Frequently Asked Questions

What is the American School District Panel (ASDP)?

The ASDP is the first and only nationally representative sample of school district and charter management organization (CMO) leaders. Panel members participate in surveys and interviews to inform policy and monitor trends over time. Their feedback will help policymakers and stakeholders understand the challenges school leaders face, how they innovate and solve problems, and what they need.

Are there other national surveys of educators?

Although there are other educator surveys, the ASDP is the first and only national longitudinal survey of school districts and CMOs. It is the newest addition to the American Educator Panels (AEP), which regularly surveys over 25,000 teachers and 5,000 principals from around the country. Like the other panels, the ASDP will provide timely answers to education topics such as how districts are planning to recover from the pandemic, assure and assess the rigor and quality of instruction, and communicate and build trust with students, parents, teachers.

Who runs the ASDP?

The ASDP is a partnership between the RAND Corporation, the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington, Chiefs for Change, the Council of the Great City Schools, and Kitamba (an education consulting firm).

Who funds the ASDP?

It is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Starting in the 2021–2022 school year, the ASDP will open for additional sponsors. Like the other American Educator Panels, outside organizations such as researchers, education organizations, government agencies and philanthropies will be able to commission surveys fielded to the ASDP. To learn more about sponsoring survey items, contact us at aep@rand.org.

Why does the ASDP matter?

ASDP findings can influence and inform decisionmakers. AEP studies have already impacted policies around the country. For example:

  • Chicago Public Schools has used AEP findings to support policy decisions regarding the adoption of high-quality instructional materials.
  • The Louisiana Department of Education has used AEP findings to inform its decisions on early childhood education standards and teacher credentialing.
  • The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has used AEP findings in its annual report tracking progress in their initiatives.

How do participating districts/CMOs benefit?

Being a participant in the ASDP provides an opportunity to learn from other districts and to be part of a community of leaders whose voices will influence the decisions of policymakers, state and local leaders, and funders. Additionally, participating districts and CMOs will receive:

  • Summaries of ASDP survey results so that they can learn how peer organizations are thinking about and responding to the challenges facing educators today.
  • Access to RAND’s American Educator Panels data and findings including the results of past and future teacher and principal surveys, all accessible through an easy-to-use online data visualization tool and de-identified data files.
  • Access to workshops for ASDP panelists about the most pressing problems they have identified in ASDP surveys and qualitative studies.

What’s required of participating districts?

The impact is great, but the time commitment is not. The surveys are short—most take five to 15 minutes to complete. Participating districts and CMOs are asked to make a three-year commitment to participate and will receive up to three surveys per year. Leaders and staff may also be asked to participate in interviews on how policies and their implementation influence district improvement efforts.

Is there any risk to being an ASDP panelist?

A district or CMO’s decision to take part in the ASDP study is voluntary, and they may withdraw at any time. Staff members may choose not to complete a survey or participate in an interview; the district will not be informed nor penalized.

Will ASDP panelists’ answers be kept confidential?

Responses to this survey will be used for research purposes only. Study reports will present findings in the aggregate, and responses will not be connected to a specific individual, district, or CMO. We use strict data security practices to protect the privacy of information provided.

Is the ASDP supported by other educators?

The ASDP is supported by an advisory committee of national, state, and local education leaders from across the country representing urban, rural, and suburban communities, charter leaders, and other education leaders. The ASDP is also supported by numerous state and national education organizations.