Jeff Cooper, Vice President of the Office of Government and Community Affairs, University of Pennsylvania
Mark Gleason, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Schools Partnership
Mark DeSantis, CEO and co-founder of kWantera
Marc Mannella, CEO of KIPP Philadelphia Schools
Anthony Payton, Jr., Associate at Malady & Wooten and former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
The most recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that Pennsylvania’s fourth and eighth graders score better overall than the national average. However, these overall averages mask huge gaps in performance between subgroups of students in the state.
Too many of the state’s students—particularly minority students and those from low-income families—lag behind their peers. In 2011 only 39 percent of eighth-graders overall scored proficient or above in math, with white eighth-graders outperforming their African American classmates by over 38 percentage points (47 percent versus nine percent). Similarly, only 20 percent of low-income students scored proficient or above.
The work so far:
Under the leadership of Executive Director Jonathan Cetel, PennCAN had a whirlwind first legislative session in pursuit of policies that would better measure teacher effectiveness, support high-quality pre-K options and expand high-quality school choices for kids. In just two months, we helped introduce four bills, wrote two issue briefs and saw 1,200 Pennsylvanians take action.
Building on the incredible momentum from last year’s policy victories, PennCAN is pursuing two key areas of school reform in 2013: enacting the policies it will take to keep a great teacher in the classroom, and reforming the public charter school.