Focus Areas

On Track Through High School

What keeps high school students engaged, on track to graduation, and acquiring the competencies they will need as they enter adulthood? Research in this area examines high school outcomes in Philadelphia and how schools, families, and the community can help students succeed.

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Connecting Students and Schools

No matter what is happening inside a school, students struggle to learn and build their skills if they aren’t consistently attending classes. Research in this area studies common barriers to students connecting with their school, such as transportation challenges, as well as strategies to overcome those barriers.

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Young Readers and Writers

Philadelphia has a civic goal of having all students reading well by the time they enter fourth grade. Guided by the strong research base on effective strategies for developing young children’s literacy, PERC has studied how the city’s charter schools teach reading and writing in kindergarten through third grade.

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Supporting English Learners

More than 1 in every 10 students in Philadelphia speaks a home language other than English and receives services to build proficiency in English. PERC has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia and charter schools to understand the students’ trajectories toward English proficiency and effective strategies for supporting these learners.

Teachers and Leaders

Research confirms what many of us know from experience: great teachers are key to student learning. And great school leaders set the conditions that enable teachers to do their best for students. PERC’s research in this focus area examines characteristics of the teacher and leader workforce in Philadelphia and strategies for recruiting, developing, and retaining effective school personnel.

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