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It's Teacher Appreciation Week and Screen-Free Week! The two definitely relate, as does our special "tribute" to charter schools (yes, it's Charter School Week, too...).  Find out how it all fits together below!

Let's appreciate teachers by reducing screen time

and keeping the heat on charter schools!

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Parents Across America wants to make it very
clear that we love our children's teachers!


To show your support for teachers, our Action of the Week is to participate to the extent possible in Screen Free Week, an event sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).

How does going screen-free support teachers? Because in going screen-free, we are standing up for real personalized learning - the learning that is done when adult persons interact with student persons. Besides the obvious profit motive, we know that corporate reform is pushing hard for more and more online and digital learning simply to get rid of teachers.

CCFC has some great ideas for ways to enjoy your screen free time. Check them out here.

The charter school angle

Yes, the same president who proclaimed this Teacher Appreciation Week also proclaimed this Charter School Week. And, as we know, one of corporate reform's motives for creating and expanding charter schools is to undermine the teaching profession.

So, we'd like to help shine a spotlight on charter schools by repeating a recent charter school scandal uncovered in March by the Chicago Sun-Times, which simply confirms what most of us knew all along: that many of the rallies and other demonstrations of parental "support" for charter schools are bought and paid for by charter school agencies.

The Sun-Times report found that the corrupt Chicago UNO charter chain used more than $11,600 of taxpayer money to pay for 42 buses that brought parents of UNO students to a September 2011 rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago for increased public funding of charter schools. The group also bused parents to demonstrate at City Hall, the Chicago Board of Education and the (Illinois State) Thompson Center.

Why not share this story with your elected representatives and your school board? And no doubt you have a favorite local story you could share that helps tell the truth about charter schools, so add that to your email.
NPE conference report

We had a wonderful time in Raleigh NC at the Network for Public Education (NPE) conference.  It's always great to see the friends and heroes we work with, and to hear about the many wonderful things people are doing around the US.

You can watch many of the speeches and panels at

We were also really happy with the workshop we presented, which you can view using the livestream video here:

Parent Voices on the Impact of Race, Poverty and Cultural Bias on Educational Opportunity: a Call to Action
Parent Voices on the Impact of Race, Poverty and Cultural Bias on Educational Opportunity: a Call to Action

You can read more about our workshop here.

Many thanks to our presenters, moderator Dora Taylor, Nate Harris, Khem Irby and Deb Mayer.

PAAers in the News

It's been quite a time for the wonderful Danielle Arnold-Schwartz, leader of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia.

Danielle earned much-deserved recognition as
a recipient of the Villanova Department of Education and Counseling's inaugural Teacher of Courage and Conscience Award.

We are so proud of you, Danielle!  

Danielle also received somewhat less welcome recognition from the corporate reform group Education Reform Now, which is using her image and story on their web site as an example of parents "exploiting" the more flexible ESSA testing rules to encourage other parents to opt out.  

You can read the full story on Danielle's blog, but it does seem as though parents have Big Testing on the run.... 


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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