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Our children are spending more and more time with digital devices both at home and in school. How is that affecting their mental and physical health??? See more below.


AAP poster for Screen Free Week
EdTech parent letters to pediatricians

We hear that the American Academy of Pediatrics is planning to consider new screentime guidelines for children at their annual conference this October.

Currently, their position is that:

"Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play. Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens."

We hope that they will choose to maintain similar standards, but we're asking parents to urge their children's doctors to send a letter to the AAP to voice their support for the current standards.

We've posted sample letters on our blog - one for you to send to your doctor and one for your doctor to send to the AAP.

Thank John Oliver

Diane Ravitch asks us to send emails and tweet our support for comedian John Oliver. In our last newsletter we shared a link to his recent riff on charter schools. Naturally, the overpaid charter school folks, having too much time on their hands and no meaningful work to do, climbed all over Oliver for "harming children" with his factual, insightful, and devastatingly funny piece.  

Here's the note that PAA sent to Oliver at You can tweet him @iamjohnoliver 

Hi John,

Your piece on charter schools was fantastic - in other words, up to your usual standards of wonderful wit, excellent research, and great humanity. As a network of public school parent activists, we appreciate your raising this issue in such a compelling way.

Do more! How about the way corporate reformers are trying  to turn our schools into computer labs and our kids into lab rats??

Thanks again!

PAA's EdTech reports in the news

Education Week blogger Benjamin Herold reported on PAA's challenge to EdTech:

"Citing threats to children's health and well-being from rising screen time, increased testing and data collection, and what some view as misguided teaching strategies, the advocacy group Parents Across America today called on school districts and states to be 'far more cautious, diligent, transparent, and accountable about their technology decisions.'

"While the group is not against the 'appropriate' use of technology in schools, "' are speaking out for balanced, healthy classrooms for our children,' said Laura Bowman, head of the group's Roanoke, Va. chapter, in a statement.

" 'We strongly oppose the push to increase student screen time, replace teachers with packaged lessons delivered by digital devices, and continuously test students, data-mining the results,' Bowman said.

"Among the documents issued by PAA are:
  • A list of reports describing technology's potentially harmful effects on everything from students' emotional well-being to their vision;
  • A list of recommendations for legislators and education policymakers;
  • A breakdown of ed-tech "buzzwords" (many of which will be quite familiar to regular readers of this blog.)"
We also appreciate Diane Ravitch's sharing our work.

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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