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 x5395.

Recent Findings

  • Report

    Social and Emotional Learning Interventions Under the ESSA

    Dec 5, 2017

    A review of social and emotional learning interventions for K–12 students can help education policymakers identify those that satisfy ESSA evidence requirements and meet their local needs.

  • Commentary

    Discipline Disparities and Discrimination in Schools

    Nov 21, 2017

    In the United States, black and poor students are suspended at much higher rates than their white and non-poor peers. While the existence of these disparities is not controversial, how to interpret the disparities is bitterly disputed.

  • Commentary

    Why a Lack of STEM Teachers Could Jeopardise the Canada 2067 Vision

    Nov 17, 2017

    The future of STEM learning depends heavily on a strong STEM teaching workforce. But education systems around the world face significant challenges attracting, training, and keeping STEM teachers.

  • Report

    Early Childhood Programs Can Improve Outcomes and Outweigh Costs

    Nov 16, 2017

    A review of 115 early childhood interventions — including preschool, home visiting, parent education, and other approaches — finds that most programs have favorable effects on at least one child outcome. And most of the programs with benefit–cost analyses show positive returns.

  • Research Brief

    Dual-Language Immersion Programs Raise Student Achievement in English

    Nov 8, 2017

    Portland Public Schools students randomly assigned to dual-language immersion programs outperformed their peers on state reading tests by 13 percent in grade 5 and by 22 percent in grade 8. Students gained proficiency in a second language with no drop in their performance in math or science.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Effects of NYC's 5th-Grade Promotion Policy

    Oct 19, 2009

    Policy analyst Jennifer McCombs and statistician Lou Mariano will discuss the findings of their evaluation of the New York City Department of Education's 5th-grade promotion policy.

  • Panel Discussion on No Child Left Behind

    Jan 9, 2008

    RAND will host a panel discussion on No Child Left Behind (NCLB): What Do We Know, and What Does It Tell Us? on January 9. Panelists include John Deasy, Michelle Rhee, Laura Hamilton, Brian Stecher, and Georges Vernez.

More Education Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Senior Staff SOTU Debrief from RAND Corporation

    Jan 25, 2012

    We've assembled a selection of RAND reports, journal articles, commentary, videos, and experts on these SOTU topics that provide you with analysis, insights, and ideas you can use in the months ahead.

  • State of the Union Policy Preview

    Jan 23, 2012

    Preparing for the State of the Union (SOTU) address? Here is a preview of topics the President may cover along with helpful links to related RAND analyses, reports, and commentary.


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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 Education Briefs