Education and Literacy

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RAND research on early childhood, K-12, and higher education covers issues such as assessment and accountability, choice-based and standards-based reform, school leadership, teacher effectiveness, technology, and vocational training. RAND also explores life skills, such as media, health, and financial literacy, as well as how time spent outside the classroom impacts student outcomes.

  • Children looking down at the camera, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Back to School Means Back to SEL for America's Teachers and Principals

    Sep 4, 2019

    Schools are increasingly adopting programs and practices to build social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about SEL, what they're doing to promote it, and what resources they need.

  • A 3D printer making a wrench with bright green filament, photo by wsf-f/Adobe Stock

    Research Brief

    The U.S. Workforce Development and Employment System Needs an Overhaul

    Sep 19, 2019

    Despite globalization, technology, and demographic changes, the U.S. approach to education, training, and workforce development still operates on a 20th-century model. Americans need a system that provides on-ramps for transitioning individuals to access opportunities while suitably matching workers and jobs.

Explore Education and Literacy

  • Downtown Pittsburgh and the Allegheny River, photo by Zach Frailey / CC BY NC ND 2.0 /

    Journal Article

    Pittsburgh Equity Indicators: A Baseline Measurement for Enhancing Equity in Pittsburgh

    The 2018 Pittsburgh Equity Indicators report in enables the comparison of two years of data to measure change in disparities. The report includes information on equality scores for 2017 and 2018, as well as "change scores" between years.

    Apr 24, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Pittsburgh Equity Indicators: A Baseline Measurement for Enhancing Equity in Pittsburgh

    The Pittsburgh Equity Indicators assess annual progress toward equitable opportunities and outcomes for Pittsburghers of all races, genders, and incomes. The 2017 report summarizes baseline equality scores, which measure disparities in Pittsburgh.

    Apr 24, 2019

  • Children take shelter under desks during an earthquake simulation in an evacuation drill in Tokyo, Japan, March 10, 2017, photo by Issei Kato/Reuters

    Essay

    Childhood Trauma Is More Common Than You Think. This School-Based Intervention Can Help

    A program developed at RAND helps children exposed to trauma confront and subdue their stress and anxiety. The program grew out of the 1990s street violence of South Los Angeles and has since helped kids from Newtown to Fukushima. Researchers are tailoring this intervention for children in Puerto Rico whose lives were upended by hurricanes.

    Apr 23, 2019

  • Students and a counselor sit in a circle, photo by Steve Debenport/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Two New Studies Reveal About Restorative Justice in Middle School

    There are many nuances to the implementation and impact of restorative practices. This suggests that continued experimentation could allow school districts to realize the benefits of instituting these practices and reduce the cost of doing so.

    Apr 17, 2019

  • Teachers talking in a classroom, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    How Educators View the Rapid Life Cycle of School Reforms

    Researchers and educators have noted the emergence of a school reform "churn." New initiatives and programs are adopted, only to be dropped when the next popular reform emerges. How do principals and teachers perceive continuity in the programs at their schools?

    Apr 11, 2019

  • News Release

    Principal Pipelines Benefit Students, Reduce Principal Turnover

    Districts can improve schools—including boosting student achievement in reading and math—by better preparing, selecting, evaluating, and supporting principals.

    Apr 8, 2019

  • A principal meeting with teachers, photo by Claire Holt/The Wallace Foundation

    Report

    Principal Pipelines Benefit Students and Reduce Principal Turnover

    Six urban districts implemented principal pipelines, a strategic approach to the hiring, preparation, evaluation, and support of school leaders. The efforts were feasible, affordable, and effective. The schools not only outperformed comparison schools in both math and reading, but they also improved principal retention.

    Apr 8, 2019

  • High school principal talks with students outside at school, photo by asiseeit/Getty Images

    Commentary

    For Teachers, a Good Boss Makes All the Difference

    Districts that try to place an effective leader in every school could reap educational benefits in the classroom. Giving a teacher a good boss also could be a powerful element in a broader strategy to recruit and retain highly effective educators.

    Apr 4, 2019

  • Students raise their hands in the classroom as their teacher reads from a book, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Teachers Can Make a Difference Beyond Their Own Classrooms

    Schools may be undervaluing good teachers by at least 30 percent. How? Because they aren't considering the spillover effects that better-educated students have on their peers.

    Apr 3, 2019

  • Report

    Preparing New York City High School Students for the Workforce: Evaluation of the Scholars at Work Program

    This report evaluates the Scholars at Work program, which connects students in Career and Technical Education courses at New York City high schools with local employers to improve the career chances of the students and meet the needs of employers.

    Mar 28, 2019

  • Students building something together with tiles, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Do You Measure Social and Emotional Learning?

    As the desire to improve SEL for all students grows, it is increasingly important to measure its effectiveness. But the field has lacked an organized method of identifying, choosing, and using the best assessments to measure students' competencies. Two newly developed tools can help.

    Mar 28, 2019

  • An apple sits on a stack of booklets on a teacher's desk

    Brochure

    Two Innovative Tools to "Take the Pulse" of America's Educators

    This brochure describes the American Educator Panels—two innovative online survey tools that provide unique sources of accurate information about educators' knowledge, attitudes, practices, and working conditions

    Mar 18, 2019

  • Two female teachers timetable and lesson planning, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    School Leadership: Teachers and Principals May Have Different Views

    Principals almost universally rate themselves as effective in leadership practices such as communicating a clear vision for the school and setting high standards for teaching. Some teachers rate principals lower, and this mismatch in perception could have negative consequences.

    Mar 14, 2019

  • Report

    Cost Analysis of the South Carolina Child Early Reading and Development Education Program

    This report estimates the per-pupil cost for public and private providers to deliver the South Carolina Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) for 2017-2018 and compares the cost to the reimbursement rate provided by the state.

    Mar 4, 2019

  • School children stretching up at lesson, photo by mediaphotos/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Measuring Social-Emotional Skills, Carefully

    In the often-fraught debate over education policy, there is growing agreement that educators should pay close attention to the development of the social and emotional skills that allow students to persevere when working on difficult tasks, regulate emotions, and work effectively in teams. But measuring such skills remains a significant challenge.

    Feb 28, 2019

  • A mature African-American woman in her 40s standing outside a school building with a group of children carrying backpacks, photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Report

    Preparing School Leaders for Success

    The New Leaders program offers rigorous, research-based training for aspiring principals. Students in K-8 schools led by New Leaders principals outperformed students in K-8 schools led by other new principals in test scores and attendance rates. Both participants and district partners expressed favorable views of the program.

    Feb 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Market Power and Price Discrimination in the US Market for Higher Education

    We estimate an equilibrium model of private and public college competition and pricing using the NPSAS. We find substantial exercise of inefficient market power and, importantly, sizable variation by both college quality and student characteristics.

    Feb 15, 2019

  • Teacher with laptop, photo by contrastwerkstatt/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Teachers' Access to and Use of Student Data Varies

    Using student data to inform instruction is considered sound educational practice. Many teachers have access to grades, attendance records, and standardized test scores. But they don't all have the skills needed to interpret and use the data. Providing educators with more support could increase their use of student data.

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Text-Based Writing in Elementary Classrooms: Teachers' Conceptions and Practice

    In the present study, we investigate how teachers conceptualize text-based writing and how these conceptions influence the writing tasks they assign.

    Feb 12, 2019

  • Two teachers receiving advice, photo by julief514/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Results from the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Initiative

    A multiyear effort aimed at increasing students' access to effective teaching failed to achieve its goals for improved student achievement and graduation. However, the participating school districts and charter management organizations did implement better measures of teaching effectiveness.

    Feb 11, 2019