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Consortium for Policy Research in Education;
The report details a two-year exploratory, mixed-methods research study on the disciplinary practices and climate of schools serving Kâ8 students in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Findings reveal that SDP schools are making efforts to reduce suspensions and improve climate, but critical barriers to these efforts include resource limitations and philosophical misalignments between teachers and school leaders. The study identified three profiles among SDP schools serving Kâ8 students based on information about disciplinary practices and climate, and found that these profiles are predictive of suspension and academic outcomes. Students attending schools with collaborative climates and less punitive approaches to discipline have lower risk of being suspended and better academic outcomes. The report offers a series of recommendations for strengthening the implementation of climate initiatives, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), in challenging urban settings.
National League of Cities;
This report examines the meanings and practices associated with the term 'smart cities.' Smart city initiatives involve three components: information and communication technologies (ICTs) that generate and aggregate data; analytical tools which convert that data into usable information; and organizational structures that encourage collaboration, innovation, and the application of that information to solve public problems.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
The Downtown Trenton Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was created by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in collaboration with a variety of partners, most notably the City of Trenton. This study proposes different bicycle, pedestrian, intersection, and trail interventions within downtown Trenton, New Jersey. The plan also offers potential funding streams and examples of estimated construction costs. This plan will be incorporated into the City of Trenton's Trenton 250 Master Plan.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
Roosevelt Boulevard is a complex corridor with many needs. The purpose of this project was to take a fresh look at transit needs specifically and develop improvement strategies that could be achieved at grade within the existing cross section of the roadway, at comparatively lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than the subway/elevated line that has historically been the focus of transit planning efforts and remains a long-term ambition. The public has expressed an ongoing interest in improved public transit service on Roosevelt Boulevard, through such feedback efforts as the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) Dots & Dashes exercise to develop the 2008Long-Range Vision for Transit, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and DVRPC Choices & Voices feedback for the Connections 2040long-range plan. This project was a response to that feedback, and to a sense that the corridor has been long on plans but short on progress—owing to solutions that have resided in perpetual long range for financial reasons.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago;
Afterschool programs are seen as a way to keep low-income children safe and to foster the skills needed to succeed in school and life. Many cities are creating afterschool systems to ensure that such programs are high-quality and widely available. One way to do so is to ensure afterschool systems develop and maintain a data system.This interim report presents early findings from a study of how afterschool systems build their capacity to understand and improve their practices through their data systems. It examines afterschool data systems in nine cities that are part of The Wallace Foundation's Next Generation Afterschool System-Building initiative, a multi-year effort to strengthen systems that support access to and participation in high-quality afterschool programs for low-income youth. The cities are Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla.,Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., Philadelphia, Pa., and Saint Paul, Minn.To date, research on data use in afterschool systems has focused more on the implementation of technology than on what it takes to develop and sustain effective data use. This study found that the factors that either enabled or hampered the use of data in afterschool systems—such as norms and routines, partner relationships, leadership and coordination, and technical knowledge—had as much to do with the people and process components of the systems as with the technology.Strategies that appear to contribute to success include:
Starting small. A number of cities intentionally started with a limited set of goals for data collection and use, and/or a limited set of providers piloting a new data system, with plans to scale up gradually.
Ongoing training. Stakeholders learned that high staff turnover required ongoing introductory trainings to help new hires use management information systems and data. Providing coaching and developing manuals also helped to mitigate the effects of turnover and to further the development of more experienced and engaged staff.
Outside help. Systems varied in how they used the expertise of outside research partners. Some cities identified a research partner who participated in all phases of the development of their data systems. Others used the relationship primarily to help analyze and report data collected by providers. Still others did not engage external research partner, but identified internal staff to support the system. In any of these scenarios, dedicated staffers with skills in data analytics were key.
In May 2015, a national summit convened in Chicago to take an in-depth look at green schoolyards. At this summit, practitioners, advocates, researchers and others shared their knowledge and experiences and explored innovative approaches for advancing green schoolyards. This report shares the collective experience and knowledge of the participants and explores some of these new and emerging opportunities.
