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ERIC Number: ED531671
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 103
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Philadelphia's Renaissance Schools Initiative: 18 Month Interim Report
Gold, Eva; Norton, Michael H.; Good, Deborah; Levin, Stephanie
Research for Action
This report presents Year One (2010-11) school level achievement and attendance outcomes and case study findings from fall 2011 that focused on school leadership and instruction. Thirteen schools were included in the first year of Philadelphia's Renaissance Schools Initiative (2010-11). Of these schools: (1) Four K-8 schools were District-operated as Promise Academies; (2) Seven K-8 schools were operated by four charter school providers; and (3) Two high schools were District-run Promise Academies. Findings include: (1) Student achievement in K-8 Renaissance Schools improved to a significantly greater degree than did achievement in similar schools not included in the Initiative. Specifically, Renaissance school student achievement gains significantly outpaced those of Comparison Schools on the following measures: (a) Math and Reading PSSA scale scores; (b) Percentage of Students Proficient or Above in Math and Reading; and (c) Percentage of Students Below Basic in Math and Reading; (2) Student attendance at Renaissance Schools increased significantly more than did attendance at Comparison Schools; (3) Descriptive analysis of student achievement and attendance reveal no observable changes at Renaissance High Schools in Year One of the Renaissance Schools Initiative, while the Comparison High Schools have continued to improve slightly over the six-year study period; (4) There was no statistically significant difference in either student achievement or attendance between the K-8 Promise Academies and the Charter-managed Renaissance Schools. Both sets of schools significantly out-performed the Comparison Schools in terms of increases in student achievement and attendance; and (5) Descriptive comparisons of Renaissance Schools reveal roughly equivalent performance along student achievement and attendance measures across all operators. This report also highlights promising District policies and school practices that could impact future turnaround efforts in Philadelphia or in other locales. These include the following: (1) The Promise Academies received extra resources and attention from the District, which placed them in the spotlight and generated greater public interest in their progress; (2) The teachers' union supported the Renaissance Schools Initiative by signing a collective bargaining agreement that was consistent with the principles of the reform effort; (3) Principals and teachers felt part of "something big"; (4) Principals built their own teams of teachers through site selection; (5) Principals built systems that promoted and reinforced teacher learning and growth; (6) Data and student work were used to assess learning and make instructional decisions; and (7) Principals and teachers exercised professional judgment to adapt the curriculum, within the parameters of the "Promise Academy Way". Appended are: (1) School Advisory Councils; (2) Supplemental Tables; (3) Quantitative Methodology; and (4) Qualitative Methodology. (Contains 40 figures, 23 tables and 50 footnotes.) [This paper was prepared for the Accountability Review Council. For related report, "What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review: "Philadelphia's Renaissance Schools Initiative: 18 Month Interim Report"", see ED530206.]
Research for Action. 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-823-2500; Fax: 215-823-2510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research for Action
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards
IES Cited: ED534780; ED559928