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PAA will be reviewing the draft regulations for the new federal education law,   the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), during our 2016 annual leadership conference in Philadelphia July 18-20. To help get us started, FairTest has reviewed the accountability sections of the guidelines (see below). 
Join us to review ESSA draft regulations

PAA plans to spend some time during our conference reviewing and preparing comments to submit to the US Dept. of Education in response to their draft regulations for implementing the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

From what we hear from FairTest, we will need to scrutinize all aspects of these regulations. In their review of the accountability proposals, FairTest concluded that:  

The DOE proposals would continue test-and-punish practices imposed by the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The draft over-emphasizes standardized exam scores, mandates punitive interventions not required in law, and extends federal micro-management. The draft regulations would also require states to punish schools in which larger numbers of parents refuse to let their children be tested. When DoE makes decisions that should have been set locally in partnership with educators, parents, and students, it takes away local voices that ESSA tried to restore.

FairTest also recommends that we urge Congress to monitor the regulations: "Many Members have expressed concern that DoE is trying to rewrite the new law, not draft appropriate regulations to implement it."

You can read FairTest's full letter here. Submit comments here.

This is the last significant opportunity to have an impact on federal education law for several years to come. The deadline for submitting comments is August 1.

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 boutique Penn's View Hotel, which is steps away from many of the city's best-known historic attractions.  
Highlights of the conference will include: 
  • Fundraising tips for your local group
  • A preview of our cutting-edge work on digital learning
  • Movie night! Watch "Killing Ed" with us and star Sharon Higgins
  • Mini book club session related to our race, poverty and education project
  • Review of ESSA draft regulations (oh, come on - it'll be fun!)
  • Rooftop dinner honoring Helen Gym (details below)
Many of these sessions will be recorded and shared later - watch for details.

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.   

Join us in honoring Helen

As a new member of the Philadelphia City Council, PAA founding member Helen Gym has already:
  • won funding for preschool, parks and libraries through a tax on soda;
  • proposed water safety guidelines including lead testing for all public schools and child care centers;
  • led a challenge to demand that local parking companies pay what they owe to schools; and
  • helped craft a school budget that will put a nurse and counselor in every school.
We want to thank Helen for walking the walk and for being such a great role model for everyone who cares about public education.

You can help us celebrate Helen at the 2016 Parent Voice Award dinner on the rooftop at Revolution House, 200 Market Street, Philadelphia, on Monday, July 18 at 6 pm. Tickets for the event are available here.

If you can't attend, please consider making a donation to PAA in Helen's honor! 

SOS March July 8-10

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:
PAA-NETX leader to serve on key education committee

Jennifer Collins, leader of PAA-Northeast Texas, has been invited to serve as a parent representative on the Denton TX schools' District of Innovation (DOI) committee. DOI was part of a bill passed during the last session which allows districts to choose to be exempt from certain education codes if their board goes through a public process to create an innovation plan. Jennifer will be able to help shape the district's plan. 


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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