The theory that children are unlikely to contract or spread COVID-19 may feel reassuring, but it's based on flawed science. Until more is known, adopting aggressive strategies to limit viral spread in schools is the best way to keep students and teachers safe.
Safely reopening K–12 schools for in-person instruction requires complicated protocols ranging from symptom monitoring to physical distancing, as well as containment of transmission in the community. State policymakers and school leaders could begin planning now to draft, pilot, and evaluate protocols for reopening schools that incorporate rapid testing.
Reopening schools would provide much-needed child care for parents who need to work, help feed 30 million U.S. children, and prevent further inequitable learning losses. But it also means exposing more kids to the virus. How can families and employers prepare for the disruptions that lie ahead?
COVID-19 is threatening to upend the models that both public and private higher education depend on in the United States. As universities consider whether to postpone in-person classes until next year, many parents and students may be questioning the value of a traditional higher education.
School principals make countless decisions that could benefit from access to data in electronic data management systems. During the 2018–2019 school year, what kinds of student data did principals have access to through these systems? Were the data disaggregated by student race, ethnicity, and income?
This technical report provides information about the sample, survey instrument, and resultant data for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveys administered to principals and teachers via RAND's American Educator Panels in spring 2020.
RAND researchers examine students who earned postsecondary certificates in Ohio and went on to earn additional educational credentials. The researchers describe which types of credentials were earned and how students progressed through institutions.
When asked about their instructional materials, U.S. mathematics teachers were more likely to report regular use of at least one high-quality material compared to English-language arts teachers, although high school teachers did so less than their elementary or middle school counterparts. More open-access online materials could help.
When students have academic or behavioral challenges, educators often consult with another teacher, support staff, principal, or district leader to weigh strategies. When selecting interventions, they consider relevance to local context, rigor of evidence, and feasibility.
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.
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.
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.
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.