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Dear (Contact First Name), 

Today PAA takes on EdTech, the latest push from corporate "school reform" that threatens children's health and well-being, parental control, family privacy, and the quality of teaching and learning. Read more below!


Our Children @ Risk

Echoing the 1983 "Nation at Risk" report, Parents Across America (PAA) today declares, "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the takeover of public education by digital technology that threatens our children's health and well-being, captures their private data, and undermines the best elements of their education, we might well view it as an act of war."

PAA has spent extensive time looking into recent writing and research that raise red flags about the impact of the EdTech explosion on our children. This high-pressure movement has brought a mishmash of digital devices and online and other pre-packaged programs into our schools, where they are promoted as "personalized," "competency-based," "student-centered," or "self-directed" learning, terms which we refer to together as EdTech.

Today, PAA released a position paper and a series of reports, including a 35-page background paper, detailing some of the many threats to children's
health and well-being, parental control, family privacy, and the quality of teaching and learning by this latest effort of corporate reformers to profit from our children's education and undermine democratic public schooling.

These include: 
  • harmful effects on children's mental and emotional development
  • negative impact on student intellectual and academic growth,
  • damaging physical effects,
  • depersonalization and other ways of undermining the educational process,
  • questionable value and effectiveness,
  • continuous testing of students, often without obtaining consent from or even informing students or parents,threats to student data privacy, and
  • hugely lucrative benefits for private companies. 

What can you do? 

  • Check out the new book, "Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking our Kids -- and How to Break the Trance" by Nicholas Kardaras, which quotes PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson and includes a school technology opt-out letter for parents.
  • Hold a parent meeting at the beginning of this school year to discuss concerns about EdTech in school. Make sure someone from the school staff is there to update parents on what kinds of EdTech are being used in your school.
  • Use PAA's recommendations to advocate for better, less damaging use of technology with your school, school district, state and Congressional representatives.

PAA-Chicago's Zerlina Smith (left) listens to Benita Rivera at PAA 2016 leadership conference
PAA-Chicago to hold "Killing Ed" movie night

Zerlina Smith, leader of our newest chapter, PAA-Chicago, is sponsoring a movie night to show the "Killing Ed" movie. Members attending our annual conference in Philadelphia received a free copy of the movie dvd.

The Chicago event will take place next Saturday.

Sharon introducing the Killing Ed movie at the PAA leadership conference
More scrutiny of charter schools 

The star of "Killing Ed," PAA founding member Sharon Higgins, is asking folks in the San Francisco Bay Area to join her at the film's Bay Area premiere on Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 pm at the Landmark Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. Tickets can be purchased here; they need to sell a certain number of advance tickets to have the showing, so please order soon! 

Sharon was recently interviewed
about the Gulen Movement & its charter schools on radio station KPFA last week. (from 6:43-29:40 min.)

Sharon shared this great clip from John Oliver on charter schools: 


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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