Philly Impact

Penn GSE welcomes Otis Hackney as Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer

Otis Hackney, Philadelphia’s new Chief Education Officer, is reimagining ways to forge connections in the city’s education community.

Quinn: Philadelphians should elect the city’s next school board

In 2018, Philadelphia will again have a local school board after 17 years of state control under the School Reform Commission.  

Mayor Jim Kenney has proposed that he should have the power to appoint a board, with City Council given the chance to confirm members.  

Mapping next steps for expanding arts education in Philadelphia

As part of an effort to expand arts education in Philadelphia, Penn GSE's Martin Ihrig helped conduct a 16-month study to identify which public schools have access to art or music education. 

Getting to know how kids play, think, learn, and live

Incoming students in Penn GSE’s Teacher Education Program (TEP) get a unique jumpstart on their learning. Each July during summer session, master’s students spread out across Philadelphia to serve as teaching apprentices in community-based organizations in the neighborhoods where they will be student teaching in the fall.

Flores: Segregation, not language background, likely explains proficiency gap for Spanish-speaking English learners

Earlier this year, a study by the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium found that English learners from Spanish-speaking homes in Philadelphia public schools were less likely to be English proficient after third grade than their peers from homes where other languages, such as Chinese or Arabic, were spoken.

Deans of three Penn schools commit to continuing collaborations to improve the lives of Philadelphia children and families

The Penn Futures Project (PFP) kicked off its second year by bringing together academic researchers, officials from Philadelphia and the city school district, and civic leaders for a roundtable on ways to support area children and families. PFP was established in 2016 by the deans of the Graduate School of Education, the School of Nursing, and School of Social Policy & Practice to forge evidence-based, cross-disciplinary collaborations to support children and families in Philadelphia.

Penn GSE graduate finds calling as a Philadelphia teacher

The journey for Dominiqué Bynoe-Sullivan to become a teacher has been challenging, from her home in Brooklyn to a high school in Harlem to the University of Pennsylvania.

At Penn, she initially focused on becoming a physician, pursuing a major in microbiology. But during her sophomore year she changed direction, working with faculty to choose a major in public health, with a minor in urban education.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Creates New Fellowships for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Futures Project

Media Contact: 

Ron Ozio 

The University of Pennsylvania will establish the Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowships for the Penn Futures Project. A $2 million endowment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will create a separate fellowship for each school in Penn Futures: the School of NursingGraduate School of Education and School of Social Policy & Practice.

Math that students can use in real life, right now

Newsroom Home Teaser: 
Janine Remillard and Caroline Brayer Ebby help math teachers create local math curriculum

It’s the question math teachers know will come up at some point, “when am I going to use this in real life?” The best answer: “how about right now?” Standards reforms and curriculum trends emphasizing critical thinking skills are trying to help students engage in mathematics relevant to real life.


But what happens when the context of problems isn’t relatable? That’s what Penn GSE’s Janine Remillard and Caroline Brayer Ebby asked when they saw kids in Philadelphia struggling to make sense of the problems in a curriculum designed to build mathematics from real life contexts. Instead of asking students to solve a problem built around renting motor bikes on a luxury vacation, why not tap into their daily experiences living in America’s poorest big city? These relatable scenarios give them tools to develop critical thinking about their own world.

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