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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Summary of Selected Education and Child Related Bills in the 112th Congress

August 12, 2011

While thousands of bills will be introduced in 112th Congress, very few of those will be related to education. PEN has developed a selected, but by no means thorough, list of bills to watch. These bills could be folded into a newly reauthorized ESEA, or they could pass on their own as a self-contained bill. In some cases, language has been inserted in appropriations bills without bill numbers, and in some cases, bills that we will be watching have not yet been introduced. Here is a sampling of these measures that PEN will be watching closely during the 112th Congress, along with a list of those major bills passed in the 111th Congress.

Diploma Act: Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement

December 2, 2009

Text for the Diploma Act, to strengthen student achievement and graduation rates and prepare young people for college, work and citizenship through innovative partnerships that meet the comprehensive needs of children and youth.

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.

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.

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