ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT HIGH SCHOOLS

At PERC, we want to serve as a bridge between education research and practice in Philadelphia. In addition to publishing original studies, we spread the word about other resources that are relevant to our focus areas, based on rigorous research, and freely available. 

We regularly update this curated collection with new materials, so check back often!

High school improvement in Philadelphia across the decades

History teachers remind their students of this quote from George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Philadelphia has experienced a number of high school improvement initiatives across the years. The resources below provide insight into some of these initiatives.

From Ninth Grade On-Track to College Matriculation: The Path of the 2015-16 Ninth-Grade

 

SDP's Ninth Grade On-Track metric is an established and validated tool for early identification of students who are not likely to graduate on time. This slide deck summarizes findings found in From Ninth Grade On-Track to College Matriculation: The Path of the 2015-16 SDP Ninth-Grade Cohort, which compared matriculation outcomes across demographic and educational characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, IEP status, EL status, economic disadvantage, and GPA).

This report was published by The School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

From Ninth Grade On-Track to College Matriculation: The Path of the 2015-16 SDP Ninth-Grade Cohort

 

This report builds on previous findings by examining first-fall matriculation outcomes of the 2015-16 first-time ninth-grade cohort who graduated on time (Class of 2019) by their Ninth Grade On-Track status (Firmly On-Track, On-Track But At Risk, and Off-Track). This report also compares matriculation outcomes across demographic characteristics.

This report was authored by Ashley Tanz and Ebru Erdem-Akcay and published by the Office of Research and Evaluation.

9th Grade Attendance and Graduation

 

Five 9th-grade absences mean a lower graduation rate.

This report was authored by Theodore Wills and published by the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

Factors Associated with 9th Grade Success: Analysis of First-Time SDP 9th Graders in 2011-12

 

A summary of preliminary findings from an ORE study of factors related to higher and lower graduation rates, with focused attention to those related to the successful completion of 9th grade.

This report was authored by Theodore Wills and published by the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

Defining Success: A New 9th Grade On-Track Definition

 

This brief introduces a concise way to measure 9th grade success by providing early indication of a student’s progress to on-time graduation. It also presents supporting evidence from analyses of Chicago Public Schools and internal SDP data.

This report was authored by Theodore Wills and published by the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

Perceptions fo Instruction and 9th Grade On-Track Rates

 

A look at the relationship between student perceptions of school climate and instruction and the percentage of 9th grade students on-track for graduation.

This report was authored by Adrienne Reitano and published by the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

On-Track but Vulnerable: 9th Grade Warning Signs of 10th Grade Struggles

 

A retrospective analysis of the academic trajectories of SDP 9th-graders who were on track to graduate in 2014-15. This brief identifies the 9th-grade characteristics that predict higher and lower graduation rates and also includes information about Keystone performance.

This report was authored by Theodore Wills, Ji Eun Park, and Joy Lesnick and published by the School District of Philadelphia Office of Research and Evaluation.

The Five School Study: Restructuring Philadelphia's Comprehensive High Schools (1996)

 

In 1988, with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia undertook a major effort to remake its 22 comprehensive (neighborhood) high schools. A key feature of this reform was the creation of "small learning communities" at each school. Using case studies of five schools, this report describes the goals, context, promise, and challenges of this high school change effort.

This report was authored by Jolley Bruce Christman and Pat Macpherson and published by Research for Action.

The Philadelphia Educational Longitudinal Study: Report on the Transition to High School in the School District of Philadelphia (1999)

The transition to ninth grade has been a perennial challenge for Philadelphia students, as shown by this report published about two decades ago. The report also examines the high school choice process and parents' perceptions of the transition to high school. Data are from a citywide survey of parents and students.

This report was authored by Ruth Curran Neild and Christopher Weiss and published by the Philadelphia Education Fund.

Making Progress Toward Graduation: Evidence from the Talent Development High School Model (2005)

In 1998, the School District of Philadelphia began to implement the Talent Development High School in a several high schools. This model modified the small learning community structure by including a separate academy for ninth graders. The model also involved double-doses of mathematics and literacy intended to help ninth graders catch up on key academic skills.

This impact study found substantial gains in attendance, course credits earned, and promotion in ninth grade.

This report was authored by James Kemple, Corinne Herlihy, and Thomas J. Smith and published by MDRC.

The Philadelphia Education Research Consortium makes its home at Research for Action,

a nonprofit education research organization.

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