Summer programs need federal support and require early planning to make them worthwhile.

by Heather L. Schwartz, Catherine H. Augustine, Jennifer Sloan McCombs

Kids wearing face masks raising their hands in an elementary school classroom. Photo by kevajefimija/Getty Images
Kids wearing face masks raising their hands in an elementary school classroom. Photo by kevajefimija/Getty Images
Photo by kevajefimija/Getty Images

To paraphrase a recent news article, summer school is hot. Backed by new federal funding to address learning loss and by CDC research that schools can safely reopen before all teachers are vaccinated, many school districts are considering in-person school this summer to help students recover from COVID-19 learning losses as well as to gear up for the 2021–2022 school year.

RAND research affirms that summer programs, when targeted to needs, intentionally designed, and well-attended, produce positive outcomes for children in math and reading. …


Teachers lack the critical training and incentives to address civic education in a much more robust way in their classrooms.

by Julia H. Kaufman

Pro-Trump supporters hold flags as they gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Pro-Trump supporters hold flags as they gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Pro-Trump supporters hold flags as they gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Remember 9/11? I do. I was a new writing teacher at New York University at the time and found myself at a complete loss on how to address the event with my students in the city where the shock, fear, rage, sorrow, and anxiety we’d experience in the coming weeks, months, even years, was just beginning to take root. Even though I had a master’s in teaching, I had not had any training on how to address a tragic and historic event of that magnitude with students. I did little more than ask my class how…


RAND’s Anita Chandra focuses on issues of health, well-being, and equity.

Anita Chandra speaking at a community resilience event at RAND’s Santa Monica headquarters. Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation
Anita Chandra speaking at a community resilience event at RAND’s Santa Monica headquarters. Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation
Anita Chandra speaking at a community resilience event at RAND’s Santa Monica headquarters. Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

How do we build back from a global pandemic? How do we answer for 400 years of racial injustice? How do we fight climate change, and prepare for the impacts we can no longer avoid?

At RAND, those questions fall to Anita Chandra and her research teams. As vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being, she manages a research portfolio that ranges from community health and environmental policy to policing, drug policy, and civil justice. When RAND launched its Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy last year, it found a natural home in her research division.

Chandra’s…


Police need better policies and partnerships to address a problem that has become theirs by default: homelessness.

Officer Jose Ibarra and clinical therapist Cynthia Ferreiro (far left) assist a man in Indio, California. Photo courtesy of Indio Police Department
Officer Jose Ibarra and clinical therapist Cynthia Ferreiro (far left) assist a man in Indio, California. Photo courtesy of Indio Police Department
Officer Jose Ibarra and clinical therapist Cynthia Ferreiro (far left) assist a man in Indio, California. Photo courtesy of Indio Police Department

Police need better policies and partnerships to address a problem that has become theirs by default: homelessness. Many departments don’t even have a working definition of what homelessness means, much less data on what works to get people off the streets.

Researchers brought together police leaders, experts, and outreach specialists to explore how police could better protect and serve people experiencing homelessness. They agreed that the old approach — telling people to move along and writing them tickets or putting them in handcuffs if they didn’t comply — was a poor substitute for meaningful action.

But what should replace it…


Whether the well-being of people of color happens to align with other interests shouldn’t determine whether it matters at all.

by Douglas Yeung, Peter Nguyen, Regina A. Shih

Men hold flowers during a vigil at a makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa following the deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, March 21, 2021. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Men hold flowers during a vigil at a makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa following the deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, March 21, 2021. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Men hold flowers during a vigil at a makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa following the deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, March 21, 2021. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Shortly after eight people were murdered in and around Atlanta on March 16, a few key facts were widely reported: six of the eight victims were Asian American women, and the suspect denied race was a motive, blaming his “sex addiction.”

These facts make it possible for some to deny that racism played a role in the attacks, or that systemic racism against Asian Americans still exists in this country.

Others who have denounced this incident have cast it as merely the latest in a string of recent anti-Asian American hate crimes


One in five American adults is caring for a loved one in need. More could be done to integrate them into health care teams.

