PAA Action News
Mar. 5, 2015

Welcome to PAA Action News, the information and action newsletter of Parents Across America.
Connect With Us
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

PAA Action Alert

ACTION 1: Keep up the pressure

on Congress and ESEA!

Well, most folks thought the revisions to ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly No Child Left Behind, would move quickly though the House and Senate and it would all be over by now.

Didn't happen.

Apparently some House Republicans wanted stronger language favoring vouchers, getting rid of Common Core -- and, if they really had their way, closing the Dept of Education itself.

At the end of the debate, one of our favorites, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, who is the ranking Democrat on the House education committee, made a motion to throw out the whole Republican bill and accept a substitute amendment in its place.

Here's an interesting summary of the floor debate on HR 5, the House version of ESEA. 

We like Rep. Scott's ideas about assessment flexibility to allow for project-based and other types of assessment, and a focus on reducing unnecessary testing. Scott's bill also requires accountability for resource allocation, prohibits fund portability, and requires maintenance of effort in funding. However, there's still too much emphasis on testing and charter schools. 

Clearly the House is wide open for our ideas, though whether or not those or anyone else's ideas will actually go anywhere is a major question. So, keep pressing our points as outlined in our 1-page chart  with your Congressional representatives.

Senate proposal still not out of committee 

There's still time to weigh in on ESEA on the Senate side. PAA has prepared another 1-page chart with our positions on various items in Senate education committee chair Lamar Alexander's ESEA proposal. Please share it with your Senators today!

FairTest is asking for a special push on testing on the Senate side, since there is still a chance that a Senate bill could reduce annual assessment requirements to grade-span testing.

You can use their handy form to weigh in today. 

ACTION 2:  Listen to and share
our great webinar!

If you weren't able to listen in on our webinar last Monday, you can catch up here, and share the link with your networks.

If you were there, you might want to get a second look at the data and other resources we provided.

We want to thank Dr. P.L. Thomas, who has become something of a mentor to PAA, for his significant role in the webinar. Also contributing were PAA leaders Nate Harris, who moderated the webinar, and Lourdes Perez, Dora Taylor and Julie Woestehoff, who added their thoughts and information to the discussion - thank you!

Our web site blog post about the webinar includes a list of further reading mentioned during the session.

Next up, we'll be expanding on the same topic of the Impact of Poverty, Race, and Cultural Bias on Educational Opportunity, at a workshop at the NPE conference in Chicago April 24-26. Details soon!

PAA and PAAers in the News

PAA's Pam Grundy op ed on grade-span testing

Check out and share this excellent editorial published in the Charlotte Observer and written by Pamela Grundy, PAA Board member and leader of PAA affiliate Mecklenburg-ACTS in North Carolina.

Pam says her piece is an effort to explain to those folks not deeply invested in the testing debate why grade-span testing matters.

Why not share it with your Senator, as well?

Mark your calendars!

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! 

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

Save Texas Schools Rally

Saturday, March 28, will be a rally day for concerned parents, teachers, and supporters of public schools. Rallies will be held throughout the state.

Our affiliate PAA-Northeast Texas,will participate in the Ft. Worth rally from 11 am to 1 pm at the Tarrant County Courthouse. PAA member Jennifer Collins has been invited to speak.

A screening of The Texas Promise education documentary will follow the rally at 2 pm in the Central Library downtown.

Here's a link to the event's Facebook page.

PAA blog highlights

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

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

Looking for regular updates on key education stories? Join the PAA News List by e-mailing