PAA Action News
June 27, 2013

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PAA Action Alert

House education committee passes rewrite of ESEA  
In our last issue, we wrote about the latest Senate version of NCLB, which is once more being called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The "Strengthening America's Schools Act" passed out of the Senate education committee, but is not expected to get to the Senate floor any time soon, if at all.

Then last week, the House education committee passed their version, which they call "The Student Success Act."

PAA will be working on our response to both of these bills as we prepare for our July 17th visit to D.C.

In general, the Senate bill changes little in the proposals from 2011, and does little to scale back Ed Secretary Duncan's waiver and Race to the Top efforts that have led states to increase testing requirements, charter schools and ineffective school interventions.

The House bill is focused on taking some of that authority away from Arne Duncan, but still includes support for charter schools and requirements that teachers be evaluated on state test scores.

Take a look at the House bill summary yourself, and start thinking about what to say to your Congressional representatives. The House bill is supposed to move to the floor in July.


PAA and PAAers in the News
PAA Minneapolis chapter leader speaks out on Teach for America 

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton just vetoed new funds to expand Teach for America in that state. Valerie Rittler, leader of PAA-Twin Cities, was quoted in a Minneapolis Star-Tribune article:   


In Minneapolis, the pushback has been led by the left end of the union, often high school teachers who see TFA as part of a corporate agenda to undermine or take over public education. "I want my children taught by inspired career professionals, not a temp," said Southwest High School teacher Valerie Rittler.

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 Bellingham WA! 

We're so happy to welcome April Mahoney, who is starting a PAA chapter in Bellingham, WA.

PAA is getting very strong on the west coast!
Midwest PAA meetings

PAA is heating up in the Midwest, too.

Last January, PAA co-founder and leader of Chicago affiliate PURE, Julie Woestehoff, helped organize a four-state regional meeting for public school activists in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. That meeting was quite successful, and everyone agreed to meet again in July in the same place, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where we were hosted by a very strong group of local advocates, the North East Indiana Friends of Public Education. This meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 20.

One of the big ideas that came out of that meeting is that, since most education law is made at the state level, it's really important to have an organized statewide voice.  To that end, Julie is also starting a PAA group to work across Illinois. The first meeting of that group will take place on July 10 in Chicago. 

If you are interested in more information about either of these meetings, please contact Julie at

PAA annual meeting

PAA will hold its annual meeting in Washington DC on July 17-19. This meeting is open to PAA founders and chapter and affiliate leaders only. We are hoping to be able to share the workshops and resources from this meeting with the broader PAA membership soon after the meeting.

If you are a chapter or affiliate leader and have not received information about this meeting, please contact Julie at    
PAA Blog Highlights

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

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