Publications

Final Report: Evaluation of the Aspiring to Educate Philadelphia Pilot

In November 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced the Aspiring to Educate (A2E) program and its intention to pilot the program in the Philadelphia area. The goals of A2E include diversifying and developing…

All Learning Counts Policy Toolkit

Every year millions of Americans gain valuable college credit-worthy learning through workplace training, the military, apprenticeships, & professional certifications. Nearly all of this learning goes unrecognized by colleges & universities. Without a consistent way to…

Where Do We Go Next? Youth Insights on the High School Experience During a Year of Historic Upheaval

Our new report, Where Do We Go Next? Youth Insights on the High School Experience During a Year of Historic Upheaval, made in collaboration with America’s Promise Alliance, presents findings from a national survey focused…

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…

State of Promise Programs During COVID-19

Overall, more than half of statewide Promise programs made changes to program components in response to COVID-19. Of the 15 programs that made changes, we found 11 programs adjusted eligibility requirements, with many relaxing requirements…

State of Student Success Funding During COVID-19

RFA found that over one third of states running SFF/PBF/OBF models in FY20 either implemented a new hold harmless provision, extended a FY20 hold harmless provision that had been set to expire, or paused their…

FAQ: Allegheny County Teachers of Color

Students Experiencing Homelessness in Pennsylvania: New Evidence of Under-Identification and Inequity

Properly identifying when students are experiencing homelessness is the first step to providing them academic supports and other rights afforded by federal law. As RFA found in 2018, Pennsylvania schools have a history of under-identification.…

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…

Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania from 2013-14 to 2019-20

As RFA documented in Patching the Leaky Pipeline, teachers of color (TOCs) are important for all students and particularly for students of color (SOCs). Yet, despite promising statewide initiatives to improve teacher diversity, there is…

RecoveringCredits in theSchool Districtof Philadelphia: High School Student Credit Recovery Utilization in 2018-19

The goal of school-year credit recovery is for students to regain lost credits and get back on track to graduation. The School District of Philadelphia offers both in person and online options for recovering failed…

State Funding to Ensure Safe and Healthy Facilities: Lessons for Pennsylvania

Long before closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Pennsylvania schools faced a different health crisis: unsafe facilities. Crumbling buildings, asbestos, lead, and other school facility health and safety risks plague many schools across Pennsylvania,…

Promise Programs: An Avenue to Expand College Affordability, Access and Success for Undocumented Students

The Trump administration has advanced several exclusionary immigration policies while postsecondary institutions and higher education systems grapple with their effects. One of these policies was the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA, which was later…

Teacher Use of Digital Tools: Results of a Survey of District Teachers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Neshaminy

When schools in Pennsylvania and across the nation were suddenly shuttered in March due to COVID-19, teachers were faced with an enormous challenge: how to effectively teach and engage their students remotely when the vast…

Shortages and Inequities in the Philadelphia Public School Teacher Workforce

Educators are centrally important in the fight for racial justice and access to high-quality education. This has never been more true than in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the public acknowledges the crucial…

How Long Will it Take Me To Get to School?

Philadelphia's high school selection process is a complex one for students and their families. Under normal circumstances, transportation to school is an important factor to consider. Average public transit times can vary widely by school…

Police in Schools series

Strategies for Reducing Student Absenteeism in Philadelphia

As many districts in Pennsylvania pivot to hybrid or virtual models of education in response to Covid-19, it is hard to think about what “attendance” means or how to track it. Yet attendance is more…