Women and racial/ethnic minorities are less likely to earn STEM degrees and enter STEM employment. Minorities also experience attainment and wage gaps in these jobs. Without stronger support for these groups, the STEM economy may fail to optimize the pool of potential workers needed to sustain growth and innovation.

  • The Economic Benefits of Later School Start Times

    Dec 6, 2017

    In the first-ever state-by-state analysis of the economic implications of a shift in school start times, researchers found that within a decade, a nationwide move to 8:30 a.m. could contribute $83 billion to the U.S. economy.

  • National Database Could Help Students Pick a College—and Income

    Aug 16, 2017

    Developing a searchable, secure national database could help students link their college decision to potential earnings later on—leading to more informed choices about higher education.

  • In Case You Missed It: Informing Investments in High-Quality Preschool

    Jun 6, 2017

    Are high-quality preschool programs worth the investment they take to succeed? Lynn Karoly presents a congressional briefing presenting evidence of the short- and long-term effects of high-quality preschool programs.

  • Considering Education Policy in the 115th Congress

    Mar 16, 2017

    What are the biggest education issues facing the 115th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including early childhood care and learning and K-12 issues, career and technical education, higher education, and workforce development.

  • Making American Education Great Will Require More than Charter Schools

    Dec 19, 2016

    Charter schools could become an important part of a great education system, says RAND's Darleen Opfer. But this burst of attention poses a risk that other issues will be ignored.

  • Inside the Opt-Out Movement

    May 23, 2016

    For several years, parents across the country have resisted standardized tests by opting out for their kids. This decision, however, may have social consequences that reach far beyond the quality of an individual child's school-based experiences.

  • Test Smarter: Recommendations for Improving Standardized Testing

    Nov 17, 2015

    The Department of Education's recently released Testing Action Plan recommends that statewide testing be limited to no more than two percent of instructional time, but the amount of testing isn't the only consideration: Policymakers should also examine the usefulness and purpose of testing.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

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

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary?

    Jul 9, 2012

    Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) policies require that a proportion of units in market-rate residential developments are made affordable to lower-income households in exchange for development rights or zoning variances. IZ programs provide greater access to low-poverty neighborhoods, which are often correlated with high-performing schools.

  • Can Summer Learning Programs Prevent Skill and Knowledge Loss?

    Jun 21, 2012

    When kids go on summer vacation, their knowledge and skills suffer, with their performance dropping off, on average, one month from where they were when they left school in the spring. Such losses do not affect all kids equally, having the greatest effect on low-income students.

  • Pay-for-Performance: What Are We Learning?

    Jun 1, 2012

    One proposal to improve teacher effectiveness--and, by extension, student achievement--is to shift from a uniform teacher salary schedule to a pay-for-performance (P4P) system, which would attach financial rewards to student achievement on standardized tests. But is P4P effective in this domain?

  • Why Are For-Profit Colleges Appealing to Veterans?

    Mar 8, 2012

    As veterans return home from combat and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, many have turned to for-profit colleges because of the schools' unique ability to meet their needs.

  • NCLB Ten Years Out: A Continuing Policy Debate

    Jan 31, 2012

    This month marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of NCLB. As Congress considers the future direction of federal education policy, the RAND Corporation continues to further the policy debate in this area through its extensive research on the Act's effects.


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Testimony

2006 and prior

August 1, 2006
Assessing the Effectiveness of California Charter Schools

Richard Buddin

Testimony presented to the California Select Committee on the Master Plan for Education.

June 23, 2005
Developing Process Indicators to Improve Educational Governance: Lessons for Education from Health Care

Brian M. Stecher

Testimony presented to the California Little Hoover Commission.

April 24, 2002
Benefits of a Statewide Student Identifier System for California

Laura S. Hamilton

Testimony presented before the California State Senate Education Committee.

June 1, 2001
School Violence Prevention

Jaana Juvonen

Testimony presented to the California State Assembly Select Committee on School Safety.

January 29, 1999
Elements of a National Strategy to Foster Effective Use of Technology in Elementary and Secondary Education

Thomas K. Glennan, Jr.

Testimony presented to the Education Task Force, Budget Committee, U.S. House of Representatives.

More Testimony

Briefs

More Research on Education