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In 2007, the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) requested that the RAND Corporation monitor implementation of year 2 (2007–2008) of the district's Excellence for All (EFA) initiative and provide feedback to district staff, the PPS board, and other stakeholders. In 2008, RAND expanded to a more comprehensive focus on effective implementation of EFA's instructional change, including the rollout of the core curricula, capacity-building efforts, and student outcomes. Recommendations include focusing on areas for improvement, using data to improve instruction, giving teachers flexibility and time to work with coaches, increasing support and reducing reporting requirements, improving communication between district and school-level staff, conducting needs assessments and use them to create action plans, training and evaluating coaches better, sharing strategic plans, and helping teachers and staff connect with students.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two


  • Chapter Three

    Research Context

  • Chapter Four

    Data Sources

  • Chapter Five

    Domains of Interest and Research Questions

  • Chapter Six

    Implementation of Curriculum Supports

  • Chapter Seven

    Summary of Findings, by Research Question

  • Chapter Eight


  • Appendix A

    Teacher Survey and Results

  • Appendix B

    Coach Survey and Results

  • Appendix C

    Principal Survey and Results

  • Appendix D

    Student Survey and Results

This research was sponsored by the Fund for Excellence, a consortium of Pittsburgh foundations. It was conducted within RAND Education, a research unit within the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

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