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School District of Philadelphia

District Partner 2007-2009

ERS partnered with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to review and analyze professional development (PD) and resource allocation.

"There is no way to get around it—without high-quality teachers and principals at every DCPS school, the achievement gap will not close and performance will not rise. We must support a teaching corps that is focused on student achievement, and we must recognize and reward them when they accomplish the enormous gains we are asking them to reach with students."
-Michelle Rhee, Chancellor; Public Testimony, July 23, 2009

District Facts


Work Focus

  • To conduct a comprehensive review of the district’s staffing and PD systems.
  • To analyze its budget and resource allocation process and the equity implications of how that funding system distributes dollars to schools.

Findings and Outcomes

ERS presented SDP with a comprehensive final report—Strategic Professional Development Review of the School District of Philadelphia—that included a series of recommendations to strengthen PD and improve instruction. Philadelphia’s Education First Compact and Cross City Campaign have led the development of a teaching quality and equity platform that suggests the district adopt several of ERS’ recommendations:

  • Distributing experienced and effective teachers equitably across district schools.
  • Creating performance standards for teachers and principals that are aligned with student success.
  • Creating an effective PD strategy.
  • Giving school leaders tools and resources to hire and create teams of effective teachers.

Philadelphia responded swiftly and directly to several of the findings from ERS’ analysis of the funding system. For example, district leadership increased the transparency of the budgeting process and revised the chart of accounts to more clearly show how district resources are used in schools and centrally. They also used ERS’ findings to build awareness of the need to increase funding equity district wide and to improve the ability of school leaders to use resources strategically.

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480 Pleasant Street, Suite C - 200

Watertown, MA 02472


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Send us an email at: contact@erstrategies.org

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