Sunday, November 13, 2011

The need for public investment in public schools

Important report: Public education faces two significant challenges. The population of students that schools have traditionally underserved is growing rapidly at the same time there is greater pressure for improving outcomes for all students and for equipping them with the knowledge and skills for success in the 21st century. Meeting these challenges will require a redoubling of the civic investment, the authors write. Around the country, community members have formed organizations to channel their support for public schools. A recent report identified public education funds (PEFs) -- twice the number from a decade before -- that provided $1.2 billion in funds to support public schools in 2007, serving more than 20 million children. These organizations can only function effectively, however, if they meet high standards for efficiency, effectiveness, and ethics. The National Commission on Civic Investment in Education therefore created a set of standards specifically for PEFs in five areas: mission and policies; evaluation and transparency; responsible stewardship; legal compliance; and personal and professional integrity. PEFs can lead the advocacy efforts necessary to set policymakers' priorities straight, but can only do so effectively if they have the strong support of the public they represent and who work as part of these organizations.
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From PEN.

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