PAA Action News
Feb.12, 2015

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PAA Action Alert

ESEA on a fast track
From Schoolhouse Rock "How a Bill becomes a Law"

Reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA- formerly No Child Left Behind) is on a very fast track after languishing for at least 7 years after its official expiration date.

The House education committee voted its version out of committee yesterday. They plan to bring the bill, HR5, to the full House by the last week in February.

The Senate education committee plans to vote a bill out of committee and onto the full Senate floor by March 1.

So, it's TIME! Time to contact your Senators and Representatives and make your voice heard.

Here are a few options:

1) You can focus on the annual testing issue and use this form  from FairTest to push for grade-span testing and measurement flexibility.    
2) You can email your House reps and include the chart PAA prepared last year comparing HR 5 with PAA's positions. 

3) You can share with your House and Senate reps PAA's
comprehensive 1-page position paper detailing we'd like to see in a new ESEA. 

Or, you can do all three or create your own message - the important thing is to do it today! You can find their contact information at and 

Thank you!

Mark your calendars!

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

Listen to EdWeek webinar on local school councils

If you missed last week's webinar on LSCs featuring PAA interim executive director Julie Woestehoff, you can listen in on-demand here and look at the power point presentation here.

More on Helen's campaign photo

Coverage was deep on PAA founding member Helen Gym's campaign for an at-large seat on the Philadelphia City Council.

From the  Philadelphia Weekly Press:

"All that I have done, all that we have done, has been from standing together and demanding change," Gym emphasized. "It is from the power of our communities. It comes from something very deep within us that demands a moral agenda to the deep moral crisis plaguing our city and our nation. I cannot do this without you. I ask that you stand with me now, and stand with each other, to make this place a city that are we proud to call home, and proud to hand to our children."


The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote: 


"Gym was named one of the 75 most influential people in the city by  Philadelphia Magazine in 2014. She founded Parents United for Public Education, which seeks more funding and resources for public schools, and is on the board of the advocacy group Asian Americans United.


"Known for her fervid and sometimes combative demeanor, Gym said, "People sometimes ask me if I'm angry," eliciting chuckles from the crowd. She said that when it comes to poverty and the state of public schools, "if you are not angry, if you are not outraged, then, as the saying goes, you're not paying attention."

Diane Ravitch posted Helen's campaign kick-off speech.

PAA's non-profit status prevents us from endorsing candidates, but you can find out  more information on Helen's campaign here:

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

Indiana school supt. Glenda Ritz speaks a 2013
PAA-sponsored conference
PAA-Indiana supporting state school superintendent Glenda Ritz

Indiana PAA leaders Delana Ivey and Nate Harris have been putting out the SOS about legislative efforts to undermine the popularly-elected state schools superintendent, Glenda Ritz. Here's what's happening, from the latest issue of Vic's Statehouse Notes  (Go to for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. )

Can you come to the Statehouse rally on February 16th at 2:00pm?
Any voter who is outraged that the General Assembly is reducing the powers of the State Superintendent during the term that they elected her to hold those powers should come to the Statehouse rally if at all possible.  It will be held on Monday, February 16th for a 2:00pm (EST) in the North Atrium of the Statehouse.  
 The rally themes are to STOP taking powers away from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and to STOP the ongoing assault on public education.
House Bill 1609 removing the State Superintendent as chair of the State Board of Education passed the House yesterday at 5:12pm by a vote of 58-40 after a long floor debate.  The bill now moves to the Senate.  
The leadership of the House and the Senate don't get it.  The turmoil on the State Board is not based on personalities but rather reflects monumental policy battles over the future of public education in Indiana.  This bill takes power away from the elected State Superintendent in those policy battles and gives more power to State Board members.
Any change in powers before the next election can only be interpreted as a power grab to win the policy battles over education policy.
If you think the State Superintendent should not lose the power to chair the State Board that Dr. Bennett and every other State Superintendent have had since 1913, please come to the rally.
Bring friends!  

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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If you have questions, comments, suggestions or stories to share, please e-mail us at or

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