This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
A first-of-its-kind research partnership that could prove highly influential to Philadelphia’s public schools was announced Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC) – funded by a three-year, $900,000 grant from the William Penn Foundation – will "provide research and analyses on some of the city’s most pressing education issues" for the city’s District and charter sectors.
The nonprofit Research for Action will act as the consortium’s home base.
"Up until now, any research that was done in the district was done on a piecemeal basis, project by project," said RFA executive director Kate Shaw. And it was often in the interest of "whatever researcher was doing the research."
By contrast, PERC’s researchers will serve the self-identified needs of the city District and charter schools.
"They’re going to tell us what they want to have done," Shaw said. "It’s not driven by the research interests of RFA or anybody else. … We exist in service to their information needs."
PERC’s research agenda will be set by representatives of the Philadelphia School District and two members of the city’s charter community.