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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Teacher Professional Development: A Primer for Parents and Community Members

December 3, 2004

Quality teachers are the single greatest determinant of student achievement. Teacher education, ability, and experience account for more variation in student achievement than all other factors. Studies have found that 40 to 90 percent of the difference in student test scores can be attributed to teacher quality. Knowing the subject matter, understanding how students learn, and practicing effective teaching methods translate into greater student achievement. Therefore, it is vitally important that teachers be well prepared when they begin teaching and that they continue to improve their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.

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