Heather L. Schwartz

Heather L. Schwartz
RAND Corporation | RAND

PhD

About

73
Publications
17,246
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851
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
RAND Corporation
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
Principals are the second-largest school-based contributor to K–12 students’ academic progress. However, there is little research evaluating whether efforts to develop principals’ skills improve school effectiveness. We conducted randomized controlled trial studies of the impacts of a professional development program called the Executive Developmen...
Article
Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions (NSEC) are associated with resident diet, but most research has been cross-sectional. We capitalize on a natural experiment where one neighborhood experienced substantial investments, compared to a sociodemographically similar neighborhood that did not, in order to examine pathways from neighborhood investments...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Schools are socially dense environments, and school-based outbreaks often predate and fuel community-wide transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza. While preemptive school closures can effectively reduce influenza transmission, they are disruptive and currently recommended only for pandemics. We assessed the feasibility of imple...
Article
African Americans and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals have higher rates of a variety of sleep disturbances, including short sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and fragmented sleep. Such sleep disturbances may contribute to pervasive and widening racial and socioeconomic (SES) disparities in health. A growing body of literature demonstr...
Article
During the 1990s, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded over $6 billion in competitive grants (HOPE VI) to spur neighborhood redevelopment. We add to HOPE VI research by examining the impacts of a large set of public–private real estate investments, including HOPE VI, made over a 16-year period in a distressed neighborhood of...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of school and preparedness officials on the feasibility of implementing a range of social distancing practices to reduce influenza transmission during a pandemic. In the summer of 2017, we conducted 36 focus groups by teleconference and webinar lasting 90 min with school and pr...
Technical Report
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Article
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Background: During an evolving influenza pandemic, community mitigation strategies, such as social distancing, can slow down virus transmission in schools and surrounding communities. To date, research on school practices to promote social distancing in primary and secondary schools has focused on prolonged school closure, with little attention pa...
Article
Substantial benefits can accrue from living in low-poverty neighborhoods, yet approximately 80% of the 2.2 million Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients rent homes in moderate- or high-poverty census tracts. The Chicago Regional Housing Choice Initiative tested several ways to promote opportunity moves. It included the first experiment that tests...
Book
Full-text available
The National Summer Learning Project, launched by the Wallace Foundation in 2011, includes an assessment of the effectiveness of voluntary, district-led summer learning programs offered at no cost to low-income, urban elementary students. The study, conducted by RAND, uses a randomized controlled trial and other analytic methods to assess the effec...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: In a survey of families living in public housing, we investigated whether caretakers' social networks are linked with children's health status. Methods: In 2011, 209 children and their caretakers living in public housing in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland, were surveyed regarding their health and social networks. We used logisti...
Article
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This study capitalizes on a natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, where low-income applicant families are randomly assigned to public housing that is either (a) clustered within seven public housing developments or (b) scattered into market-rate subdivisions via the county's inclusionary zoning policy. Through a survey of 453 public ho...
Article
Full-text available
We conduct the first nationwide study of incentives under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which requires states to punish schools failing to meet target passing rates on students' standardized exams. States' idiosyncratic policies created variation in the risk of failure among very similar schools in different states, which we use to identify...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: We assessed whether 2 types of public housing-scattered among market-rate housing developments or clustered in small public housing projects-were associated with the perceived health and health behaviors of residents' social networks. Methods: Leveraging a natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, in which residents were ran...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Delaware was in the first group of states to receive a federal grant in 2012 to improve early care and education services and increase the number of infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children in high-quality programs. One component of the state's grant is a rigorous validation process for Delaware Stars for Early Success, a voluntary quality rat...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to examine how test-based accountability has influenced school and district practices and explore how states and districts might consider creating expanded systems of measures to address the shortcomings of traditional accountability. It provides research-based guidance for entities that are developing or adopting new m...
Article
The No Child Left Behind (NLCB) Act required states to adopt accountability systems measuring student proficiency on state administered exams. Based on student test score performance in 2002, states developed initial proficiency rate targets and future annual benchmarks designed to lead students to 100% proficiency on state exams by 2014. Any year...
Technical Report
