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Youth Civic Engagement in Urban School Reform

Research for Action

  • Program Education
  • Program Area Youth Engagement
  • Grant Amount $100,000
  • Grant Period January 1, 2005–December 31, 2006
  • Location Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • Geographic Focus United States

About this grant

This grant will enable Research for Action to explore the importance of youth being involved in sustaining and advancing school reform efforts, and the vehicles for doing so. In 2002, the Philadelphia school district launched an education reform initiative to privatize up to 100 schools considered low-performing under the No Child Left Behind Act. In response, two youth organizing groups — the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) and Youth United for Change (YUC) — got involved in the reform debates to advocate for students and to shed light on and in what way public institutions, particularly the education system, can be impacted by youth.Multiyear funding will support efforts to document, research and analyze how youth become participants in influencing policy decisions to improve schools and communities. Activities will include identifying and reviewing relevant literature on youth organizing to contextualize the work of PSU and YUC within the broader context of youth work nationwide; establishing a research task force with members from PSU and YUC; conducting interviews and facilitating focus groups; and organizing feedback sessions with PSU and YUC for interpretations and recommendations.Research for Action, a Philadelphia-based education research and evaluation nonprofit organization, works with public school districts, educational institutions and community organizations to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for disadvantaged students.