» Julie Woestehoff

May 18, 2017 newsletter brief

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Thumbnail of the 5/18/2017 newsletter (full issue here): Action of the week Register here for an important webinar introducing the Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy. Co-sponsored by PAA, the webinar takes place Tuesday, May 23 at 8 pm ET. Tweet of the week Please tweet and share, or follow @parentsacrossam and retweet! Protect #studentdataprivacy with free toolkit https://www.studentprivacymatters/toolkit. Join webinar 5/23/17 https://tinyurl.com/ke8gozr Coming up Two great new documentaries highlighting the value of public education are beginning to be screened across …

May 11, 2017 newsletter brief

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Thumbnail of 5/11/17 newsletter (full newsletter here) Action of the week Protest DeVos! Her visits around the US have not been going well. Her comments in Utah led PAA interim executive director to write this letter to the Salt Lake Tribune; get ready to write something similar if DeVos comes to your town. Coming up PAA is co-hosting a webinar on student data privacy on May 23 at 8 pm ET. Details to follow. Tweet of the Week @BetsyDeVosEd wrong …

May 2, 2017 newsletter brief

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Thumbnail of 5/2/17 newsletter (full newsletter here) Action of the week Get ready for Screen Free Week! Here’s how. PAA is an endorser of this event Ask Congress not to cut Title IIA funds that are used for class size reduction. Tweet of the Week Better Fed budget #noschoolvouchers but needs Title IIA class size reduction funds #lowerclasssizeworks #parentschoosepubliced PAA News An article about the Title IIA issues by PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson was published on Alternet. PAA founding member …

April 27, 2017 newsletter brief

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Thumbnail of 4/27/17 newsletter (full newsletter here) Action of the week Email link to the Electronic Frontier Federation report, “Spying on Students” to your Congressional and local elected officials as well as your local and state school board members. You can attach to it the PAA’s sample letter to legislators. EFF’s report includes a list of questions for parents to ask (p. 37) which is similar to PAA’s list. Take these questions to your children’s school, teacher, administration and school …

PAAer letter to Salt Lake Tribune on DeVos visit

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US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was recently in Salt Lake City speaking at a $3000 per person event. Here’s a highlight of her speech, which clearly indicates DeVos’s limited understanding of the value and role of public education: “The simple fact is that if a school is not meeting a child’s unique needs, then that school is failing that child. Think of it like your cell phone. AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile may all have great networks, but if you can’t …

April 20, 2017 Newsletter brief

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Thumbnail of 4/20/17 newsletter (full newsletter here) Action of the week Contact your Congressional representatives while they are home on spring break. Focus on voucher/privatization issue. You can download and give them 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. PAA News Laura Bowman, leader of PAA-Roanoke Valley, recently attended a summit on …

Spying on students: EFF report confirms PAA EdTech privacy concerns

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For some time now, PAA has been raising red flags about the rapidly expanding use of education technology (EdTech) in our schools. Last summer we published a series of fact sheets and a 35-page documentation paper detailing some of the many concerns we have about EdTech. Since then, we have urged parents to ask questions at your local schools and supported legislative and other efforts to require more transparency and accountability from EdTech programs and businesses. PAA’s concerns are multi-faceted. …

Archive of PAA newsletters from September 2016

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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: http://conta.cc/2pPJzrg Action of the week: We urged readers to visit their Congressional representatives at home while they are on spring break. We …

Sample letter to your legislator about establishing screen time guidelines

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We are so pleased that a committee of the Maryland state legislature is considering a bill to establish health and safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools. This is a great model for other states. We suggest that you contact your state legislators (and you could also try local city officials) asking them to introduce a similar bill. Here’s a sample email: Dear (legislator) We would like to request that you consider sponsoring a bill in this …

Vouchers may harm student learning

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We included the following message in today’s fax message to Congress. A pdf version of this information is here: voucherstudies3-17: Parents Across America (PAA) is very concerned that, in his speech to Congress last night, President Trump renewed his call to spend millions of federal education dollars on school vouchers. His Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is also a strong voucher proponent. PAA opposes voucher programs because they redirect scarce money away from our public school system, may cross constitutional lines …