Core Research Areas

  • Focused students using computer in dark classroom, photo by Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images

    Education Technology and Personalized Learning

    Thousands of education technology products have been developed, yet relatively few have proved to meaningfully improve student outcomes. RAND seeks to identify the most promising tools and approaches, measure their effects, and use those findings to guide policies, implementation strategies, and more.

  • Worker wearing hard hat

    Workforce Development

    The demand for educated, versatile workers who can interpret complex information and adapt to technological innovation is high. To promote workforce development at home and abroad, RAND helps public and private sector decisionmakers understand how to keep workers productive, knowledgeable, and engaged.

  • African Descent, Computer, Student, New Business, Businesswoman, Businessman, Women, Females, Men, Males, Group Of People, Copy Space, Inspiration, Brainstorming, Global Communications, Blueprint, Graphic Designer, 30-39 Years, 20-29 Years, Young Adult, Adult, Smiling, Talking, Looking, Working, African Ethnicity, Middle Eastern Ethnicity, Asian Ethnicity, Caucasian Ethnicity, Meeting, Plan, Success, Teamwork, Partnership, Discussion, Communication, Creativity, Happiness, Ideas, Construction Industry, Small Business, Business, Architecture, Technology, Horizontal, Architect, Design Professional, Engineer, Business Person, Office, Laptop, Design, Casual Clothing, Team, Freelance Work

    Postsecondary Education

    RAND explores policy solutions that address student needs, funding challenges, and how to ensure postsecondary graduates are properly trained for the 21st-century workforce.

  • Businesswoman sitting in busy waiting area

    Employment and Unemployment

    Productive labor markets are the backbone of strong communities. For more than two decades, RAND Education and Labor researchers have conducted studies related to whether labor markets are functioning efficiently, and how they can be enhanced to provide opportunities for all.

  • Group of preschoolers responds to their teacher

    Early Childhood Education

    The importance of early childhood education is documented, but evaluating it is a difficult task. RAND explores a wide range of issues to help decisionmakers better understand how to measure quality, effective professional development for educators, overall costs vs. benefits, and more.

  • Schoolgirl smiling while using tablet at desk

    Social and Emotional Learning

    Research has demonstrated the benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices that can promote students’ interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies such as social awareness and self-regulation. RAND researchers are generating evidence-based guidance to improve SEL policies, practices, and assessments.

  • Teacher asking her students a question

    K–12 Educator Effectiveness

    Research suggests that, although many factors contribute to student performance, teachers matter most. But what makes teachers effective in the classroom? And how can school leaders measure effectiveness? RAND conducts research on these questions to help inform this ongoing policy debate.

  • Students taking a test

    K–12 Accountability & Assessments

    RAND explores the effects of standards-based accountability policies, including testing, but also those of non-academic competencies like social and emotional learning, occupational skills, and more. With a better understanding of the outcomes of such policies, decisionmakers may be able to make improvements.

  • Out-of-School Time

    To help understand how time spent outside of the classroom impacts students, RAND experts evaluate after-school programs and summer learning programs, investigate the impact of expanded learning time, and explore whether students are losing ground in the summer.

  • Couple meeting with financial advisor

    Financial Decisionmaking

    RAND helps people understand how to make better financial decisions and assists policymakers develop better financial decisionmaking tools and resources.

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