Public Education Network (PEN)

Legacy Collection

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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VUE: Civic Investment in Public Education Winter 2012, Number 32

November 4, 2011

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University partnered with Public Education Network to highlight the findings of PEN's National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education, which met for 18 months and issued its final report in May, 2011. AISR dedicated its Winter 2012 issue of Voices in Urban Education (VUE) to the topic of civic investment in public education. The fifteen members of the National Commission for Civic Investment in Public Education have performed an extraordinary service for this nation and for America's schoolchildren. The Commission's work was ably led by co-chairs Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education (1993 -- 2001) and Linda Darling-Hammond, world-renowned education scholar and professor of education at Stanford University. Other members included leaders from the corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors; educators; researchers; and public education support organization leaders from around the country. Together they shared a commitment to expand civic knowledge and support of public education through citizen involvement. Contents:The National Commission for Civic Investment in Public Education by Wendy PuriefoyReaffirming the Dream: The Case for Civic Investment by Richard W. Riley and Linda Darling-HammondA Story of Civic Investment in Public Education by Susan V. BerresfordThe Right Funds for Reinvestment by Erwin de LeonA Failure of Philanthropy: American Charity Shortchanges the Poor, and Public Policy is Partly to Blame by Rob Reich

Public Education Network - Strategic Plan 2010-2013

October 27, 2009

Includes planned programming, data and charts, list of local education funds (LEFs) in the Network, and more.

Paterson Education Fund Index Survey: Findings from a Citywide Survey of 400 Adults in Paterson, NJ - 2008

April 1, 2008

Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a base sample of 400 adults in Paterson, New Jersey.The survey was conducted February 27-March 3, 2008.Interviews were conducted in both Spanish and English, with 67% of interviews among Latinos in Spanish.The margin of error for this sample of 400 adults in Paterson is +/-4.9 percentage points.

Civic Index for Education

Case Study: Teacher Compensation Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF)

November 7, 2007

In the spring of 2001, the Mobile Area Education Fund (MAEF) began a concerted and unprecedented effort to organize and engage the public. What began as a project to support a tax referendum to fund education in the county became a way of life for MAEF and the citizens of Mobile. It was at this time that MAEF launched a public campaign (Yes We Can) to inform the citizens of Mobile about an upcoming referendum that would tax the people of Mobile to support education in the county. The campaign was successful, and on May 15, 2001, for the first time in 41 years, the people of Mobile voted to support this tax.

Case Study: Teacher Induction Durham Public Education Network (DPEN)

November 7, 2007

In March 2003, the Durham Public Education Network (DPEN) convened hundreds of public leaders in the community for a high-profile signing ceremony. They were gathered to sign a one-page community covenant would that allow the community to hold district and community leaders accountable for supporting school improvement.

Catalysts for Change: Three Case Studies of Quality Education Worldwide

October 5, 2007

Public education is the cornerstone of democracy and is absolutely fundamental to a democratic, civil and prosperous society. Beyond the boundaries of the United States, other countries are working to provide quality education to their children through civil society institutions. In particular, there are three extraordinary organizations in Peru, Mexico and the Philippines dedicated to making quality education available to their youth. These PEN members are the subjects of the studies contained within Catalysts for Change.

From Plan to Action: Local Education Funds Deepening Public Engagement on Teacher Quality

July 1, 2007

PEN's venture was guided by its theory of action. In simplest form the theory is: reform idea plus public engagement equals change in education practice; reform idea minus public engagement equals inability to cope with an intricate process. The world of public education reform obviously has many complexities not captured in our preliminary model, but our experiences in the Annenberg public engagement initiative pointed us in the direction of identifying those complexities, thinking about how to incorporate them into a more refined theory of change, and ultimately of achieving that change.

Case Study: Public Engagement Initiative San Francisco Education Fund

May 15, 2007

The San Francisco Education Fund has a long history of community engagement. One of the first local education funds (LEFs) in the country, it was founded in 1979 after Proposition 13 significantly reduced funding to the California public schools. The Ed Fund was established to involve the community in improving the quality of teaching and learning in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). "By acting as a bridge between the community and the classroom, the Ed Fund increases the availability and impact of resources for students and teachers throughout San Francisco public schools."

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