How To Become A High School Math Teacher In Usa Philadelphia Schools Work Towards Reform

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Philadelphia Schools Work Towards Reform

Research for Action (RFA), an independent research firm, currently leads a study program called Learning from Philadelphia Public Schools Reform. This is a comprehensive, multi-year study of Philadelphia schools and their complex and radical reform effort. The school system has been taken over by the state, hoping to dramatically improve the services and learning students receive. RFA is examining the impact of state procurement, with specific areas of focus including:

Data Use: This research is an in-depth study of data use in low-performing Philadelphia schools. And it asks how schools and the communities within those schools are using data to inform educational decision-making. The ways in which external entities (including the district and providers) are influencing these practices are also considered.

Teacher Quality: Over the past four years, significant progress has been made in improving teacher quality, recruitment, and retention for all Philadelphia schools. In fact, since 2002, Philadelphia schools have dramatically reduced the number of teachers with emergency certifications, reduced classroom vacancies, and increased the certification rate, especially among new teachers. This has been achieved by providing more curriculum and training support, expanding a recruitment process in the school and training principals in bringing in new teachers.

Governance: The current reform in Philadelphia schools is unlike any other. It has seen the taking over of a State, the replacement of the school council by a School Reform Commission and contracts with Educational Management Organizations.

Student Outcomes: The bottom line remains student performance and achievement in all Philadelphia schools. RFA partners with Johns Hopkins University and the RAND Corporation to study student test scores.

Small High Schools: Philadelphia schools are currently undergoing major high school reform that includes the creation of up to 30 small high schools aimed at creating greater choice for children and families.

Action and Youth Research: Where are the voices of students in school reform? Researchers are working with groups of youth in Philadelphia schools as they react and respond to current school reform.

Alternative Route Teacher Certification: RFA is assisting researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in an evaluation of the Pennsylvania State Pilot Program in Philadelphia schools. For those seeking an alternative route to teacher certification, professionals have access to the Accelerated Certification for Teachers program. This assessment is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Middle Grade Math and Science Achievement: RFA wants to answer the question: What improves math and science achievement for middle grade students in Philadelphia schools? The study, which focuses on schools serving high-poverty neighborhoods, examines the impact of variables such as grade structure (middle school or K-8), provider (EMO or school district) , curriculum and faculty participation in professional development on student performance.

As Philadelphia schools move forward in their quest for greater reform, the organization Research For Action is right alongside them, studying the changes as they emerge.

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