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Consortium for Policy Research in Education;
The report details a two-year exploratory, mixed-methods research study on the disciplinary practices and climate of schools serving Kâ8 students in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Findings reveal that SDP schools are making efforts to reduce suspensions and improve climate, but critical barriers to these efforts include resource limitations and philosophical misalignments between teachers and school leaders. The study identified three profiles among SDP schools serving Kâ8 students based on information about disciplinary practices and climate, and found that these profiles are predictive of suspension and academic outcomes. Students attending schools with collaborative climates and less punitive approaches to discipline have lower risk of being suspended and better academic outcomes. The report offers a series of recommendations for strengthening the implementation of climate initiatives, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), in challenging urban settings.
Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board;
Published in March 2007 by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, A Tale of Two Cities is a report portraying Philadelphia's human capital challenge as latent economic opportunity. The research highlights the economic potential that investing in the education of Philadelphia's people can yield, both for the individual and the community as a whole. The publication is intentionally designed to be readable and accessible to all Philadelphia citizens -- thought leaders, community members, public officials, and business owners. In everyday language, it identifies the connection between the undereducation of the city's workforce and Philadelphia's economic problems, high levels of unemployment and poverty, social dislocation, tax challenges, and safety concerns; concerns that all Philadelphians understand and have a stake in addressing.
To determine the impact of the Summer Career Exploration Program (SCEP), a privately funded summer jobs program for low-income teens, P/PV examined the lives of over 1700 applicants. These youth were randomly assigned to participate or to not participate in SCEP in the summer of 1999, and their outcomes were compared at four and twelve months after program application. Researchers found that implementation was strong, but program impacts were less impressive. While SCEPs participants got summer jobs at a substantially higher rate (92%) than the control group (62%), the programs ability to translate this large and immediate summer employment impact into intermediate gains (in terms of future plans, college enrollment, work success, sense of self-efficacy or reduced criminal activity) proved to be negligible. Although impacts were short lived, the report concludes that SCEP and similar programs have an important place in the larger mosaic of supports, programs and opportunities for young people.
This document summarizes the key findings of the Summer Career Exploration Program evaluation.
This executive summary provides an overview of key findings from Quality Time After School: What Instructors Can Do to Enhance Learning. The executive summary focuses on the importance of two features of high-quality activities: good group management and positive adult support of learning. Drawing from surveys and interviews with more than 400 participants and instructors from five Philadelphia-based Beacon Centers, this study will begin to help program managers and funders make headway in identifying key features of high-quality after-school programs.
This issue of P/PV In Brief focuses on key findingsand their implications for policymakers and fundersfrom Quality Time After School: What Instructors Can Do to Enhance Learning. Drawing on extensive qualitative and quantitative data collected from five Philadelphia-based Beacon Centers, our study identifies characteristics of after-school activities that are linked to youth engagement and learning across a rich diversity of out-of-school-time activity areas. The brief explores the importance of good group management and positive adult support of learning, providing program directors and funders with guidance for improving program quality and fostering engagement and learning in after-school programs.
In 1999, seeking to reduce Philadelphia's homicide rate and put youthful offenders on the path to a productive adulthood, various Philadelphia agencies and organizations, including Public/Private Ventures, partnered to form the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP). The projects goal is to steer youth, ages 14 to 24 and at greatest risk of killing or being killed, toward productive lives through increased support and supervision. This report describes YVRP and presents early evidence the initiative may be reducing homicides.
This first issue in P/PV's In Brief series focuses on the Amachi program, which partners faith-based organizations with public agencies and nonprofit service providers to identify the children of prisoners and match them with caring adult volunteers.Amachi In Brief touches on the program's development and recruiting strategies, its early results and its expansion into new cities.
Research for Action;
Following the 2001 state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia, a new governance structure was established and an ambitious set of reforms went into effect, generating renewed public confidence in the district. Despite this, maintaining reform momentum continues to be difficult in Philadelphia. This can be traced to on-going challenges to civic capacity around education. Defined by Stone et al (2001), civic capacity involves collaboration and mobilization of the city's civic and community sectors to pursue the collective good of educational improvement. Using interviews conducted with over 65 local civic actors and district administrators, and case studies of local organizations involved with education, the authors examine civic capacity in the context of Philadelphia. The authors find that while many individuals and organizations are actively involved with the schools, there are several factors that present unique challenges to the development of civic capacity in Philadelphia. Despite these challenges, the authors conclude that there are many reasons to be optimistic and offer several recommendations for generating civic capacity -- the kind that creates and sustains genuine educational change.
National Council on Crime and Delinquency;
Across the country, juvenile detention systems have been experiencing tremendous pressures including population increases, facility crowding, litigation, and a wide range of forces not directly under its control. In turn, juvenile justice officials have come under increasing pressure to develop policies and procedures to effectively manage detention resources now and into the future. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency has a long standing reputation of helping jurisdictions use research-based evidence to effectively plan for bed space needs, alternative programs, and other issues. Currently, NCCD is working with approximately 43 communities to implement the juvenile justice planning process called the Comprehensive Strategy to Address Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Delinquency. What follows are the findings from an approach NCCD designed to help juvenile justice officials evaluate current detention utilization patterns, the projected needs for secure beds, and various program options. The overall goal of our work is to create a detention system that protects public safety and increases court hearing compliance while taking into account practical constraints and the welfare of the young people our systems handle.
Research for Action;
This study of teacher staffing issues in the School District of Philadelphia, the third in a series, outlines the degree to which the district has succeeded in upgrading teachers' professional credentials, recruiting and retaining them, and equitably distributing experienced and credentialed teachers across all types of schools. Since the passage of NCLB and the state's takeover of the district in 2001, the district has succeeded in improving the certification rates of its teachers, especially new teachers, and in drastically cutting the number of emergency-certified teachers and classroom vacancies. It has also improved new teacher retention and has modernized and decentralized its hiring process. At the same time, it has not been able to change the pattern of having the least qualified teachers in schools serving the highest percentages of poor and minority students nor its poor long-term rate of teacher retention. The district is also challenged to speed up and simplify its hiring and school placement process and to hire more minority teachers.