PAA Action News
Feb. 21, 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

New feature - PAA weekly legislative fax for you to use

Yesterday PAA launched our new weekly education update for legislators and anyone else who should be hearing more about education issues from the parents' point of view.  


Our fax went to all the members of the U. S. House and Senate education committees. We will post them every week on our blog and link to that in our newsletter. We hope that you will also send it as a fax, e-mail, or snail mail to your Congresspersons and other elected officials.


Each week, the fax will focus on one major news story about an education issue of concern to PAA, and will conclude with PAA's position on the subject.

This week the focus was on charter schools, and the news story we highlighted was Stephanie Simon's story for Reuters about ways that charter schools select their students. 

Read the full legislative fax here. Then please send it on to your own legislators!

PAA News

PAA co-founder Karran Harper Royal back in New Zealand

Karran, who founded PAA-New Orleans, was invited back to New Zealand to share her experiences with charter schools in New Orleans with the education and
science committee of the New Zealand Parliament. She then headed to Australia for more speaking engagements,
According to this news report in the New Zealand Herald, Karran told the committee, "I am a proud American, but not all that comes out of America is good.
Charter schools have been a failed experiment in New Orleans."

We told you about Karran 's first trip to New Zealand here. Many New Zealanders were concerned that the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake would play out like Hurricane Katrina in terms of charter school expansion. 

Karran Harper Royal speaks to a committee of the New Zealand Parliament

PAA-Seattle greets Michelle Rhee

PAA co-founder Dora Taylor was interviewed by local Seattle public radio station KUOW about Michelle Rhee, who came to town to promote her book and was met by a group of PAA-Seattle members and other protesters.

Dora reports, "We gave Rhee a warm Northwest welcome with signs and literature for those waiting in line" for the book signing.

Dora will be a panelist at a February 28th "Scrap the Map" forum co-sponsored by PAA-Seattle, which will also feature Diane Ravitch,  education professor Wayne Au, and Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian, a leader of the Scrap the Map movement.

Jesse will also be the special guest speaker at a testing forum in Chicago on March 19, along with Chicago Teachers' Union president Karen Lewis. The forum is co-sponsored by More than a Score, a new coalition convened by PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff and PAA affiliate Parents United for Responsible Education. Details here

PAA's 4-State Regional Action Planning Meeting 

Diane Ravitch mentioned PAA's upcoming 4-state regional action planning meeting in her blog, and our press release was published in the Fort Wayne, IN, Journal Gazette.

We'll report back next week on the meeting.      
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PAA Chapter and Affiliate News
Welcome new Pittsburgh affiliate Yinzercation  

We're excited to welcome our new affiliate in Pittsburgh, Yinzercation, which is giving PAA-Roaring Forks CO a run for its money in the great PAA group names race!

Yinzer is a southwestern Pennsylvania term that roughly means the same as y'all. Yinzer + Education = Yinzercation.

And they have been busy! 320 people came out to their recent Rally for Education.
They report "here's what we heard over and over again from the performers and speakers:
  • This fight for public education is about equity.
  • It's the civil rights issue of our time.
  • We must include the fight against poverty.
  • Every child must have access to a great public education.
  • Public education is a public good.
  • No more high-stakes-testing.
  • Give us back art, music, languages, tutoring, history - and our teachers.
  • We demand adequate, equitable, and sustainable public funding for public education.
  • Everything we did last year worked, now we have to keep working together.
Diane Ravitch posted a story about the rally here.

There are more great posts on the Yinzercation web site. The leader of the group is Jesse Ramey and her contact information is

PAA Blog Highlights

Keep up with our blog for more news and commentary on public education from the parents' point of view.