American School District Panel

The RAND Corporation, the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), Chiefs for Change, and Kitamba have launched a national effort to surface and examine trends in the policy and practice of school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs). The American School District Panel (ASDP) is a groundbreaking effort that will enable district and CMO leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives and contribute to decisions about education policy and practice. Researchers will survey leaders and staff from a representative panel of school districts and CMOs across the country as well as conduct a complementary set of qualitative studies, following these districts and CMOs over time to monitor trends.

The surveys will explore a range of district functions, such as curriculum and instruction, professional development supports, and services for students with disabilities. The research will examine district strategy, structure, policy, and practice, and will provide insight into how districts are changing to support school-level problem-solving.

National Panel of School Districts and CMOs

The nationally representative sample of school districts will include districts of varying sizes, districts located in a wide range of urban to rural communities, as well as CMOs. Researchers will oversample districts that serve a large percentage of low-income students and students of color, allowing for more detailed analyses of issues and concerns surfacing in these districts.

The Work Ahead

The ASDP effort is underway with an advisory group of district, CMO, policy, and community leaders who are providing input on the topical focus and direction of the surveys and qualitative studies. Over the next three years, the ASDP research team will conduct surveys with personnel within panel-participating districts addressing a variety of topics. In addition, the team will complement the survey data with qualitative studies that use interviews and focus groups to gather additional data about district policy, practices, and conditions.

The ASDP team is committed to producing objective, high-quality results that will be of interest to a variety of audiences and will inform decisionmaking by districts and CMOs as well as the organizations that support them. We will share data from the surveys via a data portal and data visualization platform to promote widespread access. Dissemination strategies will include reports and events to engage the field and reach key audiences.

Look for the release of initial ASDP findings in fall 2020.