Research shows low-income students suffer disproportionate learning loss over the summer and because those losses accumulate over time, they contribute substantially to the achievement gap between low- and higher-income children. The Wallace Foundation is funding a five-year demonstration project to examine whether summer learning programs can redu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Montgomery County, Maryland, operates one of the most acclaimed large public school systems in the United States. Although an increasing share of the population of this suburban school district just outside Washington, District of Columbia, is low income, and the majority of its students belongs to racial minority groups, the county graduates 9 in...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to outline the determinants of early childhood care and education (ECCE) costs as well as a method for measuring them, and to set out available cost data provided by countries for their ECCE endeavors. The analysis is based upon comparison of available data for 17 countries. We first address why costs may differ signi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Inclusionary zoning (IZ) has become an increasingly popular tool for providing affordable housing in an economically integrative manner. IZ policies typically require developers to set aside a proportion of units in market-rate residential developments to be made affordable for lower-income households in exchange for development rights or zoning va...
Article
The most sweeping federal education law in decades, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, requires states to administer standardized exams and to punish schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the fraction of students passing these exams. While the literature on school accountability is well-established, there exists no nationwid...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides an opportunity to reconsider what factors school performance-reporting systems should include. Critics of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have pointed to the narrowing effects of the law's focus on mathematics and reading achievement, and they have called for efforts to...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Despite long-term and ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students, low-income students continue to perform at considerably lower levels than their higher-income peers in reading and mathematics. Research has shown that students' skills and knowledge often deteriorate during the summer months, with low-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study analyzed three different middle school mathematics formative assessment programs, examining how features of each program were associated with the information they provided to teachers and the manner in which teachers used the information. The research team found considerable variation in the information teachers obtained from each progra...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Summer learning programs can prevent the summertime loss of knowledge and skills that disproportionately affects low-income students. A study of existing programs resulted in targeted recommendations for school districts, policymakers, and funders.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2008, the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation created the Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program, a pilot program to provide families with scholarships to cover the cost of high-quality early childhood education (ECE) programs. Although there is a large body of research about the benefits of preschool specifically and early learning prog...
Technical Report
Full-text available
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and other cities and settlements in the south of Haiti, leaving 300,000 people dead, another 300,000 injured, and 1.3 million homeless. The Haitian government and the international community moved rapidly to address the immediate humanitarian crisis. The homeless are now shelter...
Technical Report
This paper provides an introduction to school-centered community revitalization. Part 1 presents the case for integrating school improvement into community development, drawing on the academic research linking school and neighborhood quality as well as early results from school- centered community revitalization projects across the country. Part 2...
Article
State and local governments that wish to establish or improve preschool programs need cost estimates to evaluate the magnitude of appropriations required. Yet even a casual scrutiny of available expenditure data reveals an enormous variance between the most expensive and least expensive preschool provisions. The purpose of this paper is to delineat...
Article
This article considers two issues regarding preschool education. First, it provides a brief set of arguments for government funding of universal, pre-school education. Second, it explores the applicability of a voucher plan using a regulated market approach for the funding of universal, pre-school education. Four criteria are used to assess the app...
Technical Report
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This report calculates the full cost of providing well-planned, high quality pre-school for children in New Jersey, as required under Abbott vs. Burke (153 NJ 480 1998).
Technical Report
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A presentation of factors that determine costs of early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs generally, data on ECCE costs of various countries, and an outline of a method for comprehensive and consistent measurement of program costs
Technical Report
Full-text available
This paper presents research on the economic impacts of preschool on school systems using data from the national Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey - Kindergarten (1998) and the Schools and Staffing Survey (2000). Noting budgetary savings for school systems on items such as special education expenditures and teacher pay, the authors estimate cost...
Chapter
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This paper reviews the research on school supply and reports on recent data from the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), to inform debates about school choice. The MPCP data indicate that about 30% of participating schools are secular, with the remainder religiously affiliated (although most of these religious schools are Catholic, this numbe...
Technical Report
This report documents neighborhood revitalization efforts that have included school reform as part of a comprehensive revitalization plan. This study is exploratory, aimed more at identifying the issues involved in incorporating school reform into neighborhood revitalization than providing models for how this can be done. The report provides a deta...
Article
Full-text available
The What Works Collaborative is a foundation‐supported research partnership that conducts timely research and analysis to help inform the implementation of an evidence‐based housing and urban policy agenda. The collaborative consists of researchers from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, Harvard University's Joint Center for H...