National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research

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The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) is a federally-funded nonprofit organization [1] with several industry-funded and conservative think-tank members in management, on the advisory board, and working as independent researchers. It is affiliated with the Urban Institute and several universities.

CALDER researchers access “longitudinal data” from state databases containing data such as No Child Left Behind standardized test results. This data is then used for multiple purposes, including CALDER working papers and policy briefs. States whose databases are used include Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Washington D.C. [2]

The results of CALDER research are published in CALDER working papers and policy briefs. [3] These working papers have disclaimers that explicitly state that they are for discussion purposes only and have not gone through formal review[4]; however, they are frequently used as evidence to support privatization of public education or changes to policy in the certification, hiring, training, and firing of teachers.

For example, a press release put out by the CALDER center itself uses two working papers as evidence against using a seniority policy for teacher layoffs, but does not contain the disclaimer.

Research Focus

CALDER researchers study how teacher policies, governance policies, and social and economic community conditions affect student outcomes, as measured by performance on standardized tests and other factors.

The management team cites areas of expertise such as: market-based reforms, labor markets, the economics of education, school finance, school choice, and charter schools, testing policy, school accountability, school incentives, teacher quality, teacher preparation, and student achievement.



The management team is:

Jane Hannaway Principal Investigator (Urban Institute)

David Figlio (Florida)

Eric Hanushek (Texas) - Koret Task Force

Helen Ladd (North Carolina)

Susanna Loeb (New York)

Strategic Planning Team

The Strategic Planning Group develops research agendas and “identifies opportunities for specialized and opportunistic studies with high yields in terms of policy relevance.” It includes:

Dan Goldhaber (Washington)

Dan O'Brien (Texas)

Michael Podgursky (Missouri)

Kim Rueben (Urban Institute)

Advisory Board

Advisory Board members include:

Richard Colvin, Hechinger Institute, Columbia University

Christopher Edley, Dean, Boalt Law School, UC Berkeley

Dan Fallon, Carnegie Corporation

Michael Feuer, Executive Director, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, The National Academies

Michael Fix, Vice President and Director of Studies, Migration Policy Institute

Pat Forgione, Superintendent, Austin Independent School District

Kenji Hakuta, Professor, School of Education, Stanford University

Larry Hedges, Board of Trustees Professor of Statistics and Social Policy, Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

Frederick Hess, Director Education, American Enterprise Institute

Paul Hill, Research Professor, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington, Koret Task Force

David Monk, Dean, Pennsylvania State University

Lynn Olson, Editor, Education Week

Isabel Sawhill, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Center on Children and Families, Brookings Institution

Barbara Schneider, John A. Hannah Chair Professorship, Michigan State University

Susan Sclafani, Managing Director, Chartwell Education Group

State Partners

Researchers in the following states access the state longitudinal database for their research:

Florida researchers include David Figlio, Tim Sass, Damon Clark, Lawrence Kenny, Richard Romano, and Jeffrey Roth.

Indiana researchers include Zeyu Xu and Jane Hannaway.

Missouri researchers include Michael Podgursky and Mark Ehlert.

New York researchers include Susanna Loeb, Donald Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, and James Wyckoff.

North Carolina researchers include Helen Ladd, Charles Clotfelter, Jacob Vigdor, and Dan Goldhaber.

Texas researchers include Eric Hanushek, Dan O'Brien, and Steven Rivkin, all of whom are also part of the industry-funded nonprofit the Texas Schools Project

The Washington researcher is Dan Goldhaber, who is also the director of the industry-funded Center for Education Data and Research and a member of the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

Washington D.C. researchers include Jane Hannaway, James Wyckoff, Luke C. Miller, Umut Özek, and Michael Hansen.

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. “About CALDER,” “CALDER Center,” accessed March 23, 2011.
  2. “About CALDER,” “CALDER Center,” accessed March 23, 2011.
  3. “Publications,” “CALDER Center,” accessed March 23, 2011.
  4. For example, a disclaimer at the beginning of Working Paper 57 says “CALDER working papers have not gone through final formal review and should be cited as working papers. They are intended to encourage discussion and suggestions for revision before final publication.”

External resources

External articles