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Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) Project

Began in January 2020

RFA’s Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) project is designed to inform education policy discussions in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County through rigorous, objective policy briefs and research-based commentaries.

The goal is to provide accessible and actionable research that helps local education policymakers, practitioners, families and the community at large better understand what is and is not working for youth and to ultimately contribute to system-wide improvements. To get on our contact list or to provide input and feedback about ACER, contact Mary Eddins, Policy Associate, at or 412-223-3322.

ACER is made possible through generous support of The Heinz Endowments, as is the Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research project (PACER), RFA’s statewide education policy research project.

Related Publications

Allegheny County Student and Teacher Race and Ethnicity, 2022-23


Allegheny County Teacher and Student Demographics: 2022-23 Update

This ACER brief updates RFA’s prior analyses of teacher and student race and ethnicity in Allegheny County public schools with data current through the 2022-23 school year. We found that in 2022-23, teachers of color (TOCs)…


Access to Experienced Teachers in Allegheny County

Using personnel records from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), this ACER report, takes a closer look at teacher experience in Allegheny County, examining whether equity gaps exist between district and charter schools and between…


Teacher Mobility in Allegheny County, 2014-15 through 2019-20

Teacher mobility, or teacher turnover, has long garnered attention as a critical educational equity gap. This attention is warranted as, within schools, teachers have the single greatest impact on student achievement. The unprecedented interruptions to school-based learning and the trials…


Students Experiencing Homelessness in Allegheny County

Close to 3,000 students in Allegheny County public schools were identified as experiencing homelessness during the 2018-19 school year, or 2.0% of the total student population. Meanwhile, homelessness rates have been growing in recent years…


FAQ: Allegheny County Teachers of Color

In a December 2020 project, Research for Action provided statewide analysis and released seven years of new data on teacher demographics for each Pennsylvania public school. Here, as part of our ACER project, we address…


School Police Presence in Allegheny County

In recent years, some school districts across Allegheny County have made noteworthy changes to school policing. While some districts have sought to reduce or eliminate reliance on police, a growing number of other districts in…


Allegheny County Students in Foster Care

Students in foster care require additional supports from schools in order to maintain educational stability. And, in the time of COVID-19 school shutdowns, experts warn that vulnerable students such as those in foster care may…
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