Hands of a young person holding those of  an older person. Photo by Obencem/Getty Images
Hands of a young person holding those of  an older person. Photo by Obencem/Getty Images
Photo by Obencem/Getty Images

Abena Apau Buckley knew her husband was dying. She didn’t need another brain scan to tell her the cancer was everywhere. He had stopped walking and was struggling to remember names. She wanted him to spend his final days at home. Instead, his doctors transferred him to a rehabilitation hospital.

“They didn’t involve me in this,” she says now. “They just moved him. I was going there every day to see him, and I could see that he was not himself. I didn’t want my husband to die in a rehabilitation hospital when he wasn’t going to get rehabilitated. …


Why hike taxes on businesses to maintain robust unemployment benefits if Congress will step in when the economy goes south?

by Kathryn A. Edwards

People line up outside the Kentucky Career Center before opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020. Photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters
People line up outside the Kentucky Career Center before opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020. Photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters
People line up outside the Kentucky Career Center before opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020. Photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Unemployment benefits in some states are so low that as COVID-19 threw millions out of work, Congress jumped into action to stave off economic hardship or widespread eviction. In Arizona, for example, the maximum benefit is $240 a week, which would not cover just rent for a median-priced one-bedroom apartment in Maricopa County ($1,111). Six states have benefits below $300 per week.

Through the CARES Act, Congress quickly added $600 to weekly state benefits from March to July and has topped up benefits to lower degrees on and off since.

Some might interpret these events as…


Mental health problems are increasingly among the most significant health concerns for children and adolescents in developed countries.

by Michaela Bruckmayer

Child sits on floor near a window with head in hands. Photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images
Child sits on floor near a window with head in hands. Photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images
Photo by Imgorthand/Getty Images

Mental health problems have been increasingly recognised as one of the most significant health concerns (PDF) for children and adolescents in developed countries. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety disorders are two of the top five causes of overall illness for children and adolescents in Europe. In many cases, development of symptoms starts before a child’s 14th birthday.

The impacts can be severe and long-lasting. Mental health issues, including depression, are one of the leading causes of suicide among adolescents. …


Weaknesses within Russian mercenary forces and within the Russian state may offer opportunities for exploitation.

by Molly Dunigan and Ben Connable

Russian trucks on the road heading to Deir al-Zor in Kabakeb near Deir al-Zor, Syria, September 21, 2017. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
Russian trucks on the road heading to Deir al-Zor in Kabakeb near Deir al-Zor, Syria, September 21, 2017. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
Russian trucks on the road heading to Deir al-Zor in Kabakeb near Deir al-Zor, Syria, September 21, 2017. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

Along with China, Iran, and North Korea, Russia is one of a handful of strategic competitors posing a substantial threat to U.S. strategic interests.

Russia has now interfered to some extent in at least three democratic elections in the United States. Russian hackers are probably responsible for the recent SolarWinds attack on U.S. government agency networks. Russia has been aggressively undermining U.S. interests in proxy wars in Syria, Libya, and across the African continent, and it is backing the Taliban against the United States in Afghanistan.

Russia has been taking every opportunity to undermine…


Since the COVID-19 recession started last February, almost 3 million women have left the labor force.

by Melanie A. Zaber and Kathryn A. Edwards

Lauren Hoffmann, who had to return to work when her son Micah was a few weeks old due to lack of paid family leave, in San Antonio, Texas, February 6, 2019. Photo by Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters

There’s always a tension in families between working and caregiving. Two-parent households usually manage it by specializing. One — most often a mother — disengages from working in small ways. She works slightly fewer hours. She takes a less demanding but more flexible job. She delays seeking a promotion. Yet those tactics weren’t enough in 2020: As the infrastructure that supports working parents collapsed, many stopped working altogether.

Since the COVID-19 recession started in February, almost 3 million women have left the labor force. Now, with vaccines in sight, the question is…

RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store