View of Philadelphia skyline at sunset

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative


Education and Schools

Philadelphia public schools’ performance and city residents’ educational attainment have been major topics of discussion among policymakers, parents, and advocacy groups. The city has one of the largest school districts in the United States, serving approximately 196,000 K-12 students in traditional and charter schools, yet parents of school-age children cite schools as a primary reason for their decision to move from the city to the suburbs. Pew’s research on the topic has included evaluating the district’s governance, operations, budget, and high school admissions system, as well as examining its shuttered schools, their impact on communities, and potential new uses for the abandoned buildings. In addition, Pew has looked at city residents’ educational attainment and the impact that education levels have on jobs and income. Pew has also assessed the Community College of Philadelphia and its effectiveness in helping Philadelphians earn college degrees and develop marketable job skills.