Educational Program Evaluation

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RAND rigorously evaluates all kinds of educational programs by performing cost-benefit analyses, measuring effects on student learning, and providing recommendations to help improve program design and implementation. Our portfolio of educational program evaluations includes studies of early childhood education, summer and after-school programs, educator pay-for-performance, programs intended to reduce educational disparities, and choice- and standards-based reforms.

  • Educators talking in a school hallway, photo by Claire Holt/The Wallace Foundation

    Report

    Taking Stock of Principal Pipelines

    Jun 23, 2020

    To what extent do U.S. school districts view school principals as a key lever for school improvement? Superintendents and senior officials from a national sample of school districts shared their views on principal pipelines and the priority their districts place on them.

  • Children sit on the floor listening in a group, photo by Stephanie Drenka/Big Thought Eva Kali/AdobeStockPhoto by Stephanie Drenka/Big Thought Eva Kali/AdobeStock

    Report

    How to Support Social and Emotional Learning in School and Out of School

    Oct 20, 2020

    Do children benefit when schools and out-of-school time programs partner to improve and align social and emotional learning (SEL)? Lessons from six communities that made such efforts can help school districts and out-of-school time providers implement their own SEL programs.

Explore Educational Program Evaluation

  • Young child sitting in front of a tablet computer writing in a notebook, photo by Sushiman/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Why You Should Care About What Curriculum Materials Your Child Is Using

    K–12 students getting remote instruction this year may not receive the curriculum they need to master the academic standards they are expected to meet for their grade level. What can parents do to ensure their children are being exposed to standards-aligned, rigorous learning opportunities?

    Oct 2, 2020

  • Students using laptops in class, with a teacher assisting one student, photo by Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Do Teachers Want to See in Automated Writing Evaluation Systems?

    Automated writing evaluation systems offer a promising approach to relieving the burden of giving formative feedback to students on their writing. What do teachers want to see in these systems so that the technology can be integrated into their teaching?

    Jul 28, 2020

  • 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

    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?

    Jul 9, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Implementing an Adaptive Intelligent Tutoring System as an Instructional Supplement

    This article studies the implementation of ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) in a blended-learning model. This is the first rigorous experimental evaluation of ALEKS in K–12 in-school settings, and the first to gather extensive implementation data.

    Mar 10, 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

  • Montage of best RAND videos of 2019, image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Multimedia

    Best RAND Videos of 2019

    At RAND, we examine complex issues in dozens of policy areas. And when our researchers aren't busy coming up with solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, sometimes they step in front of the camera to highlight their findings. Here are our top videos of 2019.

    Dec 20, 2019

  • Teacher helps students resolve conflict, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Restorative Justice Isn't a Panacea, but It Can Promote Better Relationships Among Students

    Restorative practices aren't necessarily a cure-all. But if implemented well, they can contribute to an overall solution. Teaching children to treat one another with respect has the potential to make schools safer and to help kids get along better throughout their lives.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • Blog

    Gun Policy, Cannabis, ISIS: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap looks at gun policy in America, the cannabis market in Washington state, countering an ISIS comeback, and more.

    Aug 9, 2019

  • Blog

    Boris Johnson, Teacher Training, Youth Arrests: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Boris Johnson's Brexit challenge, how educators feel about their training programs, a spike in youth arrests, and more.

    Jul 26, 2019

  • Man reading in prison cell, photo by Manuel-F-O/Getty Images

    Commentary

    North Carolina Program Helps Former Prisoners Make It on the Outside

    To avoid the all-too-common fate of ending up back in prison, incarcerated adults need skills and credentials they typically don't have. Helping them overcome the challenges of reentry is a net gain for them and for the communities to which they return.

    Jul 11, 2019

  • Researchers looking at data, photo by GaudiLab/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Research Rigor Is Undermined by Translating Into Years of Learning

    The research field increasingly recognizes that we need metrics that everyone can understand. Translating the result into years of learning has become a popular approach, but this metric has major flaws. There are better options.

    Jul 5, 2019

  • Jessica Coley, a principal-in-training in Prince George's County, Md., stands by some student project work in her school, photo by Karen Sayre

    Essay

    Investing in Principals Helps Students Succeed

    Hiring good principals is one of the most important things a district can do for its students, second only to hiring good teachers. Students whose schools participated in a principal pipeline initiative outperformed their peers by six percentage points on reading tests and nearly three points in math.

    Jul 5, 2019

  • Multimedia

    Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way to Improve Schools

    A recent RAND report found that implementing “principal pipelines”—a strategic approach to the hiring, preparation, evaluation, and support of school leaders—can improve schools. In this congressional briefing, Susan Gates discusses the feasibility, effectiveness, and affordability of principal pipelines.

    Jun 17, 2019

  • Blog

    School Reform, Sanctions, Russian Aggression: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what educators think about school reform, the devastating impacts of economic sanctions, deterring Russian aggression in the Baltics, and more.

    Apr 19, 2019

  • Students and a counselor sit in a circle, photo by Steve Debenport/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Two New Studies Reveal About Restorative Justice in Middle School

    There are many nuances to the implementation and impact of restorative practices. This suggests that continued experimentation could allow school districts to realize the benefits of instituting these practices and reduce the cost of doing so.

    Apr 17, 2019

  • News Release

    News Release

    Principal Pipelines Benefit Students, Reduce Principal Turnover

    Districts can improve schools—including boosting student achievement in reading and math—by better preparing, selecting, evaluating, and supporting principals.

    Apr 8, 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

  • Students sitting and talking in a school corridor, photo by Don Mason/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Choosing the Right Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices

    Educators have become increasingly interested in supporting students to cultivate the inter- and intra-personal skills that are developed through the process of social and emotional learning. A new guide developed at RAND is meant to help educators adopt evidenced-based interventions that fit the needs of their students and communities.

    Feb 5, 2019

  • Students having discussion

    Commentary

    The Impact of Restorative Practices

    A recent RAND report focuses on estimates of the impact of restorative practices on comprehensive outcome measures for all students. The report defines these measures in seven outcome domains and leads with the impact on suspensions. It estimates the impact on 50 secondary measures and on the seven primary measures for numerous student subgroups defined by race, income, special needs and English language learner status.

    Jan 17, 2019

  • Report

    Report

    Implementation and Outcomes of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative in Eastern Kentucky Schools

    The Appalachian Renaissance Initiative provided principals, teachers, and students in rural Eastern Kentucky with opportunities to support and improve teaching and learning. This evaluation examines its implementation and outcomes.

    Jan 3, 2019

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