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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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.

Greater New Orleans Education Foundation: A Commitment to Rebuilding a Better New Orleans

August 28, 2007

With support from the Ford Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation (GNOEF) participated in Public Education Network's Gulf States Initiative, which was designed to enlarge the role of the public in school improvement in the Gulf States region. Public Education Network (PEN) is a network of local education funds (LEFs) across the nation. In PEN's view, "public responsibility" will not emerge from conventional, smaller scale efforts to involve parents more closely with their children's schools or to inform the community about a superintendent's program. Instead, PEN initiatives take as their premise that in a democracy, public schools can only improve in a sustainable way if a broad-based coalition of community members pushes them to improve and holds them accountable. The Gulf States Initiative charged six LEFs, including GNOEF, with moving their communities toward different and more substantial forms of responsibility for their schools.

Starting Off Right 2005: Spotlight on Parents

January 1, 2006

This report is part of the READY SCHOOLS PROJECT (RSP) that focuses on the systemic supports in place so that DC public schools (DCPS) can provide high quality teaching and learning for all students. Spotlight on Parents presents what parents have to say about the supports their schools and students need to succeed.

From the Margins to the Center of School Reform: A Look at the Work of Local Education Funds in Seventeen Communities

April 7, 1999

This report begins to describe the core and emerging areas of LEFs' work, their ways of working and the conditions under which they work. The seventeen organizations studied in this report were selected from among the 43 LEFs in the Network, to reflect the range in their size and geographic distribution.

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