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Jill Pierce

Senior Research Associate

Pronouns: She/Her


  • Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning: New York University
  • M.A. in Teaching of English: Columbia University
  • B.A. in Comparative Literature: Brown University

About Jill Pierce

Dr. Jill C. Pierce is currently co-leading a case study of curriculum implementation in PreK settings serving students with developmental delays. She recently co-directed a study of cost structures and quality in summer youth employment programming as well as a feasibility study of a potential national certification for early childhood educators. Both were mixed-methods projects, and the feasibility study integrated perspectives gathered through a national survey and over 100 interviews with stakeholders in the field of early childhood education. Pierce is also collecting and analyzing data for three out-of-school-time projects.

Pierce has extensive experience in education—including as an environmental educator, high school teacher, college counselor, teaching coach, and adjunct faculty member. She has been conducting qualitative research for nearly a decade and has taught qualitative methods coursework to doctoral students. Pierce has brought deep content and methodological knowledge to her work at RFA, including studies of four federally-funded projects related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment ; a report on shortages and inequities in the Philadelphia teacher workforce; and an evaluation of efforts to diversify and develop the educator workforce.

Much of Pierce’s research focuses on understanding how people define and work toward educational equity, as well as how they might work toward the just redistribution of resources and power.



Key Projects by Jill Pierce

Evaluation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Read More Out-of-School Time

Documentation of Virtual and Hybrid Summer Experiences for the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN)

Read More Out-of-School Time

Assessing the Feasibility of a National Lead Teacher Certification for Early Childhood Educators

Read More Early Childhood Education

Evaluation of Children’s Literacy Initiative’s Curriculum and Professional Development Model for Kindergarten Readiness

Read More Early Childhood Education

21st Century Grants: Tracking the Implementation and Success of Academically-Oriented After-School Programs

Read More Out-of-School Time

Afterschool Arts Programming in the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

Read More Out-of-School Time
See all author projects

Recent Publications by Jill Pierce


Costs And Quality in Virtual/Hybrid Summer Youth Employment Programming

Since 2003, Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization, has provided young people summer employment opportunities through the WorkReady program. In Spring 2020, as a result of the impact of COVID-19, PYN pivoted WorkReady…

Recent Posts by Jill Pierce


Marinating in Data—My Experience Working on Six Lessons to Facilitate Deep Ownership of Ambitious Instructional Reforms

Six Lessons to Facilitate Deep Ownership of Ambitious Instructional Reforms For several years, Research for Action and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education have been studying Philadelphia schools’ take-up of an instructional reform that has demonstrated positive impacts on teacher knowledge and student learning in math. The Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP) is designed to … Continued