» Julie Woestehoff

Action of the week for 12-20-12: Welcome your new Senators and Congressmen

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Send a welcome letter to your new Senators and Congressmen! You can use this letter which we just e-mailed to Senators-elect Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)  and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who will be new members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. We will send similar letters to other new members as well as any new members of the House Education and the Workforce committee, as we learn of their appointments. December 20, 2012 Dear Senator-elect: Congratulations …

A Connecticut parent’s letter to President Obama

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Parents Across America grieves with the community of Newtown, Connecticut over the loss of their precious children and educators. The following letter, sent yesterday to President Obama from the founder of Parents Across America-CT, expresses some aspects of what many of our members are feeling at this difficult time. Hon. President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Obama: As a public school parent of three in Stamford, Connecticut, I wanted to thank …

A teacher talks to children about Sandy Hook tragedy

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We share this San Francisco Chronicle story about how teacher Steve Rubenstein, the husband of PAA founding member Caroline Grannan, talked to his students about the Sandy Hook school tragedy: Back at Buena Vista Horace Mann in San Francisco’s Mission District, another teacher, Steve Rubenstein, learned of the tragedy by phone as he and his sixth-graders trooped back to class after seeing a play. A former newspaper reporter, Rubenstein felt it was important for the students to know. He teed it …

Update on Adelanto Parent Trigger status

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Two parent triggers have been deployed in California, total, and there have been no other parent triggers anywhere. Here’s what’s happened in those two cases: McKinley Elementary, Compton, CA Parent Revolution orchestrated this one entirely without the involvement of the parent community. After the petitions were delivered, many parents protested and said they did not want the school to become a charter. Many said they had been told the petitions were to beautify or improve the school. Parent Revolution had …

PAA-Washington letter on new charter school law

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Dec. 5, 2012 To Superintendent Dorn: Parents Across America of Washington State, the local chapters of the national organization dedicated to the preservation of public education, has concluded that Initiative 1240 is in violation of the Washington State Constitution on multiple counts. We therefore urge the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to pursue a legal challenge to I-1240, based on the following grounds: 1.      I-1240 would establish a charter school commission comprised of politically appointed members with …

Speak out about the school-to-prison pipeline

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Yesterday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin convened a hearing on the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a way of describing the way some school policies and practices may simply push students – particularly low-income students and students of color – out of school and into jail. Zero tolerance policies, school closings, high-stakes testing, and other factors contribute to this devastating situation. This was an unprecedented hearing, and, unlike the panels of corporate reformers we more often see gathered to share their positions, this time …

Welcome new Michigan chapter!

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Welcome new chapter in Utica, MI   We are excited to have a new chapter in Utica, Michigan, called Parents Across Utica Community Schools. They reached out to PAA for help with their Broad superintendent and a Board President who also runs a “virtual learning academy.” They are asking for our help – please “like” the Parents Across Utica Community Schools Facebook page and follow them for updates and action alerts. Their story, which follows, can be found in somewhat …

Welcome new Atlanta chapter!

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Welcome new chapter, PAA-Atlanta/GA/Atlanta Public Schools! We’re delighted to welcome another new chapter, this one in Atlanta. Founder Kimberly Brooks is a former PTA president who is studying for her masters degree. Parents in Atlanta are discouraged by the well-known test cheating scandal and recent passage of charter school expansion laws in the state. They feel their voices are not being heard. Kimberly brings a lot of enthusiasm to our national network! You can contact her at kimberlybrooks.kim@gmail.com Welcome, Kimberly …

Philly affiliate files ethics complaint against foundation

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Our Philadelphia founding member, Helen Gym, shared news reports that her group, Parents United for Public Education, and others have filed an ethics complaint against the William Penn Foundation and the Boston Consulting Group,  alleging that BCG was acting as a lobbyist when it developed a plan for the School District of Philadelphia including major  school closures and charter expansion, funded through and at the direction of the foundation. BCG would have been required to disclose their donors, many of …

Support PAA!

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SUPPORT PAA!  Please use our Donate button to help us continue our important work supporting public school parents and children.  Here are some effects of PAA’s parent power in 2012: PAA challenged parent trigger legislation and won (so far!) in Florida and across the nation. We preempted efforts to use the “Won’t Back Down” movie to push parent trigger laws; the movie was roundly panned as propaganda by film critics and ticket sales were dismal. We co-wrote and promoted a …