Research Base for Programs

All of the programs under the umbrella of the Philadelphia Education Fund were conceived and funded to respond to preexisting research about public school education. We have compiled a summary of the research that served as the base for each of our programs. Click on the orange titles to open up more information about that program.

If you have any questions about the research behind any of these programs, please contact:

Daniel Schiff
Director for Research, Evaluation, and Planning
dschiff@philaedfund.org
215-665-1400 x3337

Diplomas Now Research Base

Diplomas Now is putting the Ed Fund's groundbreaking dropout prevention research, with Johns Hopkins University, into practice in Philadelphia schools.

Resource:

> Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Ed Fund's, Early Warning Indicators

Findings:

The study followed approximately 13,000 students, who were sixth graders in 1996–97 forward to a 2003–04, or a year past expected graduation. Among the more than 20 variables screened including standardized test scores, overage, suspensions, and special education status, the four variables that are most predictive of student drop out:

  • Low attendance (less than 80%)
  • Poor behavior (three or more negative behavior marks)
  • Course failure in literacy
  • Course failure in Math

Sixth graders in Philadelphia who exhibit one of these variables have only a 10–20% chance of graduating from high school. When we replicated this research in six other cities, including Boston, Indianapolis, and New York City, the same four variables were most strongly correlated to dropping out.
> Learn more

Philadelphia, where most of the 164,227 public school students are from low-income, historically underserved minority backgrounds, has an especially urgent need for greater numbers of qualified math and science teachers. The Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition was founded in 2005 to address the quality of K–12 mathematics and science teaching — the single most important factor in improving student math and science achievement.

Resource:
Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future

Findings:
The recent climate of widespread advanced knowledge and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. This report makes Four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs:

  • Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;
  • Sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research;
  • Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and
  • Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.

> Download PDF

Resource:

Business-Higher Education Forum, An American Imperative: Transforming the Recruitment, Retention, and Renewal of Our Nation’s Mathematics and Science Teaching Workforce

Findings:
> Learn more

Resource:

The Ed Fund, Focus on Math: A Key to Student Success

Findings:

Math course-taking and achievement trends across the District, beginning with 9th graders in 2002-03 and following them to 05-06 were reported.

  • Seniors were the least likely to take math; in 02-03, 82% enrolled in math, compared with just 62% in 05-06.
  • Only one-third of students graduating from the six high schools that were studied took high-level math courses.

> Download PDF

Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Research Base

PPSP addresses postsecondary access and success for low-income and first-generation youth as an urgent and complex societal challenge requiring effective community-based partnerships to meet the economic, educational, cultural, community, and other dimensions of this issue.

Resource:

Christopher B. Swanson, Cities in Crisis: A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation Findings:

  • The national high school graduation rate is approximately 70 percent
  • About 1.2 million students drop out of high school annually and that the problem is most severe in large urban areas with high concentrations of poverty, where only about half of public school students receive diplomas

> Learn more
> Download Cities in Crisis Report

Resource:

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates: 1991-2002, (2005). Findings:

  • Only 34 percent of students nationally leave high school with the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in college

> Learn more

Resource:

The Forum for Education and Democracy, Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education. Findings:

  • Even highly qualified low-income students have much lower college enrollment and completion rates than their more affluent peers
  • The United States has dropped from the first in higher education to 14th—approximately 30 percent of students complete a four-year college degree, compared with 50 percent among OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries

> Learn more

Resource:

The Lifetime Employment and Earnings Consequences of Dropping Out of High School in Philadelphia. Neeta P. Fogg, Paul E. Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University. January 2009. Findings:

  • Average lifetime earnings for Philadelphians with a bachelor’s degree or higher were nearly 5 times as much as earnings for dropouts.

    > Learn more

Resource:

The Tax and Transfer Fiscal Impacts of Dropping Out of High School in Philadelphia City and Suburbs. Neeta P. Fogg, Paul E. Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University. January 2009. Findings:

  • Education level is directly correlated with employment rate, annual income, home value, and annual tax payments. Meanwhile, level of education is negatively correlated with annual cost of incarceration.

