In 2012, Public Education Network (PEN) closed its doors after 21 years. PEN was a network of local education funds (LEFs) -- community based organizations in high poverty school districts across the United States -- that continue to work with their school districts and communities to improve public education for the nation's most disadvantaged children.

At the national level, PEN raised the importance of public engagement as an essential component of education reform. It brought the voice of LEFs and the communities they represent into the national education debate. Finally, PEN gave voice to the essential nature of the connection between quality public education and a healthy and thriving democracy.

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Open to the Public: The Public Speaks Out on No Child Left Behind - A Summary of Nine Hearings September 2005-January 2006

April 21, 2006

Between September 2005 and January 2006, Public Education Network (PEN) held a series of public hearings to give students, parents, and community members -- audiences very much affected by the law, but usually left out of the policy debate -- an opportunity to tell their side of the NCLB story.While education organizations and Congress hold forums and hearings to solicit feedback from educators and school administrators about the impact of NCLB, they seldom look beyond schools to see the impact of the law on the public and on communities. But because schools play such a critical role in community life, understanding how the law affects students, families, and the broader community is critically instructive to policymakers and to others who are trying to make sure the law meets its goals.The hearings serve four purposes: They provide venues through which a public record of the local capacity to implement NCLB can be compiled. They serve as a means to inform and mobilize the public on issues pertaining to public education and what it takes to improve its quality. They give PEN and its national partners the information needed to bring public voices and concerns into the debate about reshaping NCLB. And, finally, they create a public "resume" for review by policymakers in the context of the law's reauthorization.

No Child Left Behind in Michigan: The Public Questions Its Promises - Reports from the 2005 Public Hearings (Long Version)

April 5, 2006

Between September 2005 and January 2006, Public Education Network (PEN) held a series of public hearings to give students, parents, and community members -- audiences very much affected by the law, but usually left out of the policy debate -- an opportunity to tell their side of the NCLB story. State reports are available for California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

No Child Left Behind in Michigan: The Public Questions Its Promises - Reports from the 2005 Public Hearings (Short Version)

April 5, 2006

Between September 2005 and January 2006, Public Education Network (PEN) held a series of public hearings to give students, parents, and community members -- audiences very much affected by the law, but usually left out of the policy debate -- an opportunity to tell their side of the NCLB story. State reports are available for California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Online No Child Left Behind Survey Responses from Michigan vs. the National Average

December 19, 2005

The PEN national office launched a 2005 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) online survey to follow up on the 2004 survey. The 2004 survey generated 12,000 responses and greatly influenced the recommendations in the "Open to the Public" report released in March 2005. PEN was particularly interested in reaching grassroots constituencies, but the voices of everyone -- including educators -- were counted.

Quality Now! Results of National Conversations on Education and Race

October 27, 2000

"Quality Now! Results of National Conversations on Education and Race" chronicles the experiences of eight communities that convened conversations about education and race involving nearly 1000 participants in more than 60 public forums across the country. "Quality Now!" is a set of strategies and hands-on tools intended to encourage and assist communities interested in holding their own conversations on education and race. By sharing the challenges, lessons learned, and outcomes from the eight initial sites, PEN and Public Agenda hope to amplify and sustain an important dialogue on the critical -- but often hidden -- intersection of education and race. The eight local education funds that sponsored events and forums included:Fund for Educational Excellence - Baltimore, MDForward in the Fifth - Berea, KYEducation Fund for Greater Buffalo - Buffalo, NYPublic Education and Business Coalition - Denver, COPartners in Public Education - Grand Rapids, MIHattiesburg Area Education Foundation - Hattiesburg, MSMarcus A. Foster Educational Institute - Oakland, CAPaterson Education Foundation - Paterson, NJThe efforts in these eight communities generated serious discussion among residents about what kind of communities they would like to inhabit, what kind of education they feel their children need, and what changes in the status quo they will support.

Proceedings of Public Conversations: The Roles, Structures, and Functions of Dialogue and Trusteeship in Public School Governance

January 1, 2000

Includes "The School Board and the Community: Forging a Stronger Partnership" (Atlanta, Georgia - October, 1995), and "Dialogue and Trusteeship in Public School Governance" (Grand Rapids, Michigan - April 18, 1996). Part of the Public Education Network School Board Leadership/Public Engagement Initiative.