Archive of PAA newsletters from September 2016

A few months ago, our newsletter service stopped including an archive list in our service package. Since then we have been working out how to continue to save these back issues in an accessible way. (Older issues can be found HERE.)

We’re going to try this for more recent issues:

April 11, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We urged readers to visit their Congressional representatives at home while they are on spring break. We suggested that they download and share PAA’s fact sheet on two new reports showing that voucher programs may actually harm student learning.
Network for Public Education has prepared a toolkit on privatization which has lots of other good resources and handouts.

News: PAA-Roanoke’s Laura Bowman, a leader in PAA’s EdTech work, reported on a summit she attended recently as a parent representative on her school district’s technology advisory committee.

PAA Oregon’s Pat Eck and Deb Mayer, a PAA Board member, were interviewed on KBOO radio. KBOO has committed to do a segment on education issues every Thursday, a big win for our voices!

Helen Gym, a founding member of PAA and current Philadelphia City Councilwoman, is one of 6 nominees for the 2017 Emily’s List Rising Star Award.


March 30, 2017:  Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: All were invited to participate in our anti-racist book club webinar.

News: We reported on Alison McDowell’s extensive presentation to the Portland community, sponsored by our local affiliates.


March 21: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We continued to urge you to share the Maryland screen time bill with your local legislators and to oppose HR 610, an effort to use federal funds for vouchers.

News: Our PAA affiliates in Portland are hosting a talk by Alison McDowell, a parent expert on digital learning who will share detailed information on the subject and discuss strategies we can use to advocate for public education that prioritizes learning in human relationship rather than technology-based education that isolates and commodifies children.

We also reported that PAA affiliate Michigan Parents for Schools joined public education leaders and parent groups from across Michigan last week to file a lawsuit to prevent the state and Gov. Rick Snyder from funding private schools with public money. The lawsuit stems from a $2.5 million line item in the state budget that reimburses private institutions for state mandates.


March 9, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We continue to urge readers to push back against the HR 610 voucher bill.

News: Our new affiliate, SOS-Kentucky, received a small grant for parent outreach from Defending the Early Years. PAA is proud to act as fiscal agent for this award.


March 2, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Welcome the new Congress. Yes, it was a little late, but we finally got around to writing a welcome letter to Congress which you can read here. We attached a new PAA fact sheet on some recent studies showing the failure of vouchers (share that with your rep!) and our position paper on Quality Education. You can find contact information for your rep here.

News: We scheduled our next book club meeting to share our thoughts on Tim Wise’s “White Like Me.”


February 23, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We turned our attention to opposing HR 610, a bill to create vouchers with federal education funds.

News: PAA sent a letter of support to a Maryland legislative committee which was proposing a bill to require development of standards for in-school digital device use. Our support was mentioned in a press release send out by the committee.

One of our members pointed out that the USDE has a state by state list of digital learning plans. We suggested that people check out where their state stands. You may find that there’s still time to make your voice heard and even suggest inclusion of this Maryland safeguard?

We sent a welcome letter to Secretary DeVos, PAA style. You can read the letter here.


February 1, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Last chance to stop the DeVos nomination!


January 26, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We continued to ask people to push back against the DeVos nomination.

News: Watching the “Killing Ed” movie, featuring PAA founding member Sharon Higgins, which exposes the outrageous charter school grab by a secretive Turkish cult, is even more timely given recent unrest in Turkey. You can purchase this excellent and compelling movie on Amazon and other online sellers.


January 13, 2017: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We asked readers to call their Senators and urge them to vote NO on the Betsy DeVos nomination as Secretary of Education.

We also asked people to sign the petition PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson is leading to oppose the appointment of Campbell Brown as the head of the Facebook news team.


November 23, 2016:  Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We asked people to take a moment to give thanks for their education advocate heroes.

News: we reported on a successful, informative, thought-provoking webinar with Jesse Hagopian. You can view the webinar recording here:


November 16, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: We urged people to contact their doctors asking for help to press the American Academy of Pediatrics to toughen their new screen time standards. We included a link to a our letter to the AAP. for you to share with your doctor.

