Education Legislation


The process of developing education-related laws differs from country to country, in some cases occurring at the national level, in other cases at the state or local level. RAND has a substantial body of research on policy-related topics such as school choice, teacher performance and accountability, and educational administration in the United States, United Kingdom, Qatar, and many other countries.

Explore Education Legislation

  • A principal and teachers meeting in the school library


    Improving School Leadership Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

    The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states and districts new opportunities to invest in school leadership. Looking at the evidence base on school leadership interventions can help inform policymakers' decisions.

    Jan 25, 2017

  • News Release

    Options for Improving School Leadership

    School leadership can have an important effect on student achievement. New federal rules offer states and school districts greater flexibility about how to use federal funds to strengthen school leadership.

    Dec 13, 2016

  • Chalk and eraser on chalkboard rail


    How States and Districts Can Leverage the Every Student Succeeds Act to Improve School Leadership

    The Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and districts with new chances to invest in school leadership. A review of interventions can serve as a starting point to enact relevant solutions and build the evidence base for what works.

    Dec 12, 2016

  • Report

    Options for Educating Students Attending Department of Defense Schools in the United States

    The Department of Defense Education Activity operates or contracts with local agencies to operate schools on 15 contiguous U.S. installations. This report evaluates the options for educating military-connected children on these installations.

    Sep 13, 2016

  • Rows of empty desks in a school


    The Opt-Out Reckoning

    Criticism of standardized testing is nearly as old as the testing itself. Will the opt-out movement promote meaningful and enduring changes in the educational system, and will these changes benefit the most at-risk and disadvantaged students?

    May 10, 2016

  • Teacher with four students working as a group


    The High Stakes of 'Soft Skills'

    With the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress is broadening what it considers success when it comes to judging school quality. One potential new indicator being discussed in some states is social and emotional learning, which has been linked to success later in life.

    Apr 7, 2016

  • Students pledging allegiance to the American flag


    Strengthening Our Democracy Starts in School

    The teaching of civics and other social studies courses has hit hard times in most states, driven in part by accountability systems that reward schools for math and reading scores. Yet civic education is critical to the stability of our democracy and seems warranted now more than ever.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • Two children face the blackboard in a classroom

    Journal Article

    Fifty Ways to Leave a Child Behind: Idiosyncrasies and Discrepancies in States' Implementation of NCLB

    Using a data set we constructed, this paper is the first national study examining which schools failed during the early years of NCLB and which performance targets they failed to meet.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • Elementary students in a classroom with a teacher


    Implementing Education Reforms to Enhance School Performance

    Although countries differ greatly in how their education systems are structured, financed, and the extent to which they are centralized, they share common obstacles that undermine reform success. Beyond the obvious steps of providing adequate resources and professional development, there are ways to improve the implementation of school-wide reforms.

    Nov 13, 2015

  • Dissertation

    District-Union Collaboration on Teacher Evaluation Reforms: Case Studies of Three School Districts in California

    Presents three case studies of school districts in California that are working to reform their teacher evaluation policies.

    Oct 9, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC


    The 2015 Summer Reading List for Congress

    With Capitol Hill slowing for August recess, this list of must-read research and commentaries will help ensure that policymakers are ready to dive right back in this fall.

    Aug 5, 2015

  • A teacher solicits questions from a class of young students.

    Journal Article

    The Effect of Attending Full-Day Kindergarten on English Learner Students

    A significant and growing English learner (EL) population attends public schools in the United States.

    Jul 22, 2015

  • Student raising her hand during class


    Reauthorizing ESEA: Key Issues and Federal Oversight Are Up for Debate

    In this February 2015 Congressional Briefing, education experts at RAND discuss the limitations of current accountability policies and how a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act could promote more effective policies.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Elementary school students at their lockers


    Reauthorizing ESEA: What We Know and Where We Should Go with School Improvement

    Federal policy should ensure that school improvement is a priority, that schools adopt proven reforms that fit the school context, and that schools and their districts are held accountable when federal resources are used for school improvement.

    Feb 11, 2015

  • Mathematics teacher pointing to the blackboard and talking to his class


    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

    Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • Teacher helping a high school student on a computer


    Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization That Support Innovation

    As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Students taking a test in a classroom


    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Make Testing Work

    Will Congress be able to reauthorize ESEA in 2015? Success will depend on legislators clearing several hurdles, such as decisions regarding teacher quality, school improvement, and charter schools. And at the center of the debate remains the issue of federal requirements for testing.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • A male pupil studying at a desk in classroom

    Journal Article

    What to Make of Percent Plans, Automatic Admissions, and College Outcomes

    Attending a selective college is seen as a way for students to gain access to opportunities that are otherwise difficult to obtain. The Texas Top Ten Percent Plan is intended to increase this access, especially for students in underserved populations, but research shows that gaps still exist in selective college attendance and completion by race and socioeconomic status.

    Dec 8, 2014

  • A teacher talking to a student at his desk


    Flexibility Is Key in Administration's Call for Teacher Equity Plans

    Thirteen years of research have clarified that metrics like teacher experience and licensure reveal little about teachers' impact on student learning. The focus should be on disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • college students having a lesson in a lecture hall


    Making Colleges More Affordable

    President Obama has released a plan to make colleges more affordable for the middle class. The plan calls for linking federal student aid to college performance, capping student loans at 10% of income, and incentivizing innovative instructional approaches to cut costs and improve quality.

    Aug 26, 2013