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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 work on a mixed-methods study of an arts integration initiative for Philadelphia middle schools. A qualitative researcher, Pierce has brought deep content and methodological knowledge to her work at RFA, including studies of several federally-funded projects related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment; an evaluation of efforts to diversify and develop the educator workforce; a feasibility study of a potential national certification for early childhood educators; and a study of cost structures and quality in summer youth employment programming. Pierce also contributes to RFA’s current work on two out-of-school-time studies and research on educator diversity, school innovation, and PreK curriculum.

Pierce has extensive experience in education—including as an environmental educator, high school teacher, college counselor, teaching coach, and adjunct faculty member. She has conducted qualitative research for a decade and has taught qualitative methods coursework to doctoral students. Pierce’s research interests include understanding how people define and work toward educational equity and how school-level community members respond to educational initiatives.

Key Projects by Jill Pierce

Evaluation of makeSPACE Arts Integration Professional Development for 7th and 8th Grade Core Content Area Teachers

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Evaluation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers

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

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

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

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

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

Read More Out-of-School Time
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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…
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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