PAA Action News
Jan. 10, 2013

Welcome to PAA Action News, the information and action newsletter of Parents Across America, a network of activist parents coming together to strengthen our public schools. If you have questions, comments, suggestions or stories to share, please e-mail us at or visit
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PAA Action Alert

Join the Journey for Justice webinar January 15  

PAA founding member Karran Harper Royal will be on the panel for a Save Our Schools-sponsored webinar this coming Tuesday, January 15th, to help raise awareness and funds for the Journey for Justice 2.

J4J2 will bring parent, student and community leaders by bus to Washington DC on January 29 for a hearing, "The Civil Rights Impact of School Closings, Turnarounds, Phase-outs and Co-locations."

The hearing will focus on the ways in which these programs devastate communities of color.   

Learn how the leaders of J4J2 gained this important hearing in November 2012, what they hope to accomplish on January 29, and how you can become involved. 

Karran will be joined by Jitu Brown, of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization in Chicago and Zakiyah Ansari, of New York City's Coalition for Educational Justice.

In honor of the great Civil Rights Leader, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  the Journey For Justice 2 webinar will be on held on Tuesday evening, January 15th from 8:30-10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time [EST]

Register here for the 1/15 webinar. Please also consider donating to the J4J2 campaign here. Funds will help support the travel expenses of the leaders who will testify at the hearing. 
PAA News
PAA founder: Parents support teachers

PAA's founding member Pamela Grundy, leader of PAA affiliate Mecklenburg-ACTS, published this excellent letter in the Charlotte Observer last month in response to a CO editorial critical of the Chicago Teachers' Union, among others.

Pamela wrote:

"There's a reason parents stood up for striking Chicago teachers.

"While chastising Chicago teachers for their recent strike, the editorial failed to note that Chicago parents turned out in large numbers to support those teachers.

"Parents did so because they understood that the issues the teachers raised - which covered not only pay and benefits but also small classes, better school libraries, social services for students and an end to the debilitating obsession with high-stakes standardized testing - would improve their children's schools.

"Criticizing teachers who stand up for decent working conditions only deepens the lack of trust and respect that is keeping our schools - and our country - from moving forward."

Leader of PAA Chicago affiliate 19th Ward Parents, Becky Malone, speaks in support of Chicago Teachers.
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If you share
our overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and more parent input in education policy making, we invite you to affiliate with us if you are an existing group, or to form a new PAA chapter. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be at every level. Here's how!
PAA Chapter and Affiliate News
Welcome to our newest chapter - and a new state for PAA!

We are excited to welcome PAA-Madison-WI, our first chapter in Wisconsin. The leader \\is Laura Chern. You can contact her at

PAA now has 42 chapters and affiliates in 22 states!

PAA affiliate Oregon Save Our Schools to host event
with NYC educator Brian Jones

Real vs. Phony Education Reform 

- How to Know the Difference 

Redeemer Lutheran Church

5431 Northeast 20th Avenue  Portland, OR 97211

Friday w January 11th, 2013 w 5:00 - 6:30 P.M.

Tickets are free and donations will be accepted to offset costs

Please contact SOS for child care needs at 

Parking available in the church lot and on the street

To know more about Brian Jones, check out "Still Separate, Still Unequal: Racism, Class and the Attack on Public Education" and "The Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman," which he co-wrote and co-produced.

PAA Chicago affiliate to sponsor testing forum: "Assessments that Make Sense"

PAA's Chicago affiliate Parents United for Responsible Education will sponsor a testing forum featuring FairTest's Monty Neill two weeks from today, on Thursday January 24 at 7 pm at the Hartzell Methodist Church, 3330 Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago.

The forum will focus on sound, effective alternatives to high-stakes standardized tests.

The event is free and open to the public. Details here.    
Planning begins for PAA Midwest Regional meeting

Plans are in the early stages for a meeting of PAA chapters and affiliates and other progressive education advocacy groups in the Ohio-Michigan-Indiana-Illinois area. We are in the process of identifying a location that is convenient to these states. Of course, any others who would like to join us may do so - however, there will be limited or no funds available for travel stipends.

If you want to help, please e-mail Julie Woestehoff,

Stay tuned for more details! 
PAA Blog Highlights