Teachers and Teaching

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The challenge of transforming underperforming schools and improving student achievement drives RAND's commitment to education. RAND research on teachers and teaching explores a wide range of topics, including instructional practices, technology in the classroom, class size, teacher recruitment and retention, and teacher quality and effectiveness.

  • Oakes McClenahan, 7, watches his teacher's recorded lesson on a computer at home, Seattle, Washington, March 27, 2020, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    Report

    How Are Educators Teaching and Leading Through the Pandemic?

    Jun 22, 2020

    U.S. teachers and principals shifted quickly to support students with distance learning during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis. But unfortunately, the pandemic is likely to make existing inequalities worse.

  • High school students with hands raised during lesson in classroom, photo by Chris Ryan/KOTO/AdobeStock

    Report

    How Teachers Use Civics Instructional Materials

    Jul 13, 2020

    Teachers' instructional materials provide a window into civic education in schools. Where are public-school social studies teachers getting most of their instructional materials? And how are they using these materials to teach civics?

Explore Teachers and Teaching

  • Teacher and preschool students reading outside

    Blog

    Ask Me Anything: Catherine Augustine on Summer Learning

    With summer now underway, RAND's Catherine Augustine hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, answering questions about year-round schooling, how to get the most out of summer learning programs, and more.

    Jul 3, 2014

  • Indian students study inside the Delhi University campus in New Delhi September 20, 2013

    Commentary

    Four Issues That RUSA's Plans for Research Universities Ought To Address

    The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, or National Higher Education Mission, is the key implementing initiative of the Indian government's 12th Five Year Plan for higher education. It promotes three policy priorities in higher education — equity, expansion, and excellence.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Young student taking a test in class

    Research Brief

    Can New Tests Lead to Better Teaching and Deeper Learning?

    New “deeper learning” tests tied to the Common Core State Standards could improve teaching practice. Tests that mirror high-quality instruction, that are part of a systemic change effort, and that are accompanied by training and support to help teachers interpret and use test scores effectively could have the best chance at positive impact.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • young principal

    Brochure

    Leadership Matters: How to Help Principals Promote Teaching Effectiveness

    As schools and districts move toward performance-based teacher evaluation as a way to improve teaching effectiveness and student outcomes, the principal's role in teacher evaluations is becoming even more important.

    Dec 24, 2013

  • teacher wearing green sweater talking to elementary students

    Blog

    RAND's Teacher Bonus Research Recognized by U.S. Dept. of Education

    The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences recognized a RAND report on the effects of teacher bonuses in New York City public schools last week. IES added the report, A Big Apple for Educators, to its What Works Clearinghouse™.

    Sep 24, 2013

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    Report

    New Assessments, Better Instruction?

    The role of tests will be enhanced by policies that ensure that they mirror high-quality instruction, are part of a larger, systemic change effort, and are accompanied by specific supports for teachers.

    Sep 3, 2013

  • calculus teacher at the chalkboard

    Solution

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Pay-for-Performance

    RAND's substantial body of work on teacher pay-for-performance provides policymakers with a strong evidence base on the design, implementation, and potential results of pay-for-performance programs.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • Teacher helping toddlers color at daycare

    Commentary

    High-Quality Early Childhood Programs Require High-Quality Teachers

    High-quality early childhood interventions can improve academic achievement, reduce crime and delinquency, and enhance future labor market success. But the operative word is “high-quality.” And for early childhood programs to be high-quality, they must have qualified instructors.

    Mar 18, 2013

  • air force cadets

    Report

    The Mix of Military and Civilian Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy

    The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) provides cadets with both military training and a four-year college education similar to that offered at civilian institutions. Unlike at civilian institutions, however, USAFA academic classes are taught by a mix of active-duty military officers and civilian professors.

    Mar 15, 2013

  • secondary school students raising their hands in class

    Commentary

    A Better Method for Estimating Teacher Performance

    Structured observation protocols for assessing how teachers provide lessons to their students offer the opportunity to provide teachers with valuable feedback on how their practices could be improved, writes Terrance Dean Savitsky.

    Feb 19, 2013

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 3, Winter 2012-2013

    Stories discuss the promotion of tolerance and critical thinking in the Arab world through children's media, the challenges faced by the United States in an era of fiscal austerity, and promising models for measuring teacher performance.

    Feb 5, 2013

  • teacher with elementary school student

    Commentary

    Grading Teachers

    Research is starting to demonstrate that teaching, like all professions, is something that can be learned, continuously improved upon, and subject to the conditions under which it occurs, writes V. Darleen Opfer.

    Jan 16, 2013

  • Teacher and middle school student at whiteboard

    Commentary

    States Tackle Education's Holy Grail: Measuring a Teacher's Effectiveness

    An accurate combined measure of teacher effectiveness would be the gold standard to capture and communicate information about the quality of educators. While the challenges to building such a measure are significant, research can help guide the way.

    Jan 11, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Improving Accountability Through Expanded Measures of Performance

    Examines the influence of test-based accountability and explores how states and districts might consider creating expanded systems of measures to address the shortcomings of traditional accountability.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • teacher and student at chalkboard

    Journal Article

    Validating Measures of Effective Teaching Using Random Assignment

    Random assignment of students to teachers is crucial in controlling for variables apart from teacher influence that may influence student achievement. This report captures the technical methods, findings, and implications of the MET project's random assignment study of teaching effectiveness measures.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Teacher writing on blackboard

    Journal Article

    A Composite Estimator of Effective Teaching

    Using data from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, researchers developed a model to compile data from multiple sources that could be used to make inferences about a teacher's impact on student achievement.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Understanding Variation in Classroom Quality Within Early Childhood Centers: Evidence from Colorado's Quality Rating and Improvement System

    This study examines variability in quality across classrooms within early childhood centers and its implications for how quality rating systems (QRSs) capture center-level quality.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • apple and chalkboard

    Blog

    How Should We Measure Teacher Effectiveness?

    Some of the most urgent and contentious debates taking hold in states and school districts around the country revolve around the question of how to accurately measure a teacher's effectiveness. A new RAND Education website provides objective, nonpartisan insights that can help inform the discussion.

    Oct 3, 2012

  • apple and chalkboard

    Project

    Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

    Research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most to students' academic performance. What's less clear is how to measure an individual teacher's effectiveness. RAND's reports, fact sheets, blog posts, and research briefs provide clarity on this important issue.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • male teacher lecturing in front of chalkboard

    Content

    Value-Added Modeling 101

    Value-added models, or VAMs, attempt to measure a teacher's impact on student achievement apart from other factors, such as individual ability, family environment, past schooling, and the influence of peers.

    Oct 1, 2012