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The House has already passed their version of a new federal education law, and the Senate is debating theirs now. They don't agree - and that gives us a last chance to make our views known.

Contact your Senator today and share PAA's priority positions for ESEA.

Last chance for input into new ESEA?

Last night, the House passed HR 5, their version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

HR 5 now includes a parents' right to opt their children out of testing without consequences (YAY!) and a provision for Title 1 funds to follow the student from one public school to another, even if the new school is in a wealthier community (BOO! a step on the road to vouchers...).

The Senate is debating their bill this week, and it is significantly different from the House bill. Those differences will have to be worked out in a conference committee, assuming a bill passes the Senate.

So, the discussion is not over yet, and we still have a few short days to speak up and speak out.

Key points for PAA include:
1) reduced mandated testing from annual to grade-span,
2) reduced funding for charter school expansion,
3) stronger student data privacy provisions,
4) increased funds to lower class size, and
5) increased funds for wrap-around services.. 

Reach out to your Senators today - make sure your voice is heard! You can send them PAA's one-page priority position paper, use this handy letter on grade-span testing from FairTest, or just call and tell them how ESEA has affected your child and your school. 

Here's how to get ready for PAA Week!

We're still figuring out the technology for PAA Week, July 19-25, but you can start getting ready now to join our week of exciting webinars and discussions.

1) Open a gmail account
if you don't already have one. It's free.
2) Find the Google Hangout feature and try it out with a friend.

Next week, we will send out notices of each session. People wishing to join any session will need to send us their gmail addresses and specify which session/s they wish to join. At the scheduled time, we'll invite you to join the session/s of your choice.

Here's the tentative schedule for PAA Week. Please note that times are tentative and the schedule is subject to change.

62,000 opt out in Washington State

David Spring from our chapter PAA-Seattle reports that

Washington State just released the total for the number of students who opted out of the unfair SBAC test this spring. The number is shocking. 62,898 students opted out of the SBAC test here in Washington State! In the 11th Grade, more than half of the students refused to take the SBAC test. The parents and students of Washington state have sent a clear message to legislators in Olympia: It is time to end the unfair, invalid and unreliable SBAC test! Please share this article with your friends and neighbors, then call or email your legislators and ask them to support Senate bills 6030 and 6122.
Test result spin doctors?

PAA Board member Deb Mayer, leader of PAA's affiliate Oregon-Save Our Schools, tells us that
both Oregon and Washington are reporting higher SBAC scores than the projected results that other states have had in previous years. (The scores are still abysmal.) Here in Oregon, Stand for Children is gushing all over this, saying how teachers have worked hard to do a better job, and students have risen to the challenge of tougher standards, blah, blah, blah. 

I'm wondering if we can poll our members and find out if other states are seeing this "success" as well. (For PARCC, too.)  It may be a bit early. Washington only published preliminary results last week. Can everyone be on the lookout for results in your state and share with us as soon as you find out?

I have so many questions. About cut scores. About the field test. About the legitimacy of this entire process.

Here is a link to how the assessment process works. Watch the video. Unbelievable!

Prediction and scores for Oregon and Washington are at the links below. The prediction score is the same for all states apparently, even though each state did separate field tests. What's up with that?


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

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