News: We congratulated our Boston affiliate QUEST for its role in the defeat of a statewide charter school expansion referendum.


November 10, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Speak out on ESSA: Many states have already held “listening sessions” on their ESSA implementation plans but there are still many to go. We offered a partial list of meeting dates. Not knowing what most states are planning at this point makes it hard to know what to say, but you can share PAA’s one-page paper, Implementing ESSA: What Parents Value and how Congress (and the states) should act.

News: We urged people to join our Poverty, Race and Education webinar with Jesse Hagopian. (View the webinar recording here:

We speculated briefly on the direction of education policy under a Trump/Pence administration.


November 3, 2016:  Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Speak out!!!! USDE accepting testimony on national student database through Nov. 14.

News: Portland Parent Union, led by Sheila Warren, hosted PAA Board member Khem Irby from PAA-Greensboro (NC) and PAA leader Benita Rivera from our affiliate The Mothers’ Agenda NY.
Also attending was PAA President Dora Taylor and PAA Board member Deb Mayer from PAA-Oregon. The theme of the week long event was “Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out.”

Deb Mayer also recently made a presentation on the dangers of EdTech at the 2016 Teaching for Social Justice Conference at Madison High School in Portland Oregon. Take a look at Deb’s comprehensive slide show.

October 12, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Actions of the week: Join our EdTech webinar! (View recording here:

Support the NAACP call for a charter school moratorium.

News: We welcomed CAPE, a new affiliate in Eugene OR.

Boston affiliate QUEST shared that they started a twitter campaign to ask Elizabeth Warren to #StepUpSenWarren, and come out against the Question 2 ballot initiative. She did!

PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson wants to know if your school is one of the 100 using Summit software to collect student information and share it with Google, Facebook, etc. This software is in 100 schools nationwide, 2/3 of them public schools. The list is here: Is your school or a neighboring school on the list?   

As a Northwest Regional Fellow of The Progressive, PAA President Dora Taylor has published an article on privatization and the links between K-12 corporate reform and higher education .

PAA Board member Khem Irby is running for Guilford County school board in Greensboro NC.


October 6, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Share PAA webinar invitation

News: Congratulations to leader of our PAA affiliate The Mothers Agenda in New York City, Benita Lovett-Rivera, who will be honored by the California Alliance of African-American Educators as part of their 15th anniversary gala on October 22 in San Francisco.


September 29, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Be informed! PAA has scheduled two important webinars:

  • October 16 at 7 pm ET: The EdTech Crisis:  How to stop the EdTech juggernaut at your child’s school (view the webinar recording here)
  • November 20 at 7 pm ET: Race, Poverty, and Education: Let’s get real about leveling the playing field with Jesse Hagopian, Seattle teacher and editor/author of More Than a Score. (view the webinar recording here)

Also included: sample editorial on EdTech

News: Blog post on the violent legacy of Chicago’s school closings

New PAA affiliates:


September 9, 2016: Read the full newsletter here:

Action of the week: Send a positive note to your children’s teachers to start the new school year off right. The Chicago group, Parents United for Responsible Education, which is no longer active, still maintains a web site with a lot of great information for parents and others. PURE offers a tip sheet on using a Home-School Journal as a way of keeping in contact with teachers in a very positive way.

News: Education Week highlighted PAA’s work challenging the EdTech push in schools.

A recent local TV station reported on PAA affiliate Portland Parents’ Union’s efforts to bring positive discipline practices to schools.

PAA-Roanoke Valley (VA) leader Laura Bowman’s testimony to the VA State Board of  Education about her concerns about encroachments of “personalized learning” was covered by local media.

Leader of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia, Danielle Arnold-Schwartz, writes about the story behind her interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

California parents tell us they are getting fed up with the charter school push.


Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Homepage Slider, LATEST newsletter and action of the week, Misc

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