Publications

Designing for Engagement: The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative

A 2013 Wallace-commissioned report pointed to 10 principles that small, high-quality, arts-focused youth organizations appear to share. Four years later, RFA's investigation into Wallace's Youth Arts Initiative showed that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), a multi-faceted…

The Philadelphia Community Schools Initiative: Year 1 Evaluation

New Data on Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided new data for 2016-17 that include the race and gender of the 155,854 teachers in Pennsylvania's public schools. RFA compiled and cleaned the raw data and is providing, for…

School Performance Profiles: Still Not the Sum of a School’s Parts

Since 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has annually published School Performance Profiles (SPPs), which assign a summative academic performance score for every traditional public and charter school in Pennsylvania by rating each school…

Getting On Track to Graduation: Ninth Graders’ Credit Accumulation in the School District of Philadelphia, 2014-2016

PERC's report retroactively applies the School District of Philadelphia's new Ninth Grade On-Track Definition to two ninth-grade SDP cohorts to determine the number of students on track to graduation, the characteristics of on- and off-track students,…

Partnering for Pre-K: Opportunities to Scale-Up Pittsburgh’s Collaborative Early Learning Model

Extensive research points to the positive impact of high-quality early childhood education. Unfortunately, demand continues to outpace investment: Today, 64% of Pennsylvania children eligible for publicly-funded slots remain unable to access them due to lack…

Patching the Leaky Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania

Research shows that exposure to teachers of color has a positive impact on students of all races, and particularly on students of color. Despite these positive effects, only 4% of Pennsylvania's teachers are people of…

Community Schools Progress Report Toolkit: Indicators of Engagement, Planning and Early Successes

There are more than three dozen systemic community schools initiatives currently underway nationwide, with even more communities considering the reform. Yet few tools exist to help school districts, government agencies, and communities at large track…

Philadelphia Community Schools Progress Report

Philadelphia's Community Schools initiative was launched in 2016. The effort pairs a full-time coordinator with each school and its community to pinpoint needed services and coordinate their delivery via city agencies and non-profits. Research shows…

Supporting Literacy in Out-of-School Time: An Examination of OST Early Literacy Practices in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Out-of-School Time (OST) system has identified K-3rd grade literacy support as the focus of the first phase of its strategic plan, launched in 2017. Research shows that OST programs can have an impact on…

Raising the Barre & Stretching the Canvas: Implementing High-Quality Arts Programming in a National Youth Serving Organization

As part of an ongoing, multi-million dollar Wallace Foundation initiative to improve and expand arts learning opportunities for young people, the Wallace Foundation, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), developed…

Adding Another Voice: Caretakers’ Experiences Utilizing Philadelphia’s Out-of-School Time Programs

Nationwide, there is a high demand for out-of-school time (OST) programs, and this demand has not been fully met—particularly in high-poverty areas. Information about caretakers’ and children’s OST needs can help citywide systems better target…

Executive Summary: Raising the Barre & Stretching the Canvas

As part of an ongoing, multi-million dollar Wallace Foundation initiative to improve and expand arts learning opportunities for young people, the Wallace Foundation, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), developed…

The Fiscal Impact of Charter School Expansion: Calculations in Six Pennsylvania School Districts

As charter school enrollment in Pennsylvania rises, understanding the fiscal impact of charter school expansion is critical for school districts to accurately budget and to anticipate current and future costs. In order to calculate the…

Implementation and Impact of Outcomes-Based Funding in Tennessee

Outcomes-based funding (OBF) is a term used to define state and system-level higher education funding policies linking public higher education dollars to key student outcomes such as credit completion, retention and graduation (Snyder, 2016). Outcomes-based…

Implementation and Impact of Outcomes-Based Funding in Indiana

Outcomes-based funding (OBF) is a term used to define state and system-level higher education funding policies linking public higher education dollars to key student outcomes such as credit completion, retention and graduation (Snyder, 2016). Outcomes-based…

Supporting Literacy in Out-of-School Time: Summary of Evidence

The City of Philadelphia’s Citywide Out‐of‐School‐Time (OST) Initiative was launched in February 2017 to better coordinate and focus the capacities of OST programs on the needs of the city’s children. The first phase of this initiative…

Scanning the System: Support for Quality Programming in Philadelphia’s Out-of-School Time

Approximately a quarter of a million school-aged children and youth live in Philadelphia. No exact count exists of how many participate in Out-of-School Time (OST) programs. The City of Philadelphia estimates that 187,000 children and…