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Dear (Contact First Name),

Q: What do zombies, James Baldwin, Spiderman, and Isaac Asimov have in common?
A: You can read about all of them -- and how they relate to racism, poverty and school reform, in the PAA book club selection, "Beware the Roadbuilders." Yes, there's more below, including how to register for PAA's first book club session on March 29!

Register for PAA's first book club session!

Diane Ravitch calls P. L. Thomas "the conscience of American education. He is our North Star."

When PAA decided to start an online book club to talk about issues of poverty, race and public schools, we turned to Dr. Thomas, who has mentored us in our research and discussion on this topic over the past couple of years.

We've selected Dr. Thomas' newest publication, "Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance" as our first reading.

Dr. Thomas will be joining us for this session.

First book club date:
Tuesday, March 29 at 8 pm ET

We're going to use Eventbrite for book club registration and the Zoom meeting program for the book club itself.

Once you register for this session via Eventbrite, we will send you the log-in information for the Zoom meeting.

You will need to download the free Zoom program at

Of course, it will help if you read the book! You can try your local library for a free copy or you can just buy the book. All Garn Press ebooks are 50% off this month, and that includes "Roadbuilders," which is going for $4.95 on Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can get a free app from Amazon to read a Kindle book on your phone or tablet.

About the book

You can read the publisher's description of the book here.

Your newsletter editor just read and loved it. The book looks at a wide variety of literature (that's where the zombies, Spiderman, James Baldwin and sci fi come in) in light of public education reform and the problems of racism and poverty. We are sure you will find a few chapters that speak to you or at least to something you have loved reading. The powerful message connecting the chapters is what we are doing to our children and why we must do everything we can to stop it.

Please join Dr. Thomas and PAA in this important discussion.


PAA ED testifies about successes,
challenges of local school council model

PAA's interim executive director, Julie Woestehoff, testified before a committee of the Nevada legislature last week on the benefits and successes of Chicago's local school councils, which PAA has adopted as a model of parent empowerment.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported:

(Woestehoff) explained the pros and cons of the Chicago approach to a 24-member committee studying how to reorganize Clark County's sprawling school system before the 2018-19 academic year.

"We think that it saved our schools, to a large extent, from a much worst state," Woestehoff said. "When I go around the country to talk to other parents...they get it immediately. Their eyes light up, and they say, 'This is exactly what we need in our district.....'"

"We definitely like the fact that in Chicago parents have a majority (vote) and in particular have an active decision-making responsibility, rather than just an advisory role," said Anna Antolick, director of information for Honoring Our Public Education, or HOPE.....

State Sen. Becky Harris, who chairs the committee that invited Woestehoff's testimony, called her presentation "compelling." Harris, R-Las Vegas, noted the Chicago model stemmed from a groundswell of frustration within the African-American community poor-quality schools. "It started as a grassroots movement that ended in a solution," Harris said. "We've also got parents who are frustrated, and although I have no (idea) what the outcome of this reorganization looks like, it will look different than Chicago."
Her committee, which includes local mayors and chambers of commerce representatives, will canvass the Las Vegas valley to gauge whether residents support any particular model to increase parent and community engagement in schools. They will present their findings at meeting next month."


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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