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Policy Briefs

Welcome to CALDER’s Policy Briefs Series. CALDER Policy Briefs are designed to succinctly describe empirical research on contemporary topics in education and encourage evidence-based policymaking.


The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity: What States and Districts Can Do Now to Learn From American Rescue Plan ESSER Interventions

September 10, 2021

This opinion brief provides recommendations to states and school districts to learn from unprecedented ESSER funds about which COVID recovery interventions work and which do not.

Reflections on What Pandemic-Related State Test Waiver Requests Suggest About the Priorities for the Use of Tests

July 16, 2021

In this CALDER Opinion Brief, we analyze States’ 2021 standardized testing waiver requests due to COVID disruptions and discuss the implications for testing policy.

Using Longitudinal Student Mobility Across Schools and Districts to Identify At-Risk Students

April 28, 2021

In this CALDER Research Brief, we use comprehensive administrative data from three states to document the relationships between geographic mobility and student outcomes during K-12 schooling.

Examining the Dimensions of Teacher Turnover

April 21, 2021

In this CALDER Flash Brief, we examine two reasons that teachers leave their public school teaching positions: mobility and attrition.

Teacher Attrition and Mobility Over Time

April 5, 2021

The debut of the CALDER Flash Brief! In this short brief, we discuss the history of teacher attrition in WA and its implications in the wake of COVID-19.

Re-Thinking the Geography of Student Teaching Placements in a Post-COVID World

February 8, 2021

In this CALDER policy brief, we summarize the connections between student teaching and the problems that some districts and schools face in staffing teaching positions.

Understanding the Early Teacher Pipeline: What We Can (and, Importantly, Can’t) Learn From National Data

November 10, 2020

This CALDER policy brief discusses the early teacher pipeline and critiques the existing data available to explore it.


The COVID-19 Crisis and Teacher Layoffs: Research on How to Mitigate Harm

June 19, 2020

This CALDER policy brief discusses teacher layoffs in the wake of the Corona virus pandemic and how to mitigate its harm.


What Do We Know About the Effects of Clinical Practice Experiences and Teacher Performance?

November 12, 2019

This CALDER Policy brief discuses the evidence on the connections to student teaching experiences and professional teaching performance.


Charter Schools and Student Outcomes: What Have We Learned Over Two Decades?

September 4, 2019

This CALDER policy brief discusses the evidence on charter schools in connection to student outcomes.


Community Colleges and Pathways to the Labor Market 

May 31, 2019

This CALDER policy brief discusses the career pathways of community college students.


The Community Eligibility Provision, Free and Reduced-Price Lunch, and Measurement of Poverty: Implications for Education Policy

May 17, 2019

This CALDER policy brief discusses the implications of the newly implemented Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) on the measurement of student disadvantage.


Making the Most of Student Teaching: The Importance of Mentors and Scope of Change

May 6, 2019

This CALDER policy brief provides an overview of research on the importance of mentor teachers who supervise student teachers.


Maximizing Research Use in the World We Actually Live In: Relationships, Organizations, and Interpretation

March 21, 2019

This CALDER policy brief discusses the processes of making research more actionable in policy and practice.


Assessing the Evidence on Teacher Evaluation Reforms

December 7, 2018

This CALDER policy brief reviews and discusses the existing evidence on teacher evaluation reforms.


How Much Should We Rely on Student Test Achievement as A Measure of Success?

November 26, 2018

This CALDER policy brief discusses student test achievement as a measure of success.


Teacher Quality and Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

September 28, 2018

This CALDER policy brief reviews the evidence connecting teacher quality and other teacher characteristics to outcomes for students with disabilities.


What Do We Know About the Importance of Principals for Student Achievement

September 28, 2018

This CALDER policy brief reviews the empirical evidence on principal tasks and characteristics that predict student achievement, and the distribution of principal effectiveness overall.


Teacher Pensions and Labor Market Incentives

September 28, 2018

This CALDER policy brief discusses the impact of pension systems on attrition, mobility, retirement timing, and quality of the teacher workforce


Career Academies and the Resurgence of Career and Technical Education in the United States

September 28, 2018

This CALDER policy brief discusses recent evidence on career academies and concentrated career and technical education (CTE) experiences.


The Effects of Instruction Time on Student Outcomes

September 28, 2018

This CALDER policy brief reviews the effects of instruction time on student outcomes and discusses the gaps in policy and research around the topic.


Career and Technical Education for Students with Disabilities

September 27, 2018

This CALDER policy brief reviews the literature connecting participation in career and technical education to later outcomes for students with disabilities.


A Closer Look at the Trends in White-Hispanic Gaps in Education and Beyond: 1994-2016

June 8, 2018

This CALDER Policy brief looks at the trends in White-Hispanic gaps in adult outcomes, including education attainment and employment, nationally and in top immigration states over the last two decades, with an emphasis on cross generational differences among Hispanics.


Appropriate Standards of Evidence for Education Policy Decision-Making

June 5, 2018

This CALDER policy brief addresses how the level of uncertainty should influence different types of decisions and suggests how policymakers might think about policy-relevant confidence intervals.


Missing Elements in the Discussion of Teacher Shortages

November 11, 2016

This CALDER Policy Brief reviews recent reporting of teacher shortages and how the current narrative excludes important issues about the production of new teachers and the factors that impact teacher attrition.


Re-Framing the Discussion About Teacher Education

January 19, 2016

This CALDER Policy Brief reviews empirical evidence about the relationship between specific aspects of teacher education and schooling outcomes, and suggests directions for future research.


Paying Attention to Teacher Pensions

November 17, 2015

This CALDER Policy Brief reviews the issue of teacher pensions. We provide background information and cover research on rising pension costs, how the pension structure influences the teaching workforce, and teacher preferences over retirement benefits.