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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A Community Action Guide to Teacher Quality

August 6, 2003

In October 1999, Public Education Network (PEN) received a three-year discretionary grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), as part of a set of projects designed to better link research and data to policy and practice change.PEN dedicated its project to building public knowledge and understanding of how to improve teaching through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on teachers and teaching. The project consisted of two phases of work, conducted in eight communities across the country -- Chattanooga; TN, Greenville, SC; Lincoln, NE; Los Angeles, CA; McKeesport, PA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Raleigh, NC. The first phase, which included the creation of a data framework followed by data collection and analysis, was completed in June 2001. Phase two, a public engagement effort to disseminate the findings from the data to the public, was completed in October 2002.This action guide builds on the experiences and learning from our eight sites, and is intended as a tool for community groups that want to build public knowledge and understanding and take action to support quality teaching.

Give Kids Good Schools

Meeting the Challenges of Health Education Curriculum Development

May 12, 1999

In 1994, the Public Education Network (PEN) entered into a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC/DASH) to integrate comprehensive school health programs (CSHP) into a larger, systemic school reform effort at the local and national levels. Under this agreement, PEN worked with and provided funds to six local education funds (LEFs) to implement local projects that would establish, enhance, and/or institutionalize school health programs within their districts -- and in the case of one LEF, throughout the state. This case study documents the experiences of these LEFs and their partners in the second year of the implementation of this project, which focused on activities reforming the health education curriculum reform.PEN was able to explore and delineate the issues surrounding comprehensive services through its first federal grant from the CDC. Through the Comprehensive School Health Initiative (CSHI), PEN, along with its partner LEFs, aims to link school health and school reform by approaching the issue of school and adolescent health, including HIV prevention, with public engagement as a major component. This report looks at the challenges LEFs faced as they engaged a wide array of entities in examining health education curriculum and reform efforts to make it more comprehensive, age-appropriate and developmental.

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