Public Education Network (PEN)

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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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State Accountability System: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

NCLB requires that each state develop and implement a single, state wide accountability system assuring that each public school district and all public and elementary schools make adequate yearly progress based on the components reviewed in this guide.

Standards and Assessment: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

The NCLB state accountability system is based on the development of state content and academic achievement standards which are measured by state assessments and compared to the "adequate yearly progress" expectations. Each state is allowed to develop their own standards, assessments and AYP expectations, with review by the US Department of Education.

Public School Choice: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

School districts are required to provide ALL parents the opportunity of transferring their children to another public school if their current school, funded with Title I money, has been identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring; or the State has identified their school as persistently dangerous or if their child has been a victim of violent crime on school property.This document provides background and action steps pertaining to school choice.

Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Secondary School Students: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

This Action Brief is not designed to provide legal answers to Section 9528 provisions. For that, each local community is advised to contact legal counsel in their state and/or local communities. But this Brief is designed to review the major premises as raised by the Section 9528 provisions and related laws, and to provide suggestions for community, parental and student action.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

AYP is the key measure in determining whether a public school or school district is making "annual progress" towards the academic goals established by each state. Each state is responsible for setting goals that call for "continuous and substantial improvement" of each public school district and public school, with the ultimate outcome that all students must meet the state's standards for proficiency in language arts and math by the year 2014.

Community and Parent Decision-Making - A Review: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

In many sections NCLB requires that community and parents be involved and this involvement is usually called "consultation". Consultation requirements occur on a number of different levels -- federal, state and local school district levels, and often call for "representatives" of parents and/or the community to be selected to advise NCLB officials.Many of the community and parent decision-making opportunities pertain to Title I, but many other programs under NCLB, not part of Title I, require parent and community consultation as well. This Brief contains only those parent and community roles that require ACTION, and does not include the various provisions where state and local school districts must provide "information."

Title III: Programs of English Language Learners: Action Guide for Parents and Communities

October 29, 2006

NCLB Action Briefs, a project of Public Education Network (PEN) and the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE), are designed to keep community and parent leaders up to date on various provisions of NCLB.The action briefs are written in easy-to-use language focused on specific sections of the law and include pertinent regulations, a glossary of terms, action steps, and additional resources.The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed in 1965. The law comprises nine titles and over 50 different programs, the largest of which is known as Title I. Title I supports school districts educating low-income students through federal funds and programs, and includes many opportunities for parent and community involvement.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: An Overview

October 29, 2006

On January 8, 2002, the president of the United States signed into law a bipartisan education package that greatly expands the federal role in public education. Building on the 1994 Improving America's Schools Act, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will affect every state and public school district in the country beginning with the 2002-2003 school year. More than 90 percent of America's school districts receive funding for more than 40 federal educational and supportive services programs covered by the act. The wide range of services supports before and after-school programs, family literacy, parenting classes, library materials, technology services, educating migrant children, and safe and drug-free schools. Of the nine titles in the act, Titles I and II are the largest programs, in terms of both requirements and funding. More than 47,000 schools will receive Title I funds for extra academic support for low-income children. All school districts are eligible for Title II funds to train, retain, and recruit qualified teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals.The main focus of NCLB is to improve the academic achievement of students in low-performing schools around the country. It strives to have every student achieving at a proficient level, as defined by each state, by the 2013 -- 2014 school year.To achieve this objective, the act focuses on the following elements:Development of state standards, assessment systems, and accountability measuresHighly qualified teachers, principals, and paraprofessionalsRewards for schools that meet or exceed academic expectationsIdentification of schools that fall behind in progress toward state standardsFunding for schools that need special assistance to meet NCLB requirementsParental and community involvementParental choice and supplemental services

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