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.

  • 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.

  • Teachers work outside their school building for safety reasons as they prepare for the delayed start of the school year due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    This School Year Could Be Another Casualty of the Pandemic

    Nov 16, 2020

    Most U.S. schools are providing either fully remote or hybrid instruction as the pandemic continues to limit students' learning. Students are less prepared for grade-level work and those from vulnerable populations are most at risk of falling behind. Some 80 percent of teachers report burnout.

Explore Teachers and Teaching

  • Mathematics teacher pointing to the blackboard and talking to his class

    Commentary

    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

    Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • A group of children study the globe with their teacher

    Journal Article

    Is It Possible to Distinguish Good Teaching from Classroom Composition?

    Measuring disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers requires examining the relationship between teachers' value-added estimates and the characteristics of their students. Research simulations investigate this relationship and may also help inform analysts' choices for the appropriate value-added models.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Students listen to their teacher during a lesson

    Journal Article

    Implementing Measures of Teacher Effectiveness

    Teachers and leaders in pilot sites say the evaluation systems are beneficial, and leaders say they're well-prepared for their new responsibilities, even as they worry about increased workload and stress from the new expectations.

    Jan 13, 2015

  • A principal and teachers talking in a school library

    Commentary

    A Principal Role in Education

    Principals are second only to teachers as the most important school factor affecting student achievement, but their contributions are often underappreciated. They establish a vision that motivates the entire community, build a school culture that supports student learning, ensure resources are used effectively, and engage with the community.

    Nov 26, 2014

  • A teacher helps a girl use a digital tablet

    Commentary

    Helping Teachers Overcome Technology Barriers in Early Childhood Education

    When it comes to helping children appreciate the benefits of using technology in a classroom setting, early childhood education providers play a critical role integrating that technology appropriately, intentionally, and productively. But these educators face myriad barriers to fulfilling these roles.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    What Makes a Successful Principal? Incorporating School Principal Background in State and District Policy

    Explores aspects of a potential principal's education and professional experience that states and school districts should look for and cultivate in candidates for the position of school principal.

    Nov 13, 2014

  • A kindergarten teacher with children at the computer

    Report

    Early Childhood Educators and Technology

    Early childhood education (ECE) providers are in a position to help ensure that technology is used effectively. While there are obstacles, there are also courses of action that might be helpful in creating ECE providers who can ensure appropriate, intentional, and productive use of technology among young kids.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Three Essays on Education Reform in the United States

    Examines California's state education accountability reform and comprehensive reform to improve teacher and principal talent in high-poverty, low-performing schools.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Measuring Value-Added in Higher Education: Possibilities and Limitations in the Use of Administrative Data

    This paper develops a general methodology for measuring the value added of institutions of higher education using commonly available administrative data.

    Aug 25, 2014

  • A teacher talking to a student at his desk

    Commentary

    Flexibility Is Key in Administration's Call for Teacher Equity Plans

    Thirteen years of research have clarified that metrics like teacher experience and licensure reveal little about teachers' impact on student learning. The focus should be on disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • The Pardee RAND Graduate School held its second summer faculty workshop in Santa Monica, Calif. in July 2014

    Blog

    Pardee RAND Promotes Diversity in Public Policy Through Summer Faculty Workshop

    The Pardee RAND summer faculty workshop aims to help scholars who teach at historically black colleges and universities strengthen their approach to research and bring new analytic thinking, tools, and practices back to their students, inspiring them to pursue graduate education and careers in public policy.

    Aug 20, 2014

  • Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, June 18, 2014

    Commentary

    With Child Migrants Set to Become Students, Educators Must Prepare

    Between 70,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end. Lost in an intensifying debate over U.S. immigration policy is the possibility that this wave will spill from shelters to schools. To best respond to this reality, policymakers and educators should consider what research says about educating migrant children.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • 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

  • math teacher with students, attention, blackboard, chalk, class, classroom, discussing, drawing, education, elementary, expertise, explaining, group, hall, high school, instructor, knowledge, learning, lecture, lesson, listening, making, math, notes, occupation, people, professor, pupil, school, secondary, seminar, student, studying, talking, teacher, teaching, teenage, teenagers, trainee, training, tutor, tutorial, wisdom, writing, young, teamwork

    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.

    Jul 31, 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