Crash Courses: Hard Lessons from Educational Interventions
This article describes RAND research on two innovative attempts to improve education in the United States in the past decade. In one attempt, New American Schools (NAS), a number of nationally known CEOs launched a campaign to redesign public schools nationwide by means of innovative "whole-school designs." In the other, community groups launched a local campaign to improved early care and education for low-income children in the Pittsburgh area. The researchers conclude that whole-school designs, however well thought out, cannot by themselves transform schools without added professional development, technical assistance, and materials geared to design implementation. In addition, external interventions need to address systemic issues within schools that can hinder implementation. The early childhood initiative generated high-quality care for hundreds of children. But the cost per child was much higher than anticipated, partly because parents gravitated to the more expensive services the program provided, such as full-day center-based care; and an effort to secure long-term state funding for the program failed.
Originally published in: RAND Review, v. 27, no. 1, Spring 2003, pp. 22-29.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.