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?

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  • Teachers talking in a school hallway, photo by DGLimages/Getty Images

    Report

    Educators Turn to Colleagues for Help with Struggling Students

    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.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • A group of teachers looking at data, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    Teachers Find Value in National Educator Survey Data

    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.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • A teacher pointing to a textbook helping a student, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Report

    Teachers Need Access to High-Quality Materials

    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.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Teacher with laptop, photo by contrastwerkstatt/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Teachers' Access to and Use of Student Data Varies

    Using student data to inform instruction is considered sound educational practice. Many teachers have access to grades, attendance records, and standardized test scores. But they don't all have the skills needed to interpret and use the data. Providing educators with more support could increase their use of student data.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • A teacher holding a tablet and talking to a student, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Do Teachers Have What They Need to Support Students with Unique Learning Profiles?

    Many students face unique educational circumstances, such as learning disabilities, housing instability, and exposure to poverty. Do teachers have what they need to help these students succeed?

    Apr 10, 2020

  • A row of lockers in a high school, photo by Monkey Business Images/Getty Images

    Report

    Secondary Educators Consider Discipline Reform a Priority

    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.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Two female teachers timetable and lesson planning, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    School Leadership: Teachers and Principals May Have Different Views

    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.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Principal and teachers in a staff meeting, photo by asiseeit/Getty Images

    Report

    Principals Are More Optimistic Than Teachers About School Improvement Plans

    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.

    Apr 8, 2020

  • A teacher trying to resolve a conflict between two elementary students

    Report

    Are Educators Setting Goals for Social-Emotional Learning?

    Evidence shows that social and emotional skills predict long-term life outcomes of students. Interventions that improve social and emotional learning (SEL) can also boost academic achievement. Many teachers and principals are setting goals for SEL growth in their schools, but 40 percent of them are not.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • Teachers talking in a classroom, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Report

    How Educators View the Rapid Life Cycle of School Reforms

    Researchers and educators have noted the emergence of a school reform "churn." New initiatives and programs are adopted, only to be dropped when the next popular reform emerges. How do principals and teachers perceive continuity in the programs at their schools?

    Apr 7, 2020

  • Teachers standing in hallway filled with students

    Report

    How Much Influence Do Teachers Have? It Depends on Whom You Ask

    Are teachers involved in making important decisions in their schools? A nationally representative survey shows that principals are more likely than teachers to say yes. Such gaps between teachers and school leaders signal a disconnect that may lead to professional stagnation and frustration.

    Apr 7, 2020

  • A sign in front of Bothell High School, which closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, reads, 'Wash your hands!!!,' Bothell, Washington State, March 3, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Navigating College and Career Readiness in a Time of Uncertainty

    How we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic today will likely have longer-term effects. This means that we need to think about people who are actively preparing for that future: high school students looking to enter college and careers.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Student taking a placement test alongside a teacher, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Report

    Supporting Students' College and Career Pathways: Teacher and Principal Perspectives

    Schools play a critical role in giving students access to college and career information and resources. What do U.S. high school educators think about the quality and availability of the resources that their schools provide?

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Two adolescent girls at school with a teacher standing nearby, photo by eric/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Teachers Use Intervention Programs

    Academic intervention programs support students who are performing below grade level. When asked about their use of these programs, U.S. teachers were more likely to report using them in English language arts than in mathematics. Teachers also reported using a wide variety of interventions.

    Mar 19, 2020

  • Report

    RAND American Educator Panels Technical Description

    This document provides detailed information on the RAND American Educator Panels, the multiple phases and waves of recruitment used to create the panels, weighting, and variance estimation.

    Mar 12, 2020

  • Report

    Using Data to Support the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Initiative: Data Collection, Metric and Dashboard Creation, and Lessons Learned

    The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative was a multiyear effort to improve student outcomes by increasing access to effective teaching. The authors discuss challenges in measuring effectiveness and how the team addressed them.

    Mar 5, 2020

  • Report

    American Instructional Resources Survey: 2019 Technical Documentation and Survey Results

    This technical report provides information about the sample, survey instrument, and resultant data for the American Instructional Resources Surveys administered to principals and teachers in spring 2019 via RAND's American Educator Panels.

    Feb 27, 2020

  • Report

    Learn Together Surveys: 2019 Technical Documentation and Survey Results

    This report provides information about the sample, survey instrument, and resultant data for the 2019 Learn Together Surveys (LTS) that were administered to principals and teachers in March 2019 via the RAND Corporation's American Educator Panels (AEP). It includes a full set of basic frequency tables ...

    Dec 31, 2019

  • Educator listens during a parent-teacher conference, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Report

    Principals Need More Support to Help Students with Disabilities, Especially in Schools That Serve Mostly Students of Color

    Principals play a critical role in supporting America's 6.7 million students with disabilities. But most principals—especially those who lead schools that serve mostly students of color—believe that their schools could do a better job in this area.

    Dec 31, 2019

  • An apple sits on a stack of booklets on a teacher's desk

    Brochure

    Two Innovative Tools to "Take the Pulse" of America's Educators

    This brochure describes the American Educator Panels—two innovative online survey tools that provide unique sources of accurate information about educators' knowledge, attitudes, practices, and working conditions

    Dec 18, 2019