Kata Mihaly is a full economist at the RAND Corporation. She leads a number of studies that evaluate education programs using rigorous econometric methods, including randomized control trials, propensity score matching methods, and other quasi-experimental evaluation designs. She is particularly interested in the topic of teacher quality and the use of multiple measures to evaluate teachers and preparation programs. Her recently published work reviews the literature on value-added model design and examines how value-added model specifications impact the rankings of teacher preparation programs.
Mihaly has worked on developing statistical methods for combining multiple measures of teaching for the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is currently a co-principal investigator on a study that uses a randomized evaluation design to estimate the impact of a feedback guide for principals to use after formal observations of teacher practice in the state of New Mexico on teacher and student outcomes. She is also principal investigator on an IES-funded study that evaluates the impact of professional growth plans for minimally effective teachers on student and teacher outcomes using a regression discontinuity design.
She has been invited to provide technical assistance on the issue of teacher and preparation program evaluation by a number of districts and states. She was certified in WWC standards in September 2008. Mihaly earned her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.