Blog

Back to School Review: Five Days of Education Policy in Pennsylvania– Day 4 

September 16, 2021

By David Lapp, Director of Policy Research Each day this week I’m highlighting one of the issues in Pennsylvania education policy that I’ll be following closely this year, with some editorializing for good measure.  Click here for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.   Day 4. – Fair school funding Pennsylvania operates one of the most inequitable school funding systems in the country, one that…

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Back to School Review: Five Days of Education Policy in Pennsylvania – Day 3 

September 15, 2021

By David Lapp, Director of Policy Research Each day this week I’m highlighting issues in Pennsylvania education policy that I’ll be following closely this year, with some editorializing for good measure.  Click here for Day 1 and here for Day 2 Day 3. – Teacher workforce Within schools the quality of the teacher workforce is the most important factor on student achievement. While the average pay gap…

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Back to School Review: Five Days of Education Policy in Pennsylvania – Day 2

September 14, 2021

By David Lapp, Director of Policy Research Each day this week I’m highlighting one of the issues in Pennsylvania education policy that I’ll be following closely this year, with some editorializing for good measure.  Click here for Day 1. Day 2. Freedom to teach accurately about racism:  The past year has been fraught with attacks against the…

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Back-to-School Review: Five Days of Education Policy in Pennsylvania – Day 1

September 13, 2021

By David Lapp, Director of Policy Research Back-to-school for Pennsylvania students—many to in-person learning for the first time in one and a half years—provides a moment to take stock of issues that are expected to drive prek-12 education policy discussions during the 2021-22 school year. Of course, the most pressing issue—one that is all-consuming for…

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A Living Wage for Early Childhood Educators

July 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us that, in addition to building a foundation for our children’s futures, early care and education (ECE) programs provide foundational support to the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that issues related to affordability and access to care led state economies to lose over $1 billion each year, even…

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Pennsylvania’s Voluntary Student Retention Due to COVID-19 Learning Disruptions

July 13, 2021

Author: Mary Eddins Typically, decisions to retain a student, or have them repeat a grade, are grounded in a student’s academic progress, a developmental delay, or a lack of motivation. This school year, however, Pennsylvania has added a new reason—COVID-19 learning loss. Governor Tom Wolf recently signed Act 66 of 2021 into law as an effort to make up for instructional time…

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Save the Date: ACER Virtual Town Hall #2

June 29, 2021

Identifying Allegheny County’s Students Experiencing Homelessness in the COVID Age Come join Research for Action team members, local education stakeholders, and community members for coffee and conversation at the first Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) Project Town Hall. Date: July 1st Time: 1:00p Location: Zoom Pre-Registration Required REGISTER HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oKoexIGgRQW0utGhNZ5jeA   Our second town hall…

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A Common Definition, a Common Understanding

May 18, 2021

Losing a family’s housing or being kicked out of one’s home is a traumatic experience, and often follows other traumas such as domestic violence, loss of income, or a medical disaster. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, too many families are having to choose between paying the rent or mortgage and paying for hospital…

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The State of Higher Education Finance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 6, 2021

This past year COVID-19 has completely changed the way education looks. Funding and programming shifted, and states, students, and professors made major adjustments as a response. Some states were forced to make budget cuts, which impacted programs and policies students rely on. Others were able to maintain funding because of federal stimulus funds. What changes…

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RFA’s Statement on the Death of Daunte Wright

April 15, 2021

Research for Action condemns the death of Daunte Wright at the hands of Minneapolis police. This is yet another moment of injustice for communities of color and especially Black communities. We acknowledge the pain that these continued police-involved shootings cause and will continue to speak out against them. RFA is dedicated to being an antiracist…

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ACER Virtual Town Hall

January 14, 2021

Come join Research for Action team members, local education stakeholders, and community members for coffee and conversation at the first Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) Project Town Hall. Date: February 26th Time: 8-9 am Location: Zoom Pre-Registration Required REGISTER HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RqjjdyPRSsigu3q5ntGWPQ Our first town hall will highlight RFA’s upcoming data analysis on Allegheny County’s Teacher Demographics…

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A Message from RFA’s Executive Director

November 5, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues: After 11 years as Executive Director of Research for Action (RFA), I have decided to step down in mid-December.  While this is a planned transition that has been in the works for months, it is still bittersweet to leave an organization that has been my professional home for so long. Since…

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

January 16, 2020

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…

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Dear Pittsburgh-Area Education Stakeholders!

December 13, 2019

If you don’t already know us, I’d like to introduce you to Research for Action (RFA) and tell you about an exciting new project we’ve launched called “ACER”: the Allegheny County Education Research project. RFA is a Pennsylvania-based research organization that uses research to drive improvements in educational opportunities for historically underserved children. For 25…

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Improving Equity in College Completion: RFA & CLASP Join Forces on Outcomes-Based Funding

October 18, 2017

Philadelphia-based Research for Action (RFA) and the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) have embarked on a unique partnership to work with six states to better understand their approaches to rewarding public colleges and universities for both increasing student success and reducing equity gaps through outcomes-based funding (OBF). Based on their analysis,…

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Dr. Ruth Neild to Join Research for Action

January 3, 2017

Research for Action (RFA) is pleased and proud to announce that Dr. Ruth Curran Neild will be joining the organization to serve as Director of its Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC). PERC, an initiative of RFA launched with a grant from the William Penn Foundation in 2014, is an innovative research-practice partnership serving Philadelphia’s public…

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