The Philadelphia Education Research Consortium—or PERC—was launched in August 2014 as an innovative partnership designed to provide research and analyses on some of the city’s most pressing education issues. This partnership was forged among the School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s charter school sector, Research for Action (RFA), and the city’s three major research universities (Temple University, Drexel University, and the University of Pennsylvania).
PERC will draw on the rich research expertise in Philadelphia—both within RFA and from Temple, Drexel, and Penn—to conduct research that meets the information needs identified by representatives of Philadelphia’s public schools.
Its creation is groundbreaking for a number of reasons.
- PERC’s research agenda is driven entirely by the city’s school district and charter schools, not the interests of researchers. This orientation will ensure that PERC will provide timely, actionable analysis aligned with the highest priorities of Philadelphia’s educators.
- PERC draws on an unprecedented partnership with Temple, Drexel, and Penn. The universities will sit on PERC’s Research Advisory Committee, and their researchers will participate in PERC projects as well.
With PERC, Philadelphia joins a cadre of other major cities, including Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, which have the benefit of an organization devoted exclusively to improving the capacity of its public schools to make evidence-based decisions.
RFA received a three-year grant from the William Penn Foundation to establish this partnership.