Website     About PAA     What We Believe     News Room      Gift Store

Last weekend, President Obama wrote an open letter to parents and teachers about testing. He said he has a plan to fix the misuse and overuse of tests in our schools and he wants to know what we think about his plan. PAA is working on our response, but you can answer the President yourself, too. Details below.


Tell the President his testing fix
is too little, too late 

On Monday, Oct. 26, President Obama published an open letter to parents and teachers about testing.

The letter introduced his administration's new Testing Action Plan which is supposed to fix the problems of excessive testing. The plan defines a set of testing principles for states and school districts to follow to make for "fewer and smarter" tests.

The President invites us to respond to this plan.

We agree with Diane Ravitch and the Network for Public Education that the plan is too little, too late.

The principles outlined in the plan leave out too many issues that parents care about including test bias, lack of transparency in the actual test questions, student data privacy, growing student test anxiety, etc.

We suspect that this letter is less an expression of shared parental concern and more a last-ditch effort to make sure that any revision of ESEA maintains an annual testing requirement.

PAA is working on our official response, but you don't have to wait for that. Go ahead and share your thoughts with the President today!
Did you miss our charter school ruling webinar?
If you missed our Oct. 25 webinar on the Washington State Supreme Court ruling that charter school funding in the state is unconstitutional, you can watch the 45-minute video here and review the full slide show presentation here.

Many thanks to panelists Dr. Wayne Au and the League of Women Voters - WA State's Catherine Ahl for sharing their expertise with our audience. PAA President Dora Taylor moderated the meeting and shared lots of good information as well.

More about the webinar on our blog

PAA-Roanoke Valley (VA) helps organize pro-teacher rally

In response to negative comments about teachers made by Al Bedrosian, a Board of Supervisor in Roanoke County, VA, members of Parents Across America-Roanoke Valley helped the Roanoke County Education Association organize a Rally in Support of Teachers.  

About 125 educators, parents, and students came out for the Rally and PAA-Roanoke Valley leader, Laura Bowman, spoke to the crowd and championed the students and teachers in Roanoke County. 

Laura Bowman 
Photo Roanoke Free Press 
Rally crowd 
Photo Roanoke Free Press 


The Roanoke Times mentioned Parents Across America in its story about the rally, which was also covered by the local NBC television station.  

 Breaking News: Philadelphia Inquirer endorses PAA founding member Helen Gym for City Council  
While PAA cannot and does not endorse candidates for elected office, we can still express our pride in today's endorsement of one of our own, Helen Gym, for City Council, by Philadelphia's major daily newspaper.

Helen is the leader of our Philadelphia affiliate, Parents United for Public Education.

Here's what the Inquirer had to say about Helen:

HELEN GYM has long been a strong voice for education reform in the city. The Democrat would like to take several steps to increase school funding, including raising the city's use and occupancy tax to recover some of the $72 million in tax breaks that commercial property owners received when the city changed how it determines property values. "This investment cannot be a blank check," she said. "Every line of the School District budget must be scrutinized."
It was awesome

That's how PAA President Dora Taylor described the keynote speech by University of Illinois-Chicago professor David Stovall at the recent Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice in Seattle.

Dora, Wayne Au, and Jesse Hagopian hosted a workshop at the conference titled: Testing, Charters, and Strikes, Oh My! : Resisting Corporate Education Reform in Seattle and Beyond.

David Stivall at Seattle conference 
David Stovall at Seattle conference

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

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


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube