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

  • Four educators in a school office, one holding her head and looking stressed, the other listening to her, photo by DGLimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Will Teachers Quit? What Surveys Can and Can't Tell Us

    Aug 11, 2022

    There is no single source for reliable current data about teacher and principal turnover or job openings, so it's understandable that journalists rely on survey data to monitor the health of the teacher and principal workforce. But media coverage that focuses only on the connection, or lack thereof, between teachers' intentions to leave and actual turnover stands the risk of minimizing the clearly stated dissatisfaction that educators are expressing.

  • Stressed-looking male teacher leaning against a desk with one hand on his forehead, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Educators' Poor Morale Matters, Even If They Don't Quit. Here's Why

    Aug 11, 2022

    State and district education leaders can take steps now to reduce teacher principal stress this fall in two ways: Recognize that job-related stress is systemic and that educators closer to the classroom may experience more of it, and talk with teachers and principals about the sources of stress in their job, and what could alleviate them.

  • Andrew Briscoe Elementary School's principal greets and distributes hand sanitizer to students while a teacher takes their temperature before they enter the building, in San Antonio, Texas, January 11, 2022, photo by Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Reuters

    Report

    Educators' Views on Politicized Topics in School

    Aug 10, 2022

    A survey in January 2022 asked educators about policies for COVID-19 safety in schools and classroom conversations about race, racism, or bias. Almost half of principals and 40 percent of teachers reported that the intrusion of political issues and opinions added stress to their jobs.

  • Graduates of City College of New York (CCNY) at its 169th commencement ceremony on June 3, 2022, photo by Erik McGregor/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Tool

    How Does Racial Bias Compound Over Time?

    Jul 27, 2022

    Even small amounts of racial bias in education, income, and wealth can compound over time to create significant differences in outcomes. A new tool illustrates how varying degrees of bias can add up to large inequities over lifetimes and generations.

  • Blog

    U.S. Labor Market, 988 Hotline, Firearm Homicides: RAND Weekly Recap

    Jul 22, 2022

    This weekly recap focuses on the U.S. economy’s uneven pandemic recovery, a new national mental health hotline, firearm homicides, and more.

  • Students making their way through a hallway at Ridgeview STEM Junior High in Pickerington, Ohio, December 21, 2021, photo by Shane Flanigan/USA Today via Reuters

    Report

    School Districts Still Struggled in Year Three of the Pandemic

    Jul 19, 2022

    Ninety percent of school districts changed operations in 2021–2022 because of teacher shortages. They increased substitute teacher pay and their number of staff above prepandemic levels. They also struggled with political polarization around critical race theory, student and staff mental health, and student learning loss.

  • Blog

    Gun Storage, the Dangers of Replacement Theory, War in Ukraine: RAND Weekly Recap

    Jul 15, 2022

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans store their guns, why "replacement theory" is a danger to us all, the war in Ukraine, and more.

More Research on Education

Briefings

  • My work requires a lot of patience, photo by gpointstudio/Getty Images

    Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way to Improve Schools

    Jun 17, 2019

    A recent RAND report found that implementing “principal pipelines”—a strategic approach to the hiring, preparation, evaluation, and support of school leaders—can improve schools. Susan Gates will discuss the feasibility, effectiveness, and affordability of principal pipelines. [Washington, D.C.]

  • Preschool-age children laugh while their teacher reads them a book during story time

    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.

  • Student raising her hand during class

    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.

  • Women participate in a nutrition class at the Los Angeles County women's jail

    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.

  • students and a teacher in a classroom using computers

    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.

  • A teacher helping a student with math

    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.

  • Performance-Based Accountability for Public Services

    Aug 9, 2010

    Brian Stecher presents evidence about the effectiveness of performance-based accountability systems in five sectors—child care, education, health care, public health emergency preparedness, and transportation—and provides recommendations about how to improve the effectiveness of such systems.

More Education Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Two teachers walking and talking in a school corridor, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    RAND Education Resources

    Jun 23, 2022

    A roundup of RAND's recent education research features results from a survey on the well-being of U.S. teachers and principals. It also includes insights on pathways to the middle class, improving principal preparation programs, and high-quality instructional materials.

  • Students return to school wearing masks at Wilder Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky, August 11, 2021, photo by Amira Karaoud/Reuters

    RAND Education Resources

    Sep 2, 2021

    A roundup of RAND's recent education research features results from a parent survey about COVID-19 safety practices in U.S. schools. It also includes insights on school staffing, investments in preschool, and middle-skills workforce development.

  • Teacher and children in a preschool classroom, photo by bernardbodo/Getty Images

    Preschool Programs in the United States

    Jun 11, 2021

    President Biden's American Families Plan proposes a 10-year, $200 billion federal investment in publicly funded preschool programs. As Congress considers whether to fund this initiative, RAND research can provide insight into the costs, benefits, return on investment, and features of high-quality preschool programs.

  • A tween girl wearing a protective mask at her desk in a classroom, photo by JackF/Adobe Stock

    COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools

    Mar 15, 2021

    Across the nation, safely reopening schools that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority for many parents, educators, and policymakers alike. However, widespread safety concerns are a barrier to schools' ability to provide more in-person instruction.

  • A Kindergarten teacher cleans and prepares her classroom, from where she will begin the new school year teaching virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Boston, Massachusetts, September 18, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Stress Topped the Reasons Why Public School Teachers Quit, Even Before COVID-19

    Feb 22, 2021

    It is no surprise that teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic has added pressure to what was already a high-stress profession. A new RAND survey of nearly 1,000 former public school teachers reveals how important stress has been--even more so than pay--to teachers' decisions to leave the profession.

  • A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 2018

    Climate and Resilience Policy in the 117th Congress

    Feb 11, 2021

    What are the biggest climate and resilience policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including climate science, decarbonization, resilience, adaptation, and more.

  • A second grade student votes during a mock election at his school in Gainesville Florida, Nov. 3, 2020, photo by Brad McClenny/Reuters

    Considering Education Policy in the 117th Congress

    Feb 8, 2021

    What are the biggest education policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including equity issues exacerbated by COVID-19, integrating workforce development and employment systems, improving the quality and accessibility of early childhood care and learning, and more.

  • Teacher at home during pandemic isolation teaching students, photo bysvetikd/Getty Images

    COVID-19 and Education: RAND Resources

    Jun 11, 2020

    RAND researchers have examined several aspects of pandemics, including COVID-19, in relation to education issues. Policymakers may find some recent examples helpful as they continue to look into policy responses to COVID-19.

  • A computer image shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, image by NEXU Science Communication via Reuters

    COVID-19 and Education: RAND Resources

    Apr 9, 2020

    The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting nearly every facet of daily life--including education. The nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation has examined several aspects of pandemics, including COVID-19, in relation to education issues.

  • A 3D printer making a wrench with bright green filament, photo by wsf-f/Adobe Stock

    The U.S. Workforce Development and Employment System Needs an Overhaul

    Oct 10, 2019

    The American workplace has changed profoundly over the past 40 years and continues to evolve. RAND researchers recently took a systems approach to rethinking the nation's workforce development and employment system.


Subscribe to Congressional Alerts & Newsletters

Testimony

2006 and prior

More Testimony

Briefs

More Research on Education