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A Delicate Balance: District Policies and Classroom Practices

August 1, 2005

This report examines why large reform initiatives often end in failure. "A Delicate Balance: District Policies and Classroom Practices", is based on three years of research and tracks policy initiatives in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Seattle as they wind their way from central office to the classroom.

Getting Districtwide Results

June 1, 2005

How a district's central office can actively support and nurture excellence in instructional leadership, teaching and learning at the school level. Based on experiences of Edmonton Public Schools.

Open to the Public: Speaking Out on "No Child Left Behind", A Report from 2004 Public Hearings - Illinois

March 31, 2005

Shortly after NCLB was passed in 2001, Public Education Network (PEN) began an intensive examination of the law to determine the rights and privileges it accords to parents and community members. Approximately 10,000 print copies of the resulting publication, "Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders", have been requested by organizations throughout the country, with more than 40,000 copies downloaded from the PEN website. In addition, a series of NCLB action briefs, developed by PEN in partnership with the National Coalition for Parent Involvement In Education, have been downloaded more than 25,000 times.With this demand for information on NCLB as background, PEN held a series of state hearings to give the public a structured way to enter the debate on the pros and cons of NCLB and the effects, both positive and negative, the law is having on schools and students. Nine hearings took place in eight states over a five-month period. Each state hearing was conducted in partnership with local organizations and presided over by a panel of state and national hearing officers.PEN hopes these forums broadened the public debate about NCLB and provided policymakers with information on how their work encourages or discourages quality education for children. The findings from PEN's NCLB hearings were transmitted to decision makers at the national, state, and local levels to help them determine which aspects of NCLB the public supports, what are the primary concerns, and what mid-course corrections are needed to achieve the most beneficial results for all students.

Leading From the Middle: Mid-Level District Staff and Instructional Improvement

January 1, 2004

This three-year research project demonstrates that mid-level central office staff can make or break critical reform initiatives. It also provides strong recommendations for a new vision of leadership in which central office and school staff become equal partners.

Strong Neighborhoods, Strong Schools

March 1, 2002

This one-of-a-kind research project documents the results that empowered parents achieve in improving academic achievement and in strengthening community capacity.

Changing Urban High Schools

October 1, 2000

This report chronicles a Cross City Campaign working meeting co-sponsored by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

Communities Working for Better Schools

January 1, 1999

This report is a call to action for community organizations, reformers, and funders to ensure that communities have the information and resources to create sustainable school and community partnerships that result in high-quality, equitable education for all students.

Beyond Finger-Pointing and Test Scores

January 1, 1999

This report examines high-stakes interventions in low-performing schools in six cities in Cross City Campaign's network.

Changing Rules and Roles: A Primer On School-Based Decision Making

January 1, 1999

Monograph based on a keynote presentation to the Cross City Campaign School-based and Student Achievement Meeting in Baltimore, 1999.

Realigning Policies and Resources

August 1, 1998

Step-by-step approach to ensure your district's dollars are targeted towards the district's priorities based on actual experience in Community School District Two in the New York City Public Schools under the leadership of superintendent Tony Alvarado.

Making Good on the Promise: High Standards For All

January 1, 1998

A discussion of the need for high standards for all students and how to achieve these standards through collaboration, self-evaluation and assessment of a student's work.

Road Map to Successful Chicago Schools

January 1, 1998

Based on stories from 10 Chicago schools, this report shows how some urban public schools have improved teaching and learning, upgraded the school environment and connect the school with the community.