Jim Soland

Assistant Professor Of Education


Jim Soland is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods at the University of Virginia and an Affiliated Research Fellow at NWEA, an assessment nonprofit.  His research is situated at the intersection of educational and psychological measurement, practice, and policy.  Particular areas of emphasis include understanding how measurement decisions impact estimates of treatment effects and psychological/social-emotional growth, as well as detecting and quantifying test/survey disengagement.  His work has been featured by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Brookings Institute, and the New York Times.  Prior to joining NWEA, Jim completed a doctorate in Educational Psychology at Stanford University with a concentration in measurement.  Jim has also served as a classroom teacher, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, and Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), a nonpartisan organization that provides policy analysis to support the California Legislature and general public.

Academic Publications


Kuhfeld, M., Soland, J., Tarasawa, B., Johnson, A., Ruzek, E., & Liu, J. (2020). Projecting the potential impact of COVID-19 school closures on academic achievement. Educational Researcher, 49(8), 549-565.

Soland, J., & Kuhfeld, M. (2021). A Multi-Rater Latent Growth Curve Model. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1-22.

Soland, J., & Kuhfeld, M. (2021). Do response styles affect estimates of growth on social-emotional constructs? Evidence from four years of longitudinal survey scores. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 56(6), 853-873.

Soland, J. (2018). Are achievement gap estimates biased by differential student test effort? Putting an important policy metric to the test. Teachers College Record, 120(12), 1-26.

Soland, J. (2021). Evidence That Selecting an Appropriate Item Response Theory–Based Approach to Scoring Surveys Can Help Avoid Biased Treatment Effect Estimates.Educational and Psychological Measurement, 00131644211007551.

Research Articles


Kuhfeld, Megan, Soland, Lewis, and Morton. "The pandemic has had devastating impacts on learning. What will it take to help students catch up?" Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings Institute, March 2022.

Kuhfeld, Megan, Soland, Tarasawa, Johnson, Ruzek, and Lewis. "How is COVID-19 affecting student learning? Initial findings from fall 2020" Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings Institute, December 2020.

Soland, Jim, Kuhfeld, Tarasawa, Johnson, Ruzek, and Liu. “The impact of COVID-19 on student achievement and what it may mean for educators.” Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings Institute. May 2020.

Other Research Cited in the Media


"Addressing Learning Loss in Disadvantaged Kids." US News and World Report, April 2022.

Study shows declines in new kindergartners' math skills.” Education Dive. 2020.

How to Reopen America’s Schools.” New York Times Opinion. 2020.

50 Million Kids Can’t Attend School. What Happens to Them?” New York Times Opinion. 2020.

Homeschooling during the coronavirus will set back a generation of children.” Washington Post. 2020.

Oregon students face profound learning losses from school closures, especially in math, new research shows.” The Oregonian. 2020.

How One District Got Its Students Back Into Classrooms.” New York Times. 2020.

Research Shows Students Falling Months Behind During Virus Disruptions.” New York Times. 2020.