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Issue # 16
    July 5, 2012

Information and action for parents coming together to strengthen our public schools. Comments? Suggestions? Stories?  

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PAA Action Alert


Grade Arne Duncan!

The conservative EdNext website is running a reader poll for the next day or so asking the public to grade Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

So far he is not doing too well. In fact, about 70% gave him an "F." Only 8% thought he deserved an "A" or a "B." 

Maybe that's because his policies are strongly contradicted by research and common sense. 


Maybe it's because he has wasted billions of dollars in Race to the Top and I3 innovation funds for these failed programs during an economic recession.    


Maybe it's because he spends so much time palling around with the corporate reform crowd while ignoring parent voices.   


Or maybe it's just that people feel that it's time for a new  Education Secretary, one who truly understands and has real experience in education, one who listens to and respects parents, teachers, students and others who are in the school every day.   


What can you do? 


Take this opportunity to vote on Arne Duncan's end-of-the-year grade, and pass it on to friends. Let's send Duncan (and his boss, President Obama) a message about Duncan's effectiveness! 


PAA News


PAAers speak out


Andrea Mérida on Denver's AM760 


Listen here to our Denver founding member, Andrea Mérida, speaking to progressive talk radio host David Sirota about school funding in Denver. Will the funds be used to meet the very real needs of traditional schools, or will they just add to the money going to charter and other privately-run schools?

Dora Taylor on Seattle's King 5- TV News

Watch Dora, one of our Seattle founding members, criticize the $2 million petition campaign to put a charter school referendum on the Washington ballot after the state legislature has repeatedly chosen not to allow them. With the help of professional petition passers paid with funds from hometown billionaire Bill Gates, charter promoters claim they have enough signatures to put the issue before voters in November.   
Diane Ravitch mentions PAA in "parent tricker" article

Diane Ravitch has been accused of just about everything under the sun by those who hate the fact that a lot of people listen to her common-sense, fact-based arguments against corporate reform.

This time Gloria Romero, a former California lawmaker and current staffer for the pro-privatization group Democrats for Education Reform, calls Diane sexist and possibly anti-Latina for suggesting that the secretive legislation-writing group ALEC wrote California's parent trigger law. Romero claims it was her idea.

Diane says she doesn't care who wrote this bad "parent tricker" law, referencing PAA's position paper as an example of how parents have rejected the idea. 

Join Us!


Parents Across America invites existing local or statewide groups who share our overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and more parent input in education policymaking to affiliate with us. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be at every level. We are also looking for parents who are interested in forming new chapters of PAA in their states and/or local communities. Check out what we believe, and if you agree, join with us! Read more here.


PAA Chapter/Affiliate News

Trouble for governor, school leaders in New Orleans

The Jena Times writes that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his school "reforms" are causing major problems: "(A)cross the state, several parish school boards and teachers unions are lining up as plaintiffs in various lawsuits against Jindal, the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) contesting Jindal's reform package being hailed by media everywhere but in Louisiana as groundbreaking, innovative and progressive."

The reporter mentions another lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of 10 lead plaintiffs including PAA founding member Karran Harper Royal as one more example of the potentially expensive fallout from bad education policies by Jindal, new state superintendent John White (formerly of New York City) and other leaders.

PAA Blog Highlights

Parents Across America (PAA) is a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that connects parents and activists
from across the U.S. to share ideas and work together  
on improving our nation's public schools.    

PAA is committed to bringing the voice of public school par­ents - and common sense - to local, state, and national education debates.