Jonathan Cetel is the founding executive director of PennCAN. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I’ve spent my entire career working in and for Pennsylvania public schools.

I started at Morrison Elementary School in the Olney section of Philadelphia, where I taught reading and social studies to seventh and eighth-graders. Every day my fellow teachers and I worked hard to help our students achieve their potential. But I soon realized that we taught in a system that often does the opposite.

For too long, Pennsylvania public schools have operated under a system crippled by inertia. Communities have changed but schools have failed to adapt to increased needs and pressures. Some remain great, others are just mediocre and far too many are struggling to provide their students with even a basic education.

That’s why today I’m proud to announce the launch of PennCAN: The Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now. PennCAN is building a movement of Pennsylvanians with the political will to create the change we need in our public schools. But we can’t fight the status quo without your help. You can take three steps to reform the system today:

Get the facts. Read our new issue brief, Expand High-Quality Choices for Families, which looks at how Pennsylvania should expand the number of high-quality school options offered to Pennsylvania families.

Get involved. Visit to learn more about the three policies we’re advocating for and what you can do today.

Get the word out. Help build Pennsylvania’s new movement with just a few clicks: follow @PennsylvaniaCAN on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Right now in Pennsylvania, the quality of education our kids get is too often determined by their zip code, their income or the color of their skin. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can—and must—do better.

Together, we will help ensure great schools for all Pennsylvania children. Because great schools change everything.



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