Month: December 2015

RFA Op-Ed Featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With Congress poised to enact a large-scale revision to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, states will soon have more flexibility in rating, measuring and intervening in schools based on student test scores. RFA researchers Mark Duffy, Della Jenkins, and Adam Schott penned an op-ed that appeared in the Sunday, December 6 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in which they make the case that state lawmakers should seize this opportunity to make meaningful, research-based reforms to performance-based accountability. Read more here.

RFA Named 2016-17 Barra Award Recipient

RFA learned this week that it is the recipient of a prestigious Barra Award from the Philadelphia-based Barra Foundation. According to the foundation, this two-year grant “rewards exemplary nonprofit organizations that demonstrate leadership, performance, and adaptability.” RFA is honored to be recognized along with a cadre of other highly-accomplished and diverse organizations. We look forward to working with the Barra Foundation to continue to provide timely research and analysis in support of a more adequate, equitable education for all students.

Dr. Rosemary Hughes Appointed Director of PERC

Dr. Rosemary Hughes, an experienced educational researcher with deep roots in Philadelphia public education, has been named Director of the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC). Hughes brings high-level research experience that spans the School District of Philadelphia as well as the city’s charter and non-profit sectors.

“Rosemary’s combination of skills and experience is a wonderful match for this position,” said Kate Shaw, Executive Director of Research for Action and PERC’s founding director. “Her knowledge of how to use research to support and improve Philadelphia’s public schools will be invaluable to PERC.”

Launched with a three-year grant from the William Penn Foundation, PERC is an innovative partnership between Research for Action, an independent research organization that serves as PERC’s organizational home; the School District of Philadelphia; the city’s charter school sector; and researchers from Temple, Drexel, and the University of Pennsylvania. These cross-sector partnerships are a defining characteristic of PERC.

Melanie Harris, Chief Information Officer of the School District of Philadelphia, said, “I am thrilled to have Rosemary at the helm of PERC.” Dr. Nancy Songer, Distinguished University Professor and Dean of Drexel’s School of Education, echoed this sentiment: “Drexel is excited about its partnership with PERC, and I look forward to working with Rosemary.”

“I am extremely excited to continue to build upon the successes of PERC,” said Hughes. “Through close collaboration with educational leaders across the city, we will continue to build capacity for connecting research to tangible implications for practice.”
Since its inception in August 2014, PERC has published a series of briefs on Blended Learning, and has launched several new research projects, including a study of English Language Learners in the city’s public schools.