Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) Project

The Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) project was conceived as a localized version of RFA’s Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research project (PACER) to specifically focus on Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Schools. The project is designed to inform education policy discussions through rigorous, objective research; regular policy briefs; and research-based commentaries in leading media outlets. While the ACER project has a local focus on education in the Allegheny County area, the work is expected to have statewide implications and impact.  Learn more about ACER from this blog entry by David Lapp, RFA’s Director of Policy Research.

Below are links to RFA’s other recent research related to Allegheny County:

  • Making It Work: Examining the Status of Non-Traditional Child Care in Pennsylvania June 2019. Through focus groups and interviews with families, NTCC providers, and workforce development board staff in Allegheny, Philadelphia, and several North Central Pennsylvania counties, RFA examined the following questions:
    • What types of families rely on NTCC?
    • What factors inform a family’s decisions about where to place their children?
    • How well are NTCC providers meeting the needs of families?
    • What does high-quality mean in the context of after-hours, overnight, and weekend care?
    • And what impact does the availability of NTCC, or lack thereof, have on Pennsylvania’s workforce?
  • Partnering for Pre-K: Opportunities to Scale-Up Pittsburgh’s Collaborative Early Learning Model July 2018. Research for Action worked with diverse stakeholders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to explore successes and challenges related to the implementation of the city’s mixed-delivery system for early childhood education programs developed through partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools and private, community-based early childhood providers.  The resulting policy brief was designed to inform a new Early Education Task Force working to create an Implementation Plan that would leverage existing partnerships and new resources to serve more children in public pre-K programs; however, the brief could be a valuable resource for any district interested in adopting or improving mixed-delivery models.
  • Child Care Funding and Finance in Pennsylvania: Budgeting for Survival or Paying for the True Cost of Quality? June 2017. To identify what it really costs to provide high-quality care and whether reimbursement rates for public programs are adequate to support quality for providers that serve low-income children, Research for Action studied how six early education providers of different shapes, sizes, and community contexts from across the Commonwealth financed high-quality child care.