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The Network for Public Education in Raleigh is shaping up to be a must-attend event, and PAA members are playing a major role. Check out the list of workshops with PAA presenters below, and find out how to meet up!


Let's plan to meet up in Raleigh

The Network for Public Education conference set for April 16 and 17th in Raleigh, NC, is looking great. The wonderful speaker line up includes Diane Ravitch, Chicago Teachers' Union president Karen Lewis, Moral Monday founder the Rev. William Barber, Jesse Hagopian, Karran Harper-Royal and others. You can still register here.

And, several PAAers will be speaking on panels throughout the event.

On Saturday, April 16:
Then on Sunday, April 17 Pam Grundy will join a panel at 9:25 am on Testing Resistance and Reform: Building a National Movement of State and Local Struggles.  

PAA Meet Up in Raleigh

PAAers are planning to meet up for dinner on Friday, April 15. If you want to join us, please  email us at for time and location.  
NPE webinar March 24
: Uncovering the Truth!  

Dora is also featured in an NPE workshop next Thursday:

Uncovering the Truth using Freedom of Information Requests and other tools
NPE Action Webinar featuring the experiences of Leonie Haimson and Dora Taylor, with Anthony Cody and Jonathan Pelto.
Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Join Dora, Leonie and fellow education bloggers and public education advocates for a hands on-discussion and training session on how to use Freedom of Information requests and other investigative tools to dig deep into the corporate education reform industry and their on-going attempts to undermine and privatize public education.

Join the PAA Book Club
PAA Book club filling up!

Don't forget to register for the PAA book club. You'll want time to read the excellent book, "Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance," by P. L. Thomas, who will be joining us for the discussion.

Excellent article on California system "rigged" in favor of charters

One of our California leaders alerted us to this excellent Alter Net article, which exactly tracks what has happened in other communities in the state:

Reporter Steven Rosenfeld details how protests of parents and teachers in Mt. Diablo, a low-income community near San Francisco, against the opening of a Rocketship Charter school fell on deaf school board ears.

Unusual in its length, the story's details will be familiar to parents in many states across the U.S. where charter promoters have been able to do an end run around locally elected school boards. ALEC-inspired legislation gives appointed boards made up of paid charter organization staffers and other charter advocates the power to approve charters that local boards have denied, just so these mega-charter chains can meet their generously-funded expansion quotas.

Illinois state board conducting opt-out "inquisition"

Cassie Creswell, leader of PAA Chicago affiliate More Than a Score, was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article about a new threat by the Illinois State Board of Education to investigate parents and students of the 44,000 who opted out of last year's PARCC exam, a move that one district superintendent likened to an "inquisition."

"It is shocking," said Cassie Creswell, a former CPS parent and activist in organizations that support the opt-out movement. "They are doing this to intimidate people as the new testing season starts."

The state claims it has a "legal obligation" to investigate the large numbers of opt outs; similar threats that schools with high opt-out numbers would lose federal funding have been unfounded.  

Lessons from Michigan

PAA Board member Steven Norton, head of PAA affiliate Michigan Parents for Schools, has written an excellent article reflecting on the Flint water crisis:

"How many times do high-handed technocratic systems that usurp elected control have to fail before we demand a government "of, by, and for the people"? These are the questions that come front and center to anyone who has read the latest revelations about the Flint water disaster and has even a passing familiarity with our state's other experiments with technocratic central control. While we at MIPFS focus on education, the implications are much wider: how do we ensure that our policymakers serve and protect the people of our state? This is a crucial question to keep in mind as we go into an election year.

"The disaster in Flint, in which (among other things) thousands of children were exposed to lead in their drinking water - which will have untold consequences for their intellectual development in future years - was the direct result of state management which focused solely on the bottom line and showed great contempt for the concerns and frustrations of local citizens. It will be years before the full costs are known."

Read more here.

Steve also wrote a great end-of-year history of the last 10 years of "reform" called "Scrooged: A Lansing Tale," which also commemorates the organization's 10 year milestone, which will probably seem familiar to many of us... 


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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