Blog

RFA’s Kate Shaw Testifies at Phila. City Council

March 11, 2016

RFA’s executive director, Kate Shaw, delivered testimony on February 18, 2016 to the Philadelphia City Council hearing on the impact of state budget cuts on the city’s schools. RFA shared statewide data collected in collaboration with PASA and PASBO on the ways in which districts across PA have responded to decreased state investment and rising mandated…

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Research for Action Appoints David Lapp as Director of Policy Research

February 29, 2016

Research for Action is excited to announce the appointment of David Lapp as its new Director of Policy Research. For the past seven years David has served as a Staff Attorney at the Education Law Center, where he represented dozens of families on a variety of education law issues and led a range of efforts…

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RFA Community Schools Op-Ed Published in Philadelphia Public School Notebook

February 18, 2016

Mayor Kenney’s first major policy announcement centered on plans to develop 25 community schools across Philadelphia, but the transition from school to comprehensive community hub requires a significant shift in mission and practice. RFA’s Mark Duffy and Della Jenkins explore what local policy-makers can learn from the experiences of other districts that have invested in the community schools approach…

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RFA’s Kate Shaw Presents at the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia with Otis Hackney

February 15, 2016

RFA’s Executive Director, Kate Shaw, was a guest speaker at the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia’s Education Funders Roundtable last Tuesday, February 9, 2016. She discussed the research on community schools, including key findings and insights from RFA’s recently published policy brief, “Community Schools in Practice: Research on Implementation and Impact.” Kate was joined by…

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RFA Commentary Featured in Education Week

February 1, 2016

Despite lackluster results from the “Recovery” and “Achievement” school districts in Louisiana and Tennessee, both Pennsylvania and Georgia are poised to adopt sweeping school turnaround plans modeled in their image. RFA’s Kate Shaw and Adam Schott co-authored an op-ed on the topic in last Thursday’s print edition of Education Week, featured today on their homepage,…

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RFA Releases Policy Brief on Community Schools

January 7, 2016

Community schools are receiving increased attention in Pennsylvania and across the country as policymakers and practitioners strive to address the effects of poverty on academic performance, and provide more comprehensive supports for traditionally-underserved populations. Earlier this month, the long-awaited and bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now the Every Student Succeeds Act…

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RFA Op-Ed Featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 8, 2015

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…

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RFA Named 2016-17 Barra Award Recipient

December 8, 2015

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…

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Dr. Rosemary Hughes Appointed Director of PERC

December 3, 2015

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…

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RFA Releases PACER Brief on School Performance

November 11, 2015

For more than two decades, states have been required to report publicly on the academic performance of schools and districts. These school rating systems have received increased public attention amid growing concerns about the prevalence and cost of standardized testing in schools. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 64 percent of the public overall, and 67…

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RFA Releases Analysis of 2013-14 Data on Keystone Exams

June 10, 2015

  Report Release: Pennsylvania’s Keystone Exams: An Analysis of 2013-14 Publicly-Available Data  Beginning with the class of 2017, Pennsylvania students’ performance on Keystone exams will play a major role in whether they receive high school diplomas. This policy, and the state’s move toward test-based accountability, has been controversial. Many supporters believe that exit exams will…

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RFA Featured in Education Week

June 9, 2015

This week’s edition of Education Week is focused on the opt-out movement, and features an interactive section called “Inside Opt-Out: The Pushback Against Testing.” An RFA commentary piece, authored by Jessica Beaver and Lucas Westmaas, is featured, as is a multimedia activity based on a simulation of opt-outs from our PACER brief. You can read…

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RFA Responds to Phila. School Advocacy Partners’ Position Paper

December 15, 2014

On December 5, the Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners, or PSAP (an arm of the Philadelphia School Partnership), released a position paper that called for an “aggressive expansion of schools that are achieving results for low-income and minority students.” The document describes what it terms “high-impact” schools and “underperforming” schools. However, RFA found a number of…

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RFA Launches Phila. Education Research Consortium

August 19, 2014

An innovative partnership designed to  provide research and analyses on some of the city’s most pressing education issues has been forged among the School District of Philadelphia, the city’s charter school sector, and a Philadelphia-based, nationally-respected education research organization. Research for Action (RFA) received a three-year grant from the William Penn Foundation to establish this…

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RFA’s OST Journal Article Published

June 19, 2014

RFA’s work to examine out-of-school time (OST) programming and its impact on student outcomes continues to generate attention. A journal article, authored by RFA researchers Tracey Hartmann, Brittan Hallar and Jian Gao, was published today in the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal. Click here to read the article. Additionally, this morning, Tracey Hartmann participated on a…

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RFA Hosts OST Learning Community Workshop

June 16, 2014

Last Tuesday, RFA hosted a Learning Community Workshop for out-of-school time (OST) providers who are recipients of the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants. The discussion followed the release of the RFA’s 21st CCLC aggregate report which looks at program implementation and student outcomes across 11 provider agencies and 50 sites in Philadelphia….

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PASA-PASBO Report Documents Impact of Cuts to Education

June 5, 2014

The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) today released a report on the impact of education cuts on PA school district budgets. The report confirms what has already been widely reported: that declining investment in education has caused deep cuts to education programs and staff in every…

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