PAA Action News
April 10, 2014

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PAA Action Alert

Tell your Congressmen
 and Senators to oppose HR10
(The More Money for Charter Schools Bill)

Congress has not been able to agree on how to revise the No Child Left Behind Act, which expired in 2007.  


PAA has shared our proposals for an improved ESEA. The Republican-led House and the Democratic-led Senate have each passed their own versions of ESEA, with so many differences that there has been little hope for compromise.


But Congress may soon agree on one "bipartisan" piece of ESEA. Can you guess what it is?  


Getting more money to charter schools.


Last week, the House Education Committee passed Republican committee chair John Kline's HR10 proposal called "The Success and Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act."


Did they decide to move quickly now because people are catching on more and more every day that charter schools are mostly boondoggles that direct scarce public education dollars away from the neediest children (the ones that ESEA is supposed to focus on) and into the pockets of hedge funders and edupreneurs?


Is it a going-away present for retiring House Education Democratic minority leader George Miller, an original architect of NCLB and a charter cheerleader?


Or, most likely, just more kow-towing to the ongoing demands of well-funded charter school promoters?


In any case, parents are not buying it.


Here's the ""Parent Voices Education Fax" that PAA sent to the U.S. Senate and House Education Committee members. Please copy and send it to your Senators and Congressmen, or email them this link to the document.


PAA and PAAers in the News
White House posts Helen Gym essay

Last week we announced that PAA founding member Helen Gym was recently honored by the White House this week as a Cesar Chavez Champion of Change.

In connection with the award, Helen's essay, "The 'Public Good' Is Not a Dirty Word: Rebuilding Our Collective Responsibility," was posted on the White House blog. 

Helen wrote:

We need strong parent voices to challenge perceptions of disengaged parents or "broken" families and school communities. Our parents have testified on budgets and tax policy, we've challenged abusive disciplinary practices, and called for collaborative partnerships with teachers and parents. In a city segregated by class and race, we're working to build multiracial coalitions of parents to improve school practices, fight for new funding, and build public support for nurturing, stable rich learning environments for our children.I've learned that our public spaces, our communities and our schools are not just places that exist in stasis. We have to learn to fight to preserve these spaces, to uplift them and to pass down the lessons of preservation and community to our children and our fellow neighbors. 

Watch Sharon Higgin's Gulen charter schools webinar

Here's the report from the Rogers Park (Chicago) Neighbors for Public Schools which sponsored Sharon's webinar on Gulen charters:

Here's the video from Monday night's webinar: Gulen 101, Session Two, With Sharon Higgins. It was a comprehensive look at the local interconnectivity between the various nodes of the Gulen Movement and Concept Schools, the group that runs three publicly funded charter schools in Chicago and many more across the region....

The theme of the webinar is that there is an undeniable relationship and interconnectivity between the Gulen Movement and the largest charter school network in the United States, which includes the Concept schools in the midwest; that the Movement is an active political partisan in an unfolding foreign drama, that it is secretive by nature and clearly religious, and connected to a specific theology. The reports in the world press of the complex nature of the Gulen Movement in Turkey and around the globe are various and in a multitude of credible cases, disturbing. What needs to be hashed out in the United States is whether all of these things are okay with us. They certainly are unprecedented in the arena of American public education. Are our schools now supposed to be a funding/outreach arm for every foreign organization? Or just this one.

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

Why have national Hispanic organizations been silent on the common core testing's negative effects on ELLs & Hispanic students?

Read this thought-provoking essay on the PAA web site written by PAA Board of Directors member and founder of HispanEduca, Lourdes Perez de Ramirez.

She begins:

After a follower asked me if I knew of any legal action submitted or was pending against the Common Core standards' testing to ELLs, I embarked on a search. 

I asked, emailed and called Hispanic national organizations.
Unfortunately, not even national Latino/Hispanic advocacy organizations such as LULAC, NALEO, MALDEF, and others have undertaken a legal action against Common Core testing for ELLs.

Read more about Lourdes' concerns on this issue.

PAA Blog Highlights

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

For more....
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