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We have some exciting plans for PAA's 2016 Leadership Conference in Philadelphia! You can hang out with our founding members Helen Gym (new Philly City Councilwoman) and Sharon Higgins (star of the "Killing Ed" movie) and hear online from Leonie Haimson about the latest in student data privacy issues. Read more below.  Register today!

Time to get serious about PAA's annual meeting and Parent Voice Award Dinner honoring Helen Gym 
Registration is open for PAA's annual meeting in Philadelphia July 18-20. The conference is designed for leaders of PAA chapters and affiliates, or people interested in learning more about joining or forming one.

Here's some of what we have planned:
  • Spending some time with Philly City Councilwoman Helen Gym, this year's Parent Voice Award honoree.
  • A rooftop dinner in Philly's Old City to celebrate Helen (tickets here).
  • Lots of good information about PAA and ways we can support your work.
  • Review of proposed ESSA (the new ESEA) regulations.
  • An introduction to our cutting-edge work on digital learning.
  • An update from Leonie Haimson on student data privacy.
  • Next steps in our work on the Impact of Race and Poverty on Educational Opportunity, including a quick book club session.
  • Movie night! We'll watch "Killing Ed" together and talk about it with the star, our founding member Sharon Higgins. 
  • Meals together and plenty of opportunity to get to know each other better and share our local issues and strategies.
  • All of this and more in a charming boutique hotel near lots of great Philadelphia landmarks.
Register today! We have some funds for travel scholarships - you can apply when you register.

NPE is looking for endorsements
of its platform recommendations

Our friends at Network for Public Education have asked us to ask our readers who belong to groups to endorse NPE's letter to the Democratic Party regarding platform planks on education.

The PAA Board agreed to endorse this document, with the understanding that it would also be sent to the Republicans, the Greens and the Libertarians (we are non-partisan!). We understand how difficult it is to create a document that satisfies a range of groups --  for example, we would like to have seen some mention of the onslaught of digital learning, the replacing of play with academics in early childhood education, and Common Core's overall developmental inappropriateness.

Please send endorsements to NPE's Carol Burris,


Speaking of Helen....

She's not just talk! In the first few months of her city council work, Helen has helped put together a school district budget that:
  • Ensures universal water access by investing in 3 hydration stations in each school;
  • Restores a certified school nurse and counselor in each school;
  • Ends split-grade classrooms; and
  • Rejects a short-sighted turnaround plan that would have given away a District school to an unqualified out-of-state charter company.
Helen has also stood up against bigotry and greed, more reason to honor her with the 2016 Parent Voice Award on July 18 in Philadelphia.

Please join us in thanking this wonderful public servant and PAA founding member! We'll present the award at a dinner on the rooftop patio of Revolution House (appropriate!), 200 Market Street, Philadelphia, at 6 pm on Monday July 18. Tickets are available

A great view of the old city, great company, and a very special honoree is sure to make this a memorable evening.   

If you can't attend, please consider making a donation of any size in Helen' honor. Thank you!
More good news from our elected members

Sue Peters, PAA founding member and Vice-President of the Seattle School Board, tells us that the Seattle School Board passed a resolution  which she co-sponsored, requesting the state to provide an alternative summative test to the SBAC based on the newly authorized ESSA. The request is to use a locally selected alternative summative assessment framework to measure achievement and student growth.

This is the wording of the request:
School Board Resolution

Why not share this idea with your school district?


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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