Past Programs

Throughout our history, we have piloted and partnered on a number of programs to improve the outcomes and opportunities for teachers and students throughout Philadelphia. Learn more about these programs and their impacts below.  

CORE Philly

In 2003, United States Representative Chaka Fattah announced the CORE (College Opportunity Resources for Education) Philly initiative, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, and the School Reform Commission, designed to provide scholarships for four years to Philadelphia high school students.

Partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia

From 2007-2012, the Philadelphia Education Fund's College Access Program partnered with Graduate! Philadelphia to offer more Philadelphians the chance to finish college and receive their degrees. The Graduate! Philadelphia program is unique to Philadelphia. It provides FREE services to adults who have college credits but did not graduate with a degree, helping them to go back to school and finish what they started.

Funding Public Education

Individuals who have access to quality education throughout primary and secondary school are more likely to graduate, find gainful employment, have stable families, and be active and productive citizens. They are also less likely to commit serious crimes, less likely to place high demands on the public health care system, and less likely to enroll in welfare assistance programs. Investing in public education is thus far more cost-effective for the state than paying for the social and economic consequences of under-funded, low quality schools.


The Community Partnership for Neighborhood High Schools

The mission of the Community Partnership for Neighborhood High Schools is to improve our neighborhood high schools so that all youth are ready for post secondary education, careers, and active civic participation.

Philadelphia Effective Teaching Campaign

The Philadelphia Education Fund's Education First Compact partnered with The Philadelphia Cross City Campaign for School Reform to develop the Philadelphia Effective Teaching Campaign. The campaign stipulates that all students in Philadelphia have the right to effective teachers, regardless of grade or subject matter. The Campaign lists several critical changes needed to ensure that we maximize teaching quality and achieve equity.

Small Schools Project

Together with two youth-led organizations, Youth United for Change and the Philadelphia Student Union,
the Ed Fund initiated the Small Schools Project in 2005 as a mechanism to facilitate efficient and effective synchronization of school facility design, educational needs, and neighborhood development needs.

Curriculum Development

In December 2003, the School District of Philadelphia contracted with the Philadelphia Education Fund to be Lead Facilitator in the development of a new core curriculum in Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004.


The Philadelphia GEAR UP Network was a federally funded partnership between the Philadelphia Education Fund and the School District of Philadelphia. GEAR UP's goal was to ensure that students have the resources and knowledge they need to access and succeed in college. The GEAR UP Network served students and families in the following eight high schools; West Philadelphia, Overbrook, University City, Ben Franklin, William Penn, Edison, Sayre, and Kensington.

Middle Grades Matter & Transition Support Tutors

The Middle Grades Matter Campaign (MGM) was created by the Philadelphia Education Fund in 2003 with initial support from GlaxoSmithKline and program dollars from the School District of Philadelphia. The campaign operated until 2006 to improve middle-level education in Philadelphia as a way to boost district-wide success.

Reduced Class Size

Without a strong foundation in reading, writing, and speaking, children are ill equipped to succeed in school and in future careers. In classrooms that often contain 30 students, it is extremely difficult for one teacher to meet an individual student's literacy needs. As a result, many students are left behind and destined for academic failure.