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Democratizing Education Data Collective

Began in February 2024

The Democratizing Education Data Collective (DEDC) aims to put research and advocacy power into the capable and knowledgeable hands of the students, families, and communities impacted by public education in Philadelphia. This pilot project equips them with data tools and documentation that can power community-informed educational research and reform. Its central question is, “If community researchers can shape educational research questions and priorities, will that lead to more just and effective educational systems, policies, and practices at the school and neighborhood levels?”

The Collective convenes Philadelphia-based parents, community members, and other stakeholders to identify their priorities and to commission, access, collect, analyze, and use data to catalyze and strengthen their change efforts and self-advocacy in public education systems. RFA serves multiple roles, including the Collective’s facilitator, convener, data literacy trainer, and technical assistance provider.

The ultimate goal of this work is to harness community-informed research and data to create a more equitable and responsive public education system. While this vision will take longer than the period of this grant, RFA will monitor progress by assessing whether the Collective’s members increase their data literacy and are more empowered to represent their desires (backed up with data) to decision-makers at the school level, District headquarters, and the state legislature. The Collective will monitor improved engagement, increased stakeholder collaboration, and improved accountability of local educational leaders.