2015 Semifinalist
Allegheny County, PA
Innovations in American Government Awards

In 2009, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pittsburgh Public School District (PPS) signed a memorandum of understanding that established a first-of-its-kind data-sharing agreement. The agreement, which has since been replicated in 13 additional local school districts, was the first step toward closing a knowledge gap that had long denied PPS and DHS the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of a student population with troubling academic achievement, attendance, and graduation rates. Of particular concern is the group of students requiring human service intervention whose academic measures were significantly below those of the general student population. The agreement has created a powerful new tool for understanding and intervening with these students and partnering to design a collaborative, data-informed, multi-pronged strategy to improve their academic performance and overall wellbeing.