    > Learn more

Resource:

“Pipeline” to College Graduation for First-time 9th Graders, 1999-2000, School District of Philadelphia Office of Accountability. January 2010. Findings:

  • Philadelphia lags behind national rates for college-going and completion.

    > Learn more

Philadelphia Teacher Residency Research Base

Philadelphia Teaching Residency addressed the School District of Philadelphia's urgent need for math and science teachers. The residency model was chosen because of its proven results—a teacher retention rate of 90-95%.

Resource:

The Urban Teacher Challenge: Teacher Demand and Supply in the Great City Schools published in 2000 by Recruiting New Teachers, Inc., Council of the Great City Schools, and Council of the Great City Colleges of Education.

Findings:

The Council of the Great City Schools has 66 member school districts across the nation, including the Philadelphia School District.

  • Over 95% of high schools and 80% of middle schools in the Great City Schools Council have an immediate need for math and science teachers
  • Across ALL grades, there is over a 95% overwhelming need for teachers of color in science and math
  • > Learn more

Resource:

National Center for Educational Statistics, Mobility of public and private elementary and secondary teachers, by selected teacher and school characteristics: Selected years, 1987–88 through 2004–05

Findings:

  • Over 20% of urban cities teacher's either transferred or left the teaching profession in 2004-05
  • > Learn more

Resource:

Alliance for Excellent Education, Teacher Attrition: A Costly Loss to the Nation and to the States

Findings:

  • About half of the high schools in the nation's thirty-five largest cities have severe dropout rates—usually around 50%
  • Students in high-poverty or high-minority schools have the greatest need for high-quality teachers and are almost twice as likely as other students to have novice teachers who lack proper mentoring
  • > Learn more

Philadelphia Scholars Research Base

Philadelphia Scholars was created in conjunction with the College Access Program to help high-need students from low-income neighborhoods persist through college by offering college scholarships that fill the gap between the cost to attend college and the family contribution.

Resource:

Thomas G. Mortenson, Financial Aid Packages and College Affordability for Men and Women Undergraduates 1990-2004. Findings:

  • Undergraduate students from the bottom half of the parental income distribution (make less than $62,240) face huge financial barriers to their enrollment. Furthermore, these barriers have grown between 1990 and 2004
  • Lower-income students lack the expected family contribution (EFC) and grant assistance, and have loans, work campus jobs, and lack the resources to pay for college

Resource:

Investing in America's Future: The Case for Higher Education Findings:

  • By 2015, the traditional college-age population will grow by 16 percent, and 80% percent of the new students will be non-white; nearly half of the growth will be among Hispanic students.
  • In the 1980-81 academic year, state and local governments provided half the revenue for public colleges and universities. By 1999-2000, only one-third of public institutions' revenues were provided by these same governments.

Resource:

The Lifetime Employment and Earnings Consequences of Dropping Out of High School in Philadelphia. Neeta P. Fogg, Paul E. Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University. January 2009. Findings:

  • Average lifetime earnings for Philadelphians with a bachelor’s degree or higher were nearly 5 times as much as earnings for dropouts.

    > Learn more

Resource:

The Tax and Transfer Fiscal Impacts of Dropping Out of High School in Philadelphia City and Suburbs. Neeta P. Fogg, Paul E. Harrington, and Ishwar Khatiwada, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University. January 2009. Findings:

  • Education level is directly correlated with employment rate, annual income, home value, and annual tax payments. Meanwhile, level of education is negatively correlated with annual cost of incarceration.

    > Learn more

Resource:

“Pipeline” to College Graduation for First-time 9th Graders, 1999-2000, School District of Philadelphia Office of Accountability. January 2010. Findings:

  • Philadelphia lags behind national rates for college-going and completion.

    > Learn more