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Real Parent Choice: a “Choice Week” position paper

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PAA has faxed this position paper to all the members of the Senate and House education committees. Why not share it with your Congresspeople, too? (pdf version here) Polls and surveys show that the first choice of most parents is to send their child to a high-quality neighborhood school with adequate resources. Parents know by now that students in charter schools and voucher programs have not shown better academic progress than students in traditional schools. Parents do not want to …

Same old “school choice” song and dance?

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Well, it’s “Choice Week” again across the US, a time when the corporate reformers get our elected officials to dance to their tune. For real. From “Schoolchoiceweek.com: For the third year in a row, National School Choice Week is excited to announce an official song and dance moves! In previous years, schools, organizations and even public officials have learned the moves to the official dance… There are about 75 moves in this dance, which they claim is “easier than ever.” We’ll …

Action of the week: 1-22-15

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Continue to contact Congress about ESEA, testing, and more The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee held a  hearing on testing and accountability this past Tuesday as ESEA begins to move toward reauthorization. PAA submitted our position paper on testing to the committee, and individually to every member of the committee, and  all House education committee members. We called for grade span instead of annual testing (HELP Chair Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Option 1) and flexibility and support for …

PAA Action News for 1-22-15

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We encourage you to subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, PAA Action News, by signing up four menu blocks down on the right >>>> But in case you missed it…here’s a link to the 1-22-15 newsletter and a brief summary: Action of the week: We urge you to continue to contact Congress about ESEA. This week and last we’ve focused on testing, where there are a couple of proposals we think are worth endorsing. In the next weeks, we will look …

Parents support ESEA testing flexibility: call for an end to NCLB’s test-and-punish regime

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***Press release: For Immediate Release     January 15, 2015*** Parents support ESEA testing flexibility: call for an end to NCLB’s test-and-punish regime   Contacts: Dora Taylor, Seattle, Parents Across America President, 206-290-3400 Julie Woestehoff, Chicago, PAA Secretary, 773-715-3989 Pamela Grundy, Charlotte, PAA Treasurer, 704-806-0410 Parents Across America, a national network of public school parents, sent the following fax message to members of the House and Senate education committees today: Parents Across America calls on Congress to support the proposed shift from …

Civil rights, discrimination, and standardized testing

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By Julie Woestehoff, Parents United for Responsible Education How standardized tests harm children of color, and what we can do about it FairTest’s recent report on the growing national resistance to standardized testing suggested that the movement is composed primarily of white or privileged protesters, and that communities of color are more likely to be unconcerned about standardized testing or even to consider it a necessary tool for holding schools accountable. Civil rights organizations such as MALDEF and the NAACP, …

What is a quality education?

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Several of our members started writing this paper as part of a workshop they presented at PAA’s leadership conference last summer. This final paper is based on the workshop discussion and additional input from our members and others. Special thanks to Deb Mayer of Oregon Save our Schools, Danielle Arnold-Schwartz of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia, Lisa Fluke of PAA-Ventura County, and Julie Woestehoff, PAA Board secretary. No set of bullet points can fully capture the complexities of a quality education. We have …

News from Michigan’s lame duck session

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By Steven Norton, Michigan Parents for Schools The attack on community-governed public education is in full flower in Michigan, as the “lame duck” session of the state legislature sees frantic efforts to push through a number of bills while the voting public is busy thinking about the holidays. Some of these measures are carbon copies of similar bills pushed across the country. One measure would introduce a crude A-F “grading” of schools and districts, using a simplistic formula based solely …

2014 Election round-up, PAA style

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      We asked our chapters and affiliates to reflect on the results of the November election, especially as they impact education. Here are some of those reports:   PENNSYLVANIA: PAA Philadelphia affiliate Parents United leader and PAA founding member Helen Gym shared a special post on the group’s web site, “Why we vote,” which surely helped motivate people to turn out to vote and to turn out of office the anti-public school governor Tom Corbett. Helen suggests we …

Conference report part 2!

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Our second day started out with breakout sessions to discuss how PAA can better support our chapters and affiliates. We came up with a number of great ideas and some volunteers to work on them. The final session began with a presentation on Poverty and Education by PAA Board member Nate Harris. Nate shared some statistics on the issues confronting low-income students and a review of some of the federal programs that are designed to address some of these needs. …

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