Educational Equity

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Educational equity is fair and just access to the support and resources necessary to achieve a student's full academic and social potential. RAND research has examined the benefits of and access to early childhood education; education inequities that intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic; teaching students with disabilities; anti-bias education in U.S. schools; and the education challenges that immigrants and refugees face.

  • Report

    Educating Newcomers: A Research-Practice Conversation

    RAND researchers highlight findings from a recent study that estimates the number of children and youth from Central America and Mexico crossing the Southwest border of the United States from 2017 to 2019, as well as findings on policies and practice from two case study school districts in Louisiana and California.

    Aug 4, 2022

  • Report

    What Teachers Think of State Policies Limiting Their Instruction

    The restrictions placed on how teachers can address race- or gender-related topics in the classroom may be leading to consequences for teachers' working conditions and for student learning. Teachers report that the limitations make it more difficult to engage students in learning, to support critical thinking skills, and to build empathy.

    Jan 25, 2023

Explore Educational Equity

  • A man and a woman hold hands aloft during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, London, June 3, 2020, photo by Dylan Martinez/Reuters

    Announcement

    A Statement by Michael D. Rich

    Everyone must do more to eliminate racial inequities. At RAND, we will contribute by continuously strengthening our research and analysis on health, education, justice, security, and well-being. We must examine where these areas intersect, listen more to voices that are too often underrepresented, and integrate the historical and structural contexts in which policies have been developed and applied.

    Jun 3, 2020

  • A man carries food donated by Alianza Ecuatoriana International at a food pantry in Queens, New York, May 16, 2020, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Commentary

    Emergency COVID-19 Aid Helps College Students with Food and Housing

    COVID-19 has expanded the pool of cash-strapped college students, but many were already struggling before the pandemic. The crisis could draw attention to food and housing insecurity among college students, and give college leaders a chance to consider how to address these needs more systematically over the long term.

    May 26, 2020

  • Boston Public School teacher Princess Bryant teaches her kindergarten class via videoconference from her apartment in Boston, Massachusetts, April 28, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Now That Digital Materials Are Front and Center, How Should They Be Used?

    Schools and teachers can support student learning during the COVID-19 crisis by considering how to keep curricula front and center alongside a set of targeted digital materials that connect with curricula and can keep students learning, engaged, and connected to their school support systems.

    May 4, 2020

  • Joseph Wilkinson does schoolwork at his home in Manchester, Britain, March 23, 2020, photo by Phil Noble/Reuters

    Commentary

    Digital Learning Needs to Benefit All Children When Schools Close

    Three factors are essential for any digital learning method. First, it must be inclusive. Second, it should support the learning experience, not replace it. And third, evidence of what works should inform digital learning interventions.

    May 4, 2020

  • Two students in their graduation robes walking up steps

    Report

    One-Stop Social Services Efforts May Improve Community College Outcomes

    Students participating in programs that provide a comprehensive range of support services are more likely to persist in attending community college.

    Apr 29, 2020

  • 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

  • Elementary students raising their hands in class, photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What LAUSD Can Learn from the New York City Community Schools Initiative

    A study of New York City's community schools found improved academic performance, higher attendance, and other positive outcomes for disadvantaged students. This model could benefit similar efforts underway in Los Angeles, where 80 percent of students live in poverty.

    Jan 28, 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 <a href=

    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

  • Report

    Report

    A One-Stop Approach to Supporting the Nonacademic Needs of Community College Students: An Evaluation of Single Stop's Impact in North Carolina

    This report examines the impact of using Single Stop (a program that connects college students to governmental, community, and institutional resources) on postsecondary outcomes for students at four community colleges in North Carolina.

    Nov 12, 2018

  • Girls looking at a plant jar in a garden

    Report

    How to Establish and Sustain Effective Summer Learning Programs

    High-quality summer learning programs improve the academic, social, and emotional outcomes of low-income students, but several components are needed to make a program successful. New guidance on best practices can help districts and their community partners implement and operate effective summer programs.

    Nov 4, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    DoD STARBASE: Improved Measures for Participation, Outreach, and Impact

    The Department of Defense's STARBASE program offers a curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for students in underserved areas of the United States. This study focuses on the students served and STARBASE's outreach efforts.

    Oct 30, 2018

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