PAA Action News
May 16, 2013

Welcome to PAA Action News, the information and action newsletter of Parents Across America.
Connect With Us
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

PAA Action Alert

Register for our Parent Trigger webinar!

It's sold as "parent empowerment" but it's really about privatization - and it may be coming to your state soon -- if it hasn't already arrived!

It's called the parent trigger and it's the topic of PAA's next webinar on Sunday, May 26th, at 12:30 PM Pacific time, 3:30 PM Eastern time.

Our guests will be Lori Yuan, a parent from Adelanto, CA, who was active in the resistance to the Parent Revolution-driven parent trigger campaign there, and PAA founding member Rita Solnet, who just spearheaded the successful opposition to a trigger bill in Florida.

Parent Trigger - False Promises, Divided Communities and Disrupted Young Lives 
Parent Trigger - False Promises, Divided Communities and Disrupted Young Lives
Learn from two activist parents what to look our for and what works in dealing with this growing attack on public education. It should be a great discussion!

Register here.

You can prepare by watching this 4-minute video, "False Promises, Divided Communities, and Disrupted Young Lives," featuring Lori Yuan. Then share it with your networks and your legislators!

If you can't participate, we will offer a recording of the webinar online afterwards. Watch here for the url. 


PAA and PAAers in the News
PAA in Ed Week on the Common Core

PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff was quoted in Education Week raising concerns about the connection between corporate reform and the Common Core as more money is being spent on pro-Common Core rhetoric:

Parents, in particular, are also catching on to the "propaganda" coming from corporate and foundation-based common-core supporters, said Julie Woestehoff, a co-founder of the Chicago-based Parents Across America, a progressive-oriented group that is concerned about the common core's standardized-testing requirements. (She is also executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, located in Chicago.) "What we're seeing is people with a lot of money throwing money at a PR problem that they see happening," she said. 
AlterNet cites PAA leaders on charter schools

AlterNet's Kristin Rawls wrote an excellent, detailed two-part series on charter schools that included references to several PAA leaders' work.

Part 1, "Punishing Students for not Making Eye Contact? How Charter Schools' Prejudiced Policies Undermine Equality," discussed the work done by PAA affiliate Parents United for Responsible Education in exposing the intrusive and inappropriate discipline policies of Chicago's much-hyped Noble Network of charter schools, and offered this quote from PAA founding member Helen Gym, of our Philadelphia affiliate Parents United for Public Education:  

I see schools as an intrinsic part of communities, particularly marginalized communities, where people are fighting to make voices heard. We have to realize this is not about education. It's about recognizing that our public schools are the largest, most stable, and most passionate defenders of equity, access, and aspirational hope in this country. In every other sector of this nation, those things are under attack. This is about the evolution of our country, and it is inextricably linked to issues of race, class politics, equity and justice-all longtime, core struggles for people. If we understand that, it makes the path forward a little clearer...There has been incredible pushback in Philadelphia. No matter what happens, the record will show that there were many people who united and stood against the closings. It's not just about how politicians vote - it's about who we are as communities and a society, and who showed up when we needed to fight.


Part 2, "Who Is Profiting From Charters? The Big Bucks Behind Charter School Secrecy, Financial Scandal and Corruption" took a close look at the profit motive for charter operators, and mentioned PAA founding member Sharon Higgins' work:      

A frequently updated blog called by California-based researcher Sharron Higgins, called Charter School Scandals, provides a running tally of these scandals throughout the country, and they are vast. A quick perusal of the blog suggests that these scandals are happening over and over again, even if few mainstream media outlets are willing to connect the dots about what is going on.
Join us!

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 new chapter in Louisiana!

We're so happy to welcome PAA-Lafayette, LA and chapter leader Debbie Dugas.

Debbie says, "I started researching and learned about the Core Curriculum which led me to other things such as the money trail involved in charter schools and testing.... I believe our children are watching us to see if we will rescue them. I also believe they are waiting for us, their parents, to become their heroes. I am hoping this chapter will assist me in recruiting parents so they will not feel alone and intimidated."

We agree!!

You can contact Deb at <>.
Also, welcome to new chapter PAA-Charlottesville VA co-leader Kyung Lee, who joined our leaders' group last week.

First meeting for Parents Across America-Roanoke Valley

The first meeting of Parents Across America-Roanoke Valley will take
place on Monday, May 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm at the South County Library
in Meeting Room 1. Please invite others! Hope to see many concerned
parents there!

PAA Blog Highlights

Keep up with our blog for more news and commentary on public education from the parents' point of view.
  • We recently posted this excellent open letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan by Steven Norton, executive director of PAA affiliate Michigan Parents for Schools.
For more....
If you have questions, comments, suggestions or stories to share, please e-mail us at or

Looking for regular updates on key education stories? Join the PAA News List by e-mailing