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The leadership of Qatar has a social and political vision that calls for improving the outcomes of the Qatari K–12 education system. With this vision in mind, the leadership asked RAND to examine Qatar’s K–12 education system, to recommend options for building a world-class system, and, subsequently, to develop the chosen option and support its implementation. The option that was selected includes internationally benchmarked curriculum standards, national testing based on those standards, independent government-funded schools, and parental choice among schools using annual school report cards. This monograph describes Phase I (2001–2004) of the Qatari education reform initiative, Education for a New Era, based on RAND’s experiences as part of this ambitious effort involving Qataris and Qatari organizations, and international consultants and contractors.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Qatar and Its Education System

  • Chapter Three

    Analysis of Qatar’s Education System

  • Chapter Four

    The Reform Model

  • Chapter Five

    Realizing the Independent School Model: Refined Design and Implementation Strategy

  • Chapter Six

    Building the Organizational Structure

  • Chapter Seven

    Developing the Curriculum Standards and Supporting Their Implementation

  • Chapter Eight

    Developing the Assessment System

  • Chapter Nine

    Establishing the Independent Schools

  • Chapter Ten

    Challenges of a Rapid and Comprehensive Reform

  • Chapter Eleven

    Accomplishments, Recommendations, and Implications

  • Appendix

    RAND Staff

The research described in this report was prepared for the Supreme Education Council and conducted within RAND Education and the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute, programs of the RAND Corporation.

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