Changing Requirements in Pennsylvania for High School Graduation: A Research Brief on Pennsylvania Act 158
Beginning with the class of 2023, graduating Pennsylvania high school students will need to demonstrate career or postsecondary preparedness in addition to meeting existing statewide graduation requirements. Read our policy brief to learn about the history of this “high stakes” policy, how research shaped its evolution, and what researchers suggest are its implications for equity in Pennsylvania.
The purpose of this FAQ is to share what PERC has learned and how our research has been used to help high school students. As high school students return to school buildings post-pandemic, we also talk about how research might be used next year to support equitable pathways to graduation.
Recovering Credits in the School District of Philadelphia: High School Student Credit Recovery Utilization in 2018-19
By: Molly Pileggi, Alyn Turner, Lindsey Liu, and Jason Fontana
This study provides a snapshot of the district’s school-year credit recovery utilization—including eligibility, enrollment, and completion—using newly available data for high school students who entered the 2018–19 school year with a record of one or more failed courses.
Getting Back on Track: How Off-Track Ninth Graders Progressed in Later Years of High School, Class of 2017 and 2018
By: Molly Pileggi, Lindsey Liu, and Alyn Turner
Building upon this prior work, this report examines two of those same cohorts of off-track freshman in the expected graduating classes of 2017 and 2018, following them over time to understand which students were able to graduate and when they got back on track.
How Long Does It Take Philadelphia High Schoolers to Get to School? Transit Times to School District of Philadelphia High Schools in 2018
By: Molly Pileggi, Marc L. Stein, Alyn Turner, and Nathaniel Dewey
This report uses School District of Philadelphia high school student enrollment and residence data to estimate student commutes to all 52 traditional district high schools via public transit.
By: Matthew P. Steinberg, Molly Pileggi, and Ruth Neild
This study uses four years of student-level data for all students enrolled in Philadelphia public high schools from the 2013-14 through 2016-17 school years. We examine the characteristics of mobile students and the types of schools they most commonly exit and enter as well as the characteristics of schools with higher rates of student mobility.
Present from the Start: Ninth Grade Attendance Patterns in the School District of Philadelphia, 2015-2017
By: Ted Wills, Ruth Curran Neild, Molly Pileggi
This report studies attendance patterns of first-time SDP ninth graders during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. It examines the spread of overall attendance rates in these two student cohorts, patterns over the course of their ninth grade year, and how those patterns differ for students with different levels of academic achievement.
By: Matthew P. Steinberg, Haisheng Yang
This report provides evidence on principal mobility among traditional public schools (Tin the School District of Philadelphia and charter public schools located in Philadelphia during the 2007-08 through 2015-16 school years.
Supporting Early Readers in Philadelphia’s Independent Charter Schools: An Initial Inquiry into Cross-School Collaboratives
By: Rachel Comly, Ryan Fink, Jill Pierce, Adrianne Flack
This study is an initial inquiry into the need and opportunity for cross-school professional learning for educators at Philadelphia charter schools. The study team interviewed teachers and leaders in early literacy instruction from six independent charter schools in Philadelphia.
On Track Across Four Cohorts: Ninth Grade On-Track Patterns in the School District of Philadelphia, 2013-2017
By: Molly Pileggi, Kendra Strouf
This brief extends analyses from the earlier report with data from two additional cohorts of first-time freshmen (the Classes of 2017 and 2018) to better understand whether the patterns described in the original report have been consistent over time.
By: Matthew P. Steinberg, Ruth Curran Neild, W. Kyle Canuette, Sharin Park, Emily Schulman, and Melissa Wright
This study examines the number and percentage of mobile teachers in the School District of Philadelphia from 2009-10 through 2015-16.
Ready from the Start: Identifying and Supporting At-Risk Ninth Graders from their Earliest Days in High School
By: Austin Slaughter, Ruth Curran Neild, Molly Crofton
This study examines what can be known about entering ninth graders, based on their eighth grade school records, that can inform high schools about students’ likelihood of being on track at the end of their first year.
By: Rachel Comly, Ryan Fink, Monica Mielke, Adrianne Flack
The study maps the landscape of charter schools’ approaches to early literacy programming, including their classroom instructional strategies, teacher training and collaboration, family engagement strategies, and targeted interventions for struggling readers.
Getting On Track to Graduation: Ninth Graders’ Credit Accumulation in the School District of Philadelphia, 2015-2017
By: Molly Crofton, Ruth Curran Neild
This study applies the 2018 Ninth Grade On-Track Definition to students who were first-time ninth graders in the SDP during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school years.
By: Joshua Lin, Ruth Curran Neild
This study provides evidence on the progress toward English proficiency of ELs who entered the District in kindergarten across four cohorts of students: 2008–09 through 2011–12.
By: Jeannette Rowland, Rebecca Reumann-Moore, Rosemary Hughes, Joshua Lin
This brief examines the challenges schools face in these areas and the strategies they use to mediate them. The purpose of this brief is to share these strategies across schools and with the larger Philadelphia community, in order to help schools continue to improve ELL programming.
By: Rosemary Hughes, Rebecca Reumann-Moore, Jeannette Rowland, Joshua Lin
This brief focuses on the ways family and community engagement can enhance schools’ efforts to improve outcomes for ELLs and highlights specific strategies schools can use to more effectively engage families and communities.
Educating English Language Learners: Instructional Approaches and Teacher Collaboration in Philadelphia Public Schools
By: Rebecca Reumann-Moore, Jeannette Rowland, Rosemary Hughes, Joshua Lin
This brief highlights key findings about how Philadelphia public schools were crafting instructional approaches to serve their ELs and creating possibilities for teachers to collaborate to strengthen teaching and learning.
By: Joshua Lin, Rosemary Hughes, Daniel Long, Dae Kim
This brief focuses on descriptive characteristics of the ELL students served by the School District of Philadelphia in 2014-2015.
By: Jessica K. Beaver, Brittan Hallar, Lucas Westmaas
This brief defines blended learning and presents a set of literature-based conditions for implementation that the charter and district schools of Philadelphia can use to guide their efforts at integrating blended learning approaches into ongoing instructional improvement initiatives.