Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project and Youth United for Change (Philadelphia)
This report shares findings from a six-year research study on the impact of EPOP’s and YUC’s education organizing on district policy, increased school capacity, and improved student outcomes. EPOP’s and YUC’s education campaigns succeeded in keeping the voices of parents and students at the forefront of reform. School campaigns pushed district officials to respond to concrete and immediate needs: old facilities, violence in and surrounding schools, outdated and insufficient library materials. Both organizations also pushed for districtwide reform: EPOP raised the visibility of parents’ and teachers’ concerns about transparency in the wake of the state takeover of the district, and YUC’s extensive research on small schools and ongoing surveys of high school students positioned the group to influence the district’s high school reform strategy.
This report shares findings from a six-year research study on the impact of EPOP’s and YUC’s education organizing on district policy, increased school capacity, and improved student outcomes.
This research found that the groups’ organizing work resulted in:
- greater equity in the development of district priorities and the allocation of resources, particularly in small high school reform, standardized testing, school discipline, and distribution of federal Title I funds;
- greater parent engagement, student engagement, and school accountability to the community; genuine engagement of parents and community members added to the organizations’ perceived legitimacy by school and system officials;
- greater educational opportunity for neighborhood students through adoption of YUC’s plan to replace a large, failing high school with four new schools, which resulted in higher attendance rates, decreased dropout rates, and increased numbers of students who identify as college bound.
NOTE: The Annenberg Institute, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, conducted a six-year research study and developed a series of seven case studies based on our research. Each case documents the organizing efforts of a community group in a site and its effect on resource equity and district accountability for improved educational outcomes. Sites include Austin Interfaith, Chicago ACORN,Community Coalition (Los Angeles), Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project and Youth United for Change, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition & Sistas and Brothas United, Oakland Community Organizations, and People Acting for Community Together (Miami).