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.

Explore Education and Literacy

  • A group of teachers looking at data, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    Teachers Find Value in National Educator Survey Data

    More than 80 percent of teachers reported that their peers' responses to surveys about topics like social and emotional learning and curriculum would be useful. Those in higher-poverty schools were more likely to report that data on many topics would be useful for improving their instruction.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Report

    Getting Support for Summer Learning: How Federal, State, City, and District Policies Affect Summer Learning Programs

    The authors consider how policy environments affect school districts' attempts to scale and sustain quality summer programs. This report, the sixth in a series, is intended to help program leaders navigate local, state, and federal policy contexts.

    Apr 13, 2020

  • Blog

    Hospitals' Critical Care Capacity, Unemployment Insurance, Farmworkers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how hospitals can increase critical care capacity, reforming the U.S. unemployment system, supporting farmworkers, and more.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Employees and volunteers prepare relief boxes at the South Texas Food Bank in Laredo, Texas, March 20, 2020, photo by Veronica Cardenas/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Do You Do with a Problem Like COVID-19?

    Over the last several decades, Americans' trust in their government and its institutions crumbled. Beyond that, the value of truth and expertise, the common bedrock of sound policymaking, was decaying in American society. COVID-19 might present an opportunity to correct some of these ills.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • A teacher holding a tablet and talking to a student, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Do Teachers Have What They Need to Support Students with Unique Learning Profiles?

    Many students face unique educational circumstances, such as learning disabilities, housing instability, and exposure to poverty. Do teachers have what they need to help these students succeed?

    Apr 10, 2020

  • 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.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Report

    Education, Employment, and Wages in the Appalachia Region: Final Report (2020)

    The authors of this report examine indicators of the health of education and labor markets in the Appalachia Partnership Initiative region, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and on the extraction industry.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • 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.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A row of lockers in a high school, photo by Monkey Business Images/Getty Images

    Report

    Secondary Educators Consider Discipline Reform a Priority

    One quarter of principals and 31 percent of teachers surveyed identified discipline reform as one of the top three most important interventions needed in their secondary schools. And those in high-poverty schools were more likely than those in low-poverty schools to do so.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Principal and teachers in a staff meeting, photo by asiseeit/Getty Images

    Report

    Principals Are More Optimistic Than Teachers About School Improvement Plans

    School improvement plans have been a central feature of American school reform for over two decades. Most educators are familiar with these plans, but principals are more likely than teachers to believe that they change teaching practices and improve schools in a five-year period.

    Apr 8, 2020

  • Report

    The Appalachia Partnership Initiative's Investments in Workforce Development and Catalyzing the Community: Reflections from 2014 Through 2018

    This report is the third assessment of the Appalachia Partnership Initiative's (API's) progress in meeting its goals and vision. The authors consider the API's strategic alignment, beneficiaries, effectiveness, community catalyst, and sustainability.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • A teacher trying to resolve a conflict between two elementary students

    Report

    Are Educators Setting Goals for Social-Emotional Learning?

    Evidence shows that social and emotional skills predict long-term life outcomes of students. Interventions that improve social and emotional learning (SEL) can also boost academic achievement. Many teachers and principals are setting goals for SEL growth in their schools, but 40 percent of them are not.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • Teachers standing in hallway filled with students

    Report

    How Much Influence Do Teachers Have? It Depends on Whom You Ask

    Are teachers involved in making important decisions in their schools? A nationally representative survey shows that principals are more likely than teachers to say yes. Such gaps between teachers and school leaders signal a disconnect that may lead to professional stagnation and frustration.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • 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 7, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID-19's Effects on Mental Health, Food Access, and Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19 and mental health, food security challenges during the pandemic, supporting children while schools are closed, and more.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Chrissy Brackett and grandson Caidence Miller learn to navigate an online learning system at her home in Woodinville, Washington, March 11, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Q&A

    Schools Pivot Online in Wake of COVID-19: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Nearly all school-age children in the United States are no longer in the classroom as districts shut down to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. RAND education researchers discuss how this situation might exacerbate educational inequities, how districts and teachers are innovating and what they need, and what parents can do.

    Apr 2, 2020

  • A girl doing schoolwork on a laptop computer, photo by ijeab/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Online Doesn't Have to Mean Impersonal

    Children's needs extend beyond the purely academic. It is important that their social and emotional well-being is supported as instruction moves online during the COVID-19 pandemic. A whole-child view of what students need could benefit them now more than ever.

    Apr 2, 2020

  • Boy wearing headphones while using laptop during homework at home

    Multimedia

    The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Education System

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, in response to the COVID-19 crisis RAND experts discuss K–12 education issues, potential income-based gaps, social and emotional learning matters, and resources for students and parents. The experts also consider actions that can be taken to facilitate learning while meeting social distancing goals.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Financial Aid Can Help Low-Income Students Finish Two-Year College Programs

    In Wisconsin, a state-funded grant helped the lowest-income college students meet living expenses and supported degree completion. A grant of $1,100 made graduation 9 percent more likely for students enrolled at technical colleges.

    Mar 30, 2020