PAA Action News
May 8, 2014

Welcome to PAA Action News, the information and action newsletter of Parents Across America.
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PAA Action Alert

Time to contact the U. S. Senate about charter schools

This week the U.S. House is likely to pass HR 10, which we're calling the charter school expansion bill. Then we hear that the bill is on track to move on to the Senate and may be considered there soon.  


So, now's the time to contact your Senators and tell them that parents' CHOICE is more resources for local schools, not more money for charter schools. It wouldn't hurt to contact your Congressman today, too - they haven't voted yet!


PAA faxed this letter to every U.S. Senator today (and you can send it to yours  via email, fax or just call).

In the letter we mentioned new information from studies released just this week finding that:
  • Charter schools in 15 states have racked up $100 million in lost, misused, or stolen taxpayer funds (report here), and that
  • The "waiting list" numbers that charter advocates use to justify the urgent need for more charter schools are not accurate (study here).   
What's your charter school story? Add it to your message! But do it today!

PAA and PAAers in the News

From North Carolina

PAA NC affiliate Mecklenburg has started a statewide campaign to convince North Carolina legislators to repeal the damaging third-grade Read to Achieve act.

Here is their MecklenburgACTS press release on the effort. North Carolinians interested in joining the effort, and especially in helping to organizing parents to speak out on Read to Achieve in their own communities, please contact them at

The piece on Read to Achieve originally published in the Raleigh News & Observer by co-chair Pamela Grundy and UNC Wilmington professor Janna Siegel Robertson was reprinted this week in the Winston-Salem Journal and the Wilmington Star-News as well as in Diane Ravitch's blog.

Pamela Grundy will speak on parent advocacy at the Community Rally for Public Education to be held in Charlotte this Saturday from noon-2 p.m. at Marshall Park. More information can be found here.

PURE's Julie Woestehoff to guest on progressive talk radio show

PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff is scheduled to join long-time Chicago political reporter Dick Kay on WCPT AM and FM this Saturday for an hour of progressive talk about education issues. The podcast will be available online after the show.

Mike Klonsky to the rescue

Julie's comment in a Chicago Sun-Times story, that Chicago's selective enrollment high schools are "gated communities for children of privilege," created some controversy. Another Sun-Times reporter characterized the comment as "divisive" in a news story about two Chicago Aldermen calling for an investigation into the declining numbers of African-American students selected for these elite and well-resourced schools. Coming to the rescue was long-time PURE friend Mike Klonsky, who defended Julie on his Small Talk blog:

Julie Woestehoff, executive director of PURE, is a straight shooter.... But the usually reliable and accurate Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman, has no business calling Julie's statement, "divisive" unless she's quoting someone else. It's poor reporting and it's wrong. What's divisive is Rahm using $60 million in TIF money to build another selective enrollment high school (Obama College Prep) in already saturated Lincoln Park. He's using $17 million in TIF funds to expand Payton by 400 seats. This, after closing 50 schools in black and Latino neighborhoods.

Thanks, Mike!

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 Ohio affiliate!

We are so happy to welcome Erin Gross and CURE - Centerville United for Responsible Education. from Ohio. Check out their web site and like them on Facebook!

You can contact Erin at 

Join Dora and PAA-Seattle for the Standardized movie     


Don't forget that PAA President Dora Taylor, founder of PAA-Seattle, invites the community to join PAA-Seattle on May 14th at 6:30 PM to view the film "Standardized" and participate in an informal panel discussion.


This event is free to all. Parents, students, teachers and concerned citizens are invited.  


Location: Northwest Film Forum, at 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, 98122 in the Capitol Hill area.


To RSVP, please send a short message to


This movie is sponsored by Seattle Education and Parents Across America, Seattle.


More action in Charlotte   


PAA Charlotte NC affiliate is helping organize a Community Rally for Public Education to be held in Charlotte on May 10.


This event will be at the first Moral Monday of the legislative season in Raleigh that begins on May 19.


Details are on the flyer to your left and on the web site. is a supporting sponsor, and they hope to get a big turnout in order to let state legislators know how serious their voters are about improving the conditions in which our state's teachers work, and our state's children learn. 

A Big Idea  


Don't miss this great article by Danielle Arnold-Schwartz, leader of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia, which we have re-posted on the PAA blog. It is about how many teachers feel they cannot speak up about testing and its related issues, and how it is the parents who have the power of our voices.   


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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