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Issue # 22
     August 30, 2012

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

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PAA Action Alert


Going to the DNC?   

Meet up with members of Charlotte's PAA affiliate MecklenburgACTS
at one or both of their planned rallies!

Monday, September 3:  

Rally: 12:30-1 p.m. Movie screening: 1-3 p.m.      "Won't Back Down" film and panel discussion sponsored by Michelle Rhee's Students First, Parent Revolution and Democrats for Educational Reform. Funders of these well-heeled groups include the Broad, Walton and Gates foundations, Rupert Murdoch and Wall Street hedge funds. 

EpiCentre Theater: 210 E. Trade St.       


Tuesday, September 4:  

Rally: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Program: 1:30-4 p.m.

Democrats for Educational Reform Town Hall. The  panel will feature elected officials who have supported legislation on policies such as high-stakes testing, charter school expansion and private school vouchers. Some of these bills are now being pushed by the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 

Knight Theater: 430 S. Tryon St.     


From the flyer: "Please join us before both events to rally in support of a more dynamic vision of an excellent public education for every student - one centered on parent and community involvement, greater support for dedicated educators and a vigorous, creative approach to learning and evaluation at all public schools. We also urge you to sign up to attend the events and voice your thoughts."


Get more information and links to sign up for the screening/panel and town hall meeting here.    


There was already a nice mention of the rallies and PAA's positions in the Charlotte Observer. 


PAA News


PAA/ers in the News

Education Week blog "Parents and the Public" mentioned PAA's alternative to the parent trigger, "The LSC Model," in a funny take on the movie.

Must watch video: Astroturf v Grassroots

Becky Malone, leader of PAA Chicago affiliate 19th Ward Parents, shares the screen with a lot of other Chicago activists who are standing up for teachers and their union during the current contract talks.

This amazing 24-minute video by the Chicago Teachers' Union exposes the ties between Mayor Rahm Emanuel, corporate reformers and their astrorurf groups, and the Michigan Tea Party.

It also tells the story of how the current CTU leadership reached out and formed collaborations with real grassroots parent and community groups who are now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them during this crisis. 

CTU's media specialist, Kenzo Shibata, is asking for our help: "Please post (the video) to Twitter with the hashtag #FairContractNow along with any other contract fight related tweets.Our story is getting out, but we need your help."

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

PAA Chicago affiliate PURE is co-sponsoring a book signing lecture event with Jonathan Kozol on September 27th at the Northwestern University Law School. It will be free and open to the public. Details to come.

Speaking of books, PURE's Julie Woestehoff wrote a chapter in a book coming out next Tuesday called "Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush on Public Education."

The Blurb: "Lost amid the debate over educational policies are the stories of the educators, parents, and students who are most affected by legislation such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. In Educational Courage, veteran educators and activists Nancy Schniedewind and Mara Sapon-Shevin bring together the voices of those who are resisting market-driven initiatives such as high-stakes testing, charter schools, mayoral control, and merit pay. The diverse narrators who write in this volume confront the educational agendas that undermine teachers' judgment and knowledge, ignore the different backgrounds of students and parents, and debase the learning process. Yet these educators, parents, and activists also offer stories of resistance and hope as they fight to uphold the ideals of democratic public education."

You can pre-order on Amazon and elsewhere. 

Meet the founders
will return after the Labor Day holiday. Have a safe weekend!
PAA Blog Highlights

In addition to the blog post mentioned above was this new PAA blog post this week:
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.