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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Once & For All: Placing a Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Philadelphia Classroom

September 11, 2003

Quality teaching matters - particularly for low-income, inner-city students who perform below grade level. But these students are often taught by the least-qualified and least-experienced teachers. Philadelphia schools will not be able to improve student performance dramatically without more teachers who have the skills, experience, and rich content knowledge needed to help every student achieve high standards.Once & For All: Placing a Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Philadelphia Classroom examines the current status of teacher quality in the city and what the School District of Philadelphia is now doing to ensure that all classrooms have highly trained, motivated, and knowledgeable teachers ready to boost the achievement of the district's 188,000 students.For the first time, thanks to information provided by the School District of Philadelphia, researchers have been able to identify what we know about the qualifications, experience, and school assignment patterns of Philadelphia's 11,700-member teaching force. The study was conducted by a group of scholars who have launched Learning from Philadelphia's School Reform, a three-year research project designed to measure and help the public understand the impact of the 2001 state takeover of the Philadelphia schools, the school management partnerships undertaken with external for-profit and non-profit organizations, and the reforms initiated by the state and city-appointed School Reform Commission (SRC) members and School District of Philadelphia CEO Paul Vallas.Led by Research for Action (RFA), a Philadelphia non-profit, the research team includes investigators from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and the Wharton School, the Philadelphia Education Fund, Swarthmore College, Rutgers University, the Consortium on Chicago School Research, and other organizations

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

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