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. Its findings help policymakers and stakeholders understand the challenges school leaders face, how they innovate and solve problems, and what districts need.

Are there other national surveys of educators?

Although there are other educator surveys, the ASDP is the first and only nationally representative panel of school districts and CMOs. It is the newest addition to the American Educator Panels (AEP), which regularly surveys over 25,000 teachers and 8,000 principals from around the country. The ASDP provides timely answers to education topics such as changes to enrollment, staffing and budget; the rigor and quality of instruction; and equity of schooling.

Who are the ASDP partners?

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. The first two surveys from the ASDP have shown that remote learning is here to stay, and the different approaches rural and urban districts have taken to instruction in 2020–2021. Findings from the ASDP have been profiled in The New York Times, CBS News, POLITICO, NPR, The Washington Post, and numerous other outlets.

How do participating districts/CMOs benefit?

ASDP members receive customized reports after each survey that provide their own responses alongside peer districts’ responses and responses overall. Additionally, participating districts have access to member-only workshops.

All ASDP publications, along with interactive data tables, are posted at americanschooldistrictpanel.org. For each survey, the ASDP also provides free, downloadable data files for analysis.

What’s required of participating districts?

The impact is great, but the time commitment is not. The surveys are short—most take five to ten 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?

Yes, your survey responses are confidential and will be used for research purposes only. Our study reports 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.