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Five questions for: Kimberly Edmunds, Research for Action
Bio: Kimberly Edmunds joined School Victories group Research for Action as a Senior Research Assistant. She is a Philadelphia native who completed four years of teaching in two of the city’s charter schools. Her professional experience provides her with sensitivity toward urban education issues, especially literacy, teacher quality, and civic engagement.
At the University of Pennsylvania Kim combined her education background with the master’s program in Urban Spatial Analytics, which granted her the opportunity to explore how geospatial technology could be used as a tool in educational research and policy. During her coursework she served as an intern at the School District of Philadelphia in the office of Capital Programs where she managed spatial data pertaining to students, schools, and the Philadelphia region.
Kim is especially interested in the sociology of education, such as the distribution of educational opportunities across race and social class. Her master’s capstone examined the relationship between students’ neighborhood characteristics and school performance in Philadelphia using geographic information systems (GIS).
School Victories' Five Questions for Kimberly:
- What was the first school improvement project or campaign you worked on?
I am currently involved in my first school improvement project, which involves Camden schools. Two organizations partnered to provide a comprehensive series of professional development activities to administrators, coaches, and teachers. It’s been an insightful experience learning about how the external providers work with several schools to support leadership development and other important components of school improvement.
- What work has your current organization done that you are most proud of?
I am proud of RFA’s recent completion of a report on high school choice in Philadelphia. This report caught the attention of the Philadelphia superintendent, and some the recommendations are currently being used to inform policy as early as the upcoming school year. Hopefully this will result in greater equity in the school selection process for students.
- What is one thing that motivates you?
One thing that motivates me is the ability of compelling research to impact real-world problems.
- What is the hardest part of improving schools and reforming education policy?
The hardest part of improving schools is getting and keeping the right people to educate children.
- What do you think are the three biggest issues that schools and the education community will have to face in the coming year?
One major issue that we will face in the coming year is figuring out how to fairly tie student performance to teacher pay. This is a controversial trend that is intended to hold teachers more accountable for student outcomes. We may also need to watch funding issues, as education, like other programs that receive public funding, are vulnerable to the ongoing economic crisis.
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