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Were the PARCC and SBAC tests designed to make our children and our schools look like failures? Inquiring minds want to know, but this week, PARCC/Pearson went after a teacher and several social media users just for talking about a few very difficult 4th grade questions on the recent PARCC test. Read on to find out more about PARCC/Pearson's attack on the truth and what you can do to help.
Oppose censorship - share the truth about PARCC difficulty!

This week the Outrage on the Page blog posted an anonymous teacher's detailed and critical analysis of three specific questions on the recent PARCC 4th grade language arts test. The analysis showed convincingly that the reading passages were at least two grade levels too high and that the questions required academic skills several grade levels above those listed for fourth grade in the Common Core.

Several advocates, including Diane Ravitch and PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson, linked to this post on social media. Diane's post was hacked and removed; Leonie's tweets were removed by Twitter after pressure from test publisher Pearson.

Due to legal threats from PARCC/Pearson, the reading prompts were removed from the original blog post but dozens of public education advocates have reposted the original with the prompts included so that people can see for themselves what 4th graders were faced with on their test. 

Most experts who have weighed in on the legal issue suggest that this does not rise to the level of copyright infringement, and that "fair use" laws actually allow limited used of copyrighted materials for, among other things, criticism and research.

PAA posted the full article on our web site, and we urge you to share it with your networks as well.

There should be no secrecy about any tests our children take, especially when the results are given such heavy weight and when there are ongoing legitimate questions about the quality and appropriateness of the tests.


PAA's annual leadership conference registration is now open

Join us July 18-20 in Philadelphia 

We're very excited about our upcoming leadership conference in Philadelphia. Registration is now open!

We'll be meeting at the charming Penn's View Hotel, which is steps away from many of the city's best-known historic attractions.

We will also join in honoring PAA founding member, Helen Gym, a recently-elected member of the Philadelphia City Council. 
PAA's leadership conferences are designed for leaders of our chapters and affiliates and people interested in starting or joining a chapter or affiliate.

Travel scholarships are available. You can apply for a scholarship when you register.  
Goals for this year's conference include:
  • Celebrating PAA's progress.
  • Getting to know each other better, learning from each other.
  • Making plans to improve PAA's support for local chapter and affiliate work.
  • Talking about life under ESSA!
  • Evaluating candidates (presidential on down) and considering ways to influence law and policy.
  • Moving forward with our Poverty, Race and Educational Opportunity and our test stress/digital learning work. 
  • Opening up discussion of other issues identified by membership.
  • Celebrating Helen!
SOS March

The 2016 SOS Coalition People's March for Public Education & Social Justice is taking place July 8th-10th in Washington DC. The march and rally will be at the Lincoln Memorial. Howard University is sponsoring the SOS Activists Conference.
Join the mass gathering of children and adults who are rallying and marching in support of education and social justice this summer!  Here is event information:

Buy Killing Ed!

The Killing Ed documentary is fantastic. Many of our members have already purchased and viewed this chilling film which exposes the murky Turkish Gulen movement's huge network of charter schools, and stars PAA founding member Sharon Higgins. The film is now available on DVD for purchase on amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. for under $20.

Buy a copy and share it with your friends and allies. Movie night!


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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