2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. In April, we held an event reflecting on areas of progress, as well as persistent challenges facing the City’s public education system. Hundreds of educators, staff from community-based organizations, funders, scholars, and school and district leaders joined us for a presentation of new research and an engaging panel discussion. Panelists included NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Columbia Teachers College Professor Chris Emdin, Bank Street College President Shael Polakow-Suransky, and Executive Superintendent for the Bronx Meisha Ross Porter.

As part of the anniversary, we developed and shared analyses exploring how attendance, achievement, high school graduation, and college enrollment rates have changed over time in NYC. This work revealed both large improvements and deep-seated inequality, particularly along lines of race/ethnicity and neighborhood income. Our Better Evidence brief highlighted key findings and lessons from our first 10 years, including insights about system-wide trends, district policies, and school practices aimed at supporting strong teaching and learning.

Throughout the year, our Spotlight on NYC Schools series provided short, digestible data analyses and visualizations, to inform conversation and raise useful questions about public education in NYC. Examples include:

The Research Alliance also released influential reports on New York City’s Special Education landscape, the impact of aggressive policing in the neighborhoods where students live, and homelessness in NYC elementary schools. We presented findings in a wide range of settings (from academic conferences, to Community Board meetings, to briefings with the NYC Department of Education and our many nonprofit partners).

Our research was cited frequently in the press. Here’s a sampling of those stories:

As 2019 comes to close, we would like to express our gratitude to our Steering Committee, the partners and funders who make our work possible, and the thousands of educators and students who welcomed us into their schools and shared their perspectives with us throughout the year. We wish you all a warm and happy holiday season.