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Advancing Priorities and Listening to Educators

Education Funders Research Initiative, a project of Philanthropy New York,

is supported by a group of diverse funding organizations that have pursued an array of education reform strategies.

These and other private foundations have invested over $2 billion in New York City public school reform efforts over the last decade and have been crucial to many of the reform strategies pursued both by the Department of Education and by other education support organizations. Now, they have come together to engage New Yorkers and focus our leaders on new research into how we can best prepare students for college and 21st-century careers, driven by the question: How can we improve on what's working in NYC education?

To that end, EdFunders commissioned a series of reports that provide unbiased, independent analysis of the various reform strategies that have been implemented across New York City public schools, highlighting strategies that have achieved success in schools or programs effective with particular populations. These reports and the Six Priorities that flow from them were released in Fall of 2013, and were subsequently the focus of in-person discussions with the new leadership of the Department of Education in February 2014.

Good things happened in the New York City school system in the decade between 2003 and 2013, and the EdFunders reports illuminates those. But, this initiative also asks probing questions about what aspects of our educational system aren't working – including whether we can better align the system’s resources to what the research shows works. We believe this is an important contribution to the public dialogue on public education as Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña continue to shape and implement their reform agenda.  

EdFunders is currently hosting a series of Listening Sessions with education practitioners, funders and leaders of the Department of Education focusing on its Six Priorities. To join the conversation online, follow us at @edfundersri and @PhilanthropyNY, using the hashtag #WhatWorks.