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Shop for a school? Really??

Gosh, is it School Choice week again already?

While privatizers "celebrate" with another expensive media campaign, parents around the US continue to stand up against charter school expansion, vouchers, "scholarship" funds, and other efforts to undermine democratic public education.

What can you do? We have a few ideas....

It's CHOICE week! Choose to speak out  
against charter school expansion

For School Choice Week, PAA's Action of the Week is to look up your state on the SCW web site and see if your governor or other elected officials endorsed the event. If he/she did, then send him/her a letter or email expressing your disappointment and sharing PAA's position on the false choices of charter and voucher programs.

PAA opposes these programs because:
  • overall, students in charter schools and voucher programs have not shown better academic progress than students in traditional schools,
  • charter school and voucher "choice" too often lies with the charter or private school and not the families, according to growing reports of their selective enrollment, skimming and push-out practices,
  • some franchises like Kipp and Chicago's Noble Network use degrading discipline measures and expel students at many times the district rat, and
  • charter schools historically enroll fewer students with disabilities or English language learners.
...among other reasons.

Now, just for fun, go to the SCW "Partners" page. Here's where they list various types of "partners" or endorsers/sponsors state by state. It's interesting to see how few states have produced any business or philanthropic partners, but take a look at your state to see whether or not there are potential boycott targets....

These people claim to be about all public schools, not just charter schools, and to have a lot of support, but when you see that their list of endorsers consists mostly of charter schools, charter school operators, charter school organizations, charter school insurers, etc., it's very clear how limited public support for privatization really is. 

Media coverage of PAA position paper
on test-based teacher evaluation

...and a suggestion...

North Carolina's online NC Policy Watch picked up the press release on our position paper with a good, in-depth article and a promise to "continue to follow this important debate."

You might consider sharing the position paper (online here and in pdf form here) with your local media if your state is one that's still pushing for a form of teacher evaluation that is no longer required by federal law, has not worked, and has significant negative effects.

Welcome new Chicago affiliate!

We are happy to welcome Chicago's More Than a Score as a new PAA affiliate. The group has done a great job in Chicago organizing parents to opt out, helping push inBloom out of the state, and keeping a close watch on city testing policies. 


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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