About Us

Launched in August 2014 to provide research on some of the city’s most pressing education issues, PERC is currently a partnership between Research for Action and the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Research and Evaluation. PERC’s eight-year track record has firmly established it as a strong research practice partnership that has successfully adjusted to Philadelphia’s complex, changing, and sometimes challenging context.

Drawing on the complementary capacities of each partner, PERC tackles longer-term, sustained areas of investigation that can be leveraged at the right time by the right people for real change in Philadelphia. Our focus for 2021-2024 is on providing evidence to support the District’s goal for all students to graduate prepared for college or careers.

PERC is funded by the William Penn Foundation and is a member of the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships


PERC is co-directed by Dr. Alyn Turner of Research for Action and Dr. Joy Lesnick of the School District of Philadelphia. Our team is comprised of research, administrative, and communications staff from Research for Action and the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Research and Evaluation. For more information, please email: perc@researchforaction.org.

Research for Action

David Bamat, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Lindsey Liu

Research Associate

Saxon Nelson

Director of Community Engagement

Molly Pileggi

Research Associate

Anna Shaw-Amoah

Policy Research Associate

Samantha Slade

Director of Communications

Alyn Turner, Ph.D.

Co-Director of PERC
Director of Quantitative Research

Sean Vannata

Quantitative Research Fellow

The School District of Philadelphia, Office of Research and Evaluation

Ebru Erdem, Ph.D.

Director, Research, Policy, and Practice

Joy Lesnick, Ph.D.

Co-Director of PERC
Deputy Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Academic Partnerships

Adrienne Reitano, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Roland Reyes

Senior Statistician

Molly Schlesinger, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Ted Wills, Ph.D.

Director, Research, Policy, and Practice