Successful green schoolyard programs in six cities across the country are examined in case studies in this report. These studies distill important factors that helped to determine project success, including diverse partnerships and funding mechanisms, carefully leveraged policy at every level and documented impact that wins support.
Boston Foundation, The;
A new study commissioned by the Boston Foundation on how Boston and comparable cities support the arts shows that only New York City has higher per capita contributed revenue for the art than Boston, among major American cities.
The study, titled "How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts: Funding for Cultural Nonprofits in Boston and 10 Other Metropolitan Cities," also examined Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Portland Oregon, San Francisco, and Seattle. "How Boston" is a follow-up of sorts to a 2003 Boston Foundation report titled, "Funding for Cultural Organizations in Boston and Nine Other Metropolitan Areas."
Key findings of this study, regarding Boston, include the fact that Boston's arts market is quite densely populated. While Greater Boston is the nation's 10th largest metro area and ranks ninth for total Gross Domestic Product, its non-profit arts market, which consists of more than 1,500 organizations, is comparable to that of New York and San Francisco, and consistently surpasses large cities such as Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia, in terms of the number of organizations and their per capita expenses.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
This report examines how a new, comprehensive state education funding formula, if adopted by Pennsylvania, would impact the School District of Philadelphia. After comparing Philadelphia with 10 other big city districts across the country, the analysis concludes that a state formula based on district needs, demographics, and ability to pay -- such as those used in most states -- would not necessarily provide a substantially higher level of aid for urban districts. Equally important, the analysis finds, is the overall amount of state spending on education.
According to the report, per-pupil funding for Philadelphia schools was less than that of seven of the 10 other districts studied -- all of which were in states with funding formulas.
School District of Philadelphia's Office of Research and Evaluation;
City Year has been working in Philadelphia schools to support under-performing students and teachers for over 10 years. The program deploys teams of corps members to provide targeted, one-on-one or small group support in the areas of English, math, attendance, and behavior, as well as school-wide activities aimed at improving school climate. This report reflects the second consecutive year that The School District of Philadelphia's Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) has partnered with the William Penn Foundation to evaluate the program in 11 Philadelphia elementary and high schools. The Year 1 (School Year 2013-2014) report was released in the fall of 2014. This report concentrates on Year 2 (School Year 2014-2015) programming, making comparisons to Year 1 where appropriate. It follows the mid-year formative report and the mid-year qualitative report, which were delivered in spring of 2015.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
Pew has created a new way of looking at Philadelphians, one rooted in how they think about the city rather than where they show up in demographic categories. The analysis, based on a telephone survey of 1,603 randomly chosen Philadelphians in early 2015, sorts adult city residents into four groups. We have labeled those groups Dissatisfied Citizens, Die-Hard Loyalists, Uncommitted Skeptics, and Enthusiastic Urbanists.
This effort was modeled on work done nationally by our colleagues at the Pew Research Center in Washington. Through this type of polling and analysis, the center has sorted Americans into groupings based on values and attitudes, going beyond the simple labels of liberal and conservative. For Philadelphia, we set out to do something similar -- although not on the left-right spectrum -- in hopes of increasing public understanding of the city and its residents.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
This study evaluated a proposed design for Race Street between 5th and 9th Street, and a design was developed to improve safety, accessibility, and aesthetics. Between 6th and 8th Street, the design would reduce the north and south crossing distance and change the road to a three travel lane configuration; it would also add protected bicycle facilities, plantings, and pedestrian amenities. These improvements would improve access for people walking, biking, and driving and improve the aesthetics of one of Philadelphia's most visited tourist areas. It would better link the surrounding neighborhoods and amenities together, which include Chinatown, Old City, Independence mall, and Franklin Square. The design would have minimal impact on traffic operations while creating a significantly safer traffic environment.