PAA Action News
Feb.5, 2015

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PAA Action Alert

A new ESEA: What parents value and what Congress should do

PAA finalized a comprehensive 1-page position paper on what we'd like to see in a new ESEA.  

Today we faxed this paper to all members of the House and Senate Education Committees.

ESEA is on a fast track in the Senate. The House has already passed its ESEA bill,  the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), though it will need revision to match whatever the Senate ends up passing.

So, it's time to put everything out there, and that's why we have boiled our positions down to this one-page paper for you to share with your Senators and Representatives.

Please email it to them today. You can find their contact information at and 

You also might want to take a look at the testimony from this week's Senate HELP Committee ESEA hearing on Innovation to Better Meet the Needs of Students. 
The speakers said much that PAA would agree with, including the need for more student and family services. Worth noting was the relatively little talk of charter schools - only one panelist was overtly pro-charter.   


Mark your calendars!

February 9: Ed Week webinar
on Local School Councils

PAA has endorsed the Local School Council (LSC) model of parent empowerment. You can find out a lot more about LSCs by joining a webinar hosted by Education Week and featuring PAA's interim executive director Julie Woestehoff, a veteran Chicago LSC member and long-time LSC trainer and advocate.  

Sign up here for the webinar, which will take place on Monday, February 9, at 2 pm Eastern time. 

Please note that, while the Walton Family Foundation is listed as the underwriter for the webinar's content, we have been assured that they have no editorial control over the content.  

March 2, 8 pm ET: PAA webinar
Nate Harris at PAA conference, July 2014

on Race, Poverty and Education

We are also excited about our upcoming webinar building the great session we had at our July 2014 conference on the topic of Race,Poverty and Education. PAA Board member Nate Harris Skyped in Dr. Paul Thomas of Furman University for this session. Dr. Thomas blogs at "Radical Scholarship" and has published many important  books on the corporate takeover of education, parental choice, teaching and learning, etc.

Register here for this important event. We want to thank the NEA for hosting our webinar.

April 24-26: Network for Public Education Conference

Looking forward to seeing lots of friends at the NPE conference in Chicago. PAA will offer a workshop on the Impact of Race and Poverty on Education. We also hope to have a PAA get-together as the NPE conference gets underway. Register here if you have not already done so. 

Looking way ahead....
PAA annual conference in DC

We have set tentative dates for our annual conference in DC - July 21-24, 2015. Pencil us in! 

PAA and PAAers in the news

Helen takes on Philly

Our wonderful PAA co-founder, Helen Gym, has made it official- she's running for Philadelphia City Council.

According to the Daily Pennsylvanian,


"Public education and Asian-American activist and 1993 College and 1996 GED graduate Helen Gym will run in the Democratic City Council at-large elections that will take place Nov. 3, according to the Philadelphia City Paper.


"Gym's decision to run comes just five days after Councilman Jim Kenney announced his resignation from city council on Jan. 20 in order to run for mayor. With an empty seat, at least one new at-large Council member will have to be elected this year."


While PAA's non-profit status prevents us from endorsing or supporting individual candidates for public office, we can say that we are very proud of all of our members who have stepped up to run for public office, and our amazing co-founders who have won - including Seattle school board member Sue Peters and Durham, NC, school board member Natalie Beyer.

We'll keep you posted on Helen's progress.

PAA board of directors member publishes editorial

Pamela Grundy, PAA's board treasurer, just published an excellent editorial, "Moving beyond test and punish," in the Charlotte (NC) News-Observer.

Written with
Janna Siegel Robertson, the opinion piece states:

The current spate of over-testing is the direct and inevitable result of testing mandates enacted at both federal and state levels. The situation will improve only when those mandates change.

Federal efforts to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind legislation and the opening of the North Carolina legislative session provide an opportunity for positive action.

The editorial points out five key problems with standardized testing and suggests four priorities for addressing those problems.  

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 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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