Educational Equity

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The question of educational equity involves the gap in achievement between minority and nonminority students. RAND has conducted research into the effects of grouping students by ability, preschool participation, charter programs, and school funding on schools' abilities to provide equal education to students of varying socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

  • Two children on a couch watching TV and their phones, photo by patrickheagney/Getty Images

    Essay

    The COVID Slide: How to Help Students Recover Learning Losses

    Jul 9, 2020

    Research shows that summer breaks contribute to income-based achievement and opportunity gaps for youth. How can we use what we know about summer learning to help kids in the age of COVID-19?

  • Boston Public School teacher Princess Bryant teaches her kindergarten class via video-conference from her apartment after schools were closed for the remainder of the school year because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 28, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Report

    The Digital Divide and COVID-19

    Sep 24, 2020

    Findings from a survey of U.S. teachers reveal how limited home internet access has been a barrier to providing instruction amid pandemic-related school closures. The problem is particularly acute among high-poverty schools.

Explore Educational Equity

  • Back view of large group of students paying attention on a class at lecture hall, photo by skynesher/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Is It Time to Rethink the Separation Between the High School and Postsecondary Systems?

    We do not yet know how long or deep this economic downturn will be, or how the pandemic will affect the way we work and learn. But just as the post-coronavirus workplace is surely being re-envisioned, this crisis should motivate us to reconsider the structure of our educational system. Early college is a model that can help inform these discussions.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • A teacher at a desk with a tablet and a laptop, photo by FluxFactory/Getty Images

    Report

    What Digital Materials Do Teachers Use?

    Digital materials for lesson planning and instruction are becoming an increasingly important resource for teachers. A survey of English language arts, mathematics, and science teachers across the United States provides insights on which materials they use and what they consider barriers to use.

    Apr 16, 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

  • 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

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Elaborating the Connection Between Social Class and Classism in College

    This paper adds to the knowledge base informing efforts to decrease the degree to which social class hinders the pursuit of higher education.

    Dec 24, 2019

  • A happy teacher calls on a student in her elementary school classroom, photo by skynesher/Getty Images

    Report

    Measuring School and Classroom Climate

    Features of a learning environment, also called school and classroom climate, are associated with higher student achievement. What do educators need to assess these features—and to help create positive, safe, and inclusive environments for students?

    Dec 11, 2019

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • Journal Article

    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

  • Students in the Munroe Elementary School after-school garden club show off plants they are going to plant in the school's garden in Denver, Colorado, May 9, 2012

    Commentary

    High-Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs Are Worthy of Investment

    High-quality out-of-school-time programs can benefit youth, and tend to produce outcomes linked to program content. Funders and policymakers could maximize benefits of these programs by providing adequate resources and funding to support quality programming. It could be a wise investment for America's youth.

    Nov 19, 2018

  • Children of a welcome class for migrants attend a German language lesson at the Catholic Sankt Franziskus school in Berlin, Germany, January 22, 2016

    Commentary

    Making Education a Reality for All Children in Europe

    Access to education is a fundamental children's right in the EU and is guaranteed under a variety of legal and policy frameworks. Despite many approaches and initiatives adopted across the EU, a number of challenges remain concerning the development of effective long-term education measures for migrant children.

    Oct 4, 2018

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    Project

    International Research and Analysis Seeks to Enhance Wellbeing of People in Developing Countries

    Understanding the factors influencing economic growth and development is crucial to enhancing the human welfare of a nation. RAND International Research and Analysis is committed to fulfilling this objective.

    Oct 1, 2018

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    Enriching Kids: The Benefits of Using Public Funds to Pay for Out-of-School (OST) Time Programs

    This infographic provides an overview of the opportunity and attainment gaps between high-and low-income students and how public funding for after-school programs can help address these gaps.

    May 31, 2018

  • A teacher reading with a student

    Report

    What Do Principals Think About Teach For America?

    Principals are generally satisfied with the Teach For America teachers they receive, their classroom contributions, and the professional development and support the program provides.

    Jan 17, 2018

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Teach For America Passes the Test with Most Participants in Principal Survey

    More than 85 percent of principals surveyed were satisfied with their schools' Teach for America (TFA) corps members. Principals who were TFA alumni or who led charter schools were less satisfied with corps members' abilities than other principals.

    Jan 17, 2018

  • A male student getting reprimanded by a teacher

    Commentary

    Discipline Disparities and Discrimination in Schools

    In the United States, black and poor students are suspended at much higher rates than their white and non-poor peers. While the existence of these disparities is not controversial, how to interpret the disparities is bitterly disputed.

    Nov 21, 2017

  • Students in the Munroe Elementary School after-school garden club chop vegetables to put in a stir fry dish they will cook in Denver, Colorado, May 9, 2012

    Report

    Out-of-School Time Programs Are Worthy of Public Investment

    Children need safe places, caring adults, and enriching activities when not in school. Out-of-school time programs build human and cultural capital and develop kids' interests and skills. Public funding helps low-income youth have experiences that may provide lasting developmental benefits.

    Oct 23, 2017

  • A teacher and a student outside on a sunny day

    Report

    How to Sustain Summer Learning Programs

    Summer learning programs can provide academic support to students who need it the most. But they tend to be threatened when budgets are tight. Can integrating these programs into school districts' core priorities and operations improve their sustainability?

    Oct 23, 2017

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Does School Choice Mean Students Attend Better Schools? The Case of Post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans

    Researchers examined school choice outcomes in New Orleans following 2005's Hurricane Katrina, including exit patterns of students across sectors and school types in New Orleans and the destination schools of mobile students.

    Jun 22, 2017

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