About Us

The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) is one of the National Research and Development Centers funded by the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences through grant R305C120008 to the American Institutes for Research. CALDER also receives support from other funders including the Gates Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Walton Foundation & the Smith Richardson Foundation, to engage in special-focused research projects.

Led by Dan Goldhaber, CALDER is a joint effort of the American Institutes for Research and scholars at Duke University, Stanford University, the University of Florida, the University of Missouri, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington.

CALDER research capitalizes on state and district individual level longitudinal administrative data files on student and teachers.  These longitudinal databases allow us to examine the effects of real policies and practices on the learning gains of all students in a district or state over a number of years. Ultimately, CALDER’s interest is in student outcomes with particular attention to how these outcomes differ for different subgroups of the student population.  Given the major role that teachers play in determining student outcomes, CALDER research on teacher-related issues --teacher recruitment, selection, placement, compensation, training, tenure, mobility, etc – is a prominent part of our portfolio of work. 

Specific research questions include: How stable is teacher performance over time?  How stable is teacher performance over settings, e.g., high/ low poverty schools?  What are the teacher mobility patterns over time and across school settings?  Do the patterns differ for high performing and low performing teachers?   How well do charter schools perform compared to traditional public schools? What is the relationship between teacher merit pay and student performance?  How do low-performing schools respond to voucher and accountability pressure?  With what effects?  How does student mobility affect student performance?  What are the effects of selection and training on creating a productive teacher workforce?  What are the pros and cons of different ways to evaluate teacher performance? 

Our more recent work goes beyond student test scores and focuses on postsecondary and labor market outcomes.  In this work we ask, for example:  How do K-12 teachers and policies impact students later course taking, progression, major, degree/ certification, etc. in postsecondary school and later success in the labor market?  Do strong teachers in key grades put students on a different long term education trajectories?  What are the labor market returns to students for different postsecondary experiences and credentials?  How do results for any of these questions differ by student sub-population?

CALDER experts are currently conducting research on a wide range of K-12 and postsecondary/ labor market topics using data from Florida, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington state as well as the District of Columbia, Oregon, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.

CALDER is overseen by a Management Team, a Strategic Planning Group, and an Advisory Board.

What are Longitudinal Data?

A dataset is longitudinal if it tracks the same type of information on the same subjects at multiple points in time. For example, part of a longitudinal dataset could contain specific students and their standardized test scores in six successive years. Read more..

Research Methods

Longitudinal data enable CALDER’s researchers to study the impact of various policies on individuals and schools over time.  Because census files do not confine researchers to a sample selected for a specific research question, the Center’s experts can estimate the effects of policies as they emerge and target their analyses to the population(s) intended to be affected by the policy. Read more..

Partner with us

CALDER researchers often partner with school districts, states, programs (such as Teach for America) and foundations to craft research to address pressing issues of interest about the effects of particular policies and practices in particular settings.  Because we are familiar with the data, data procedures, privacy issues and analytic strategies, we typically are able to be especially efficient in producing useful results. Visit our Contact Us page to fill out a contact form.