Are U.S. Teachers Using High-Quality Instructional Materials? 

In many states, college and career-ready standards for mathematics and English-language arts (ELA) are more rigorous than ever before. However, research suggests that teachers do not always have access to high-quality curricula that reflect key elements of states’ college and career-ready standards. The RAND Corporation’s American Teacher Panel (ATP) has asked a nationally-representative sample of public school teachers which instructional materials they use regularly for classroom instruction in mathematics and ELA. In this data note, they specifically consider the proportion of U.S. teachers reporting they used high-quality materials for mathematics and ELA instruction during the 2017–2018 school year.

Back to School Means Back to SEL for America’s Teachers and Principals

Educators across the U.S. are embarking on a new school year, developing lesson plans and figuring out their students’ academic needs. They are also likely to be considering ways to support the non-academic aspects of their students’ development. Teachers and principals know that to be successful in college and careers, kids need to master a range of social and emotional skills such as teamwork, communication, and the ability to manage their emotions. Schools are increasingly adopting social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices to build these skills, and policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about emphasizing SEL, what they are doing to promote SEL, and what resources they need to do that better.