Month: March 2013

RFA releases PACER brief on school closures

This week, Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission will consider closing as many as 29 buildings district-wide — a downsizing that is unprecedented in the city’s experience.

This PACER brief looks at the experience of major districts — including Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. — and examines rigorous research on large-scale closings. A key finding is that students who transfer to similarly- or lower-performing schools do not appear to fare well academically, at least in the short term. This is a particular issue in Philadelphia where capacity is most limited in high-performing schools.

Increasing numbers of charter schools, flat or declining enrollments in some urban districts, and financial strain mean that increasing numbers of districts statewide will confront the questions before Philadelphia today. RFA remains committed to providing research and understanding for the challenging conversations ahead.

Click here to read this brief.