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.

  • Teacher Mary Yi works with fourth-grade students at the Sokolowski School in Chelsea, Massachusetts, September 15, 2021, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Report

    Approaches and Obstacles to Teaching Media Literacy

    Sep 23, 2021

    The majority of U.S. public schools address media literacy competencies in some manner. But according to K–12 teachers, instruction is unevenly implemented, at best, and obstacles are common. Media literacy education also varies across schools of different ethnic compositions and poverty levels.

  • Tracey Pucci helps her son Foxton Harding, 12, with a school assignment for Northshore Middle School, which has moved to online only schooling for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns, at their home in Bothell, Washington, U.S. March 11, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Report

    The Rise of Virtual Schools

    Aug 30, 2021

    Since the pandemic began, America's school districts have been offering more remote instruction options. This includes a ninefold increase in the number of districts running standalone virtual schools.

Explore Teachers and Teaching

  • 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.

    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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Journal Article

    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

  • Journal Article

    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

  • 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