Get inspired by Helen Gym…PAA Week Day 3Read PAA’s 2017 survey report: “Real Parent Voice – Real Parent Choice”Follow-up resource list for parent survey participantsArchive of PAA newsletters from September 2016Is there a PAA chapter or affiliate in your state?JOIN US! Here’s how to start a PAA chapter!
Get inspired by Helen Gym…PAA Week Day 3
Read PAA’s 2017 survey report: “Real Parent Voice – Real Parent Choice”
Follow-up resource list for parent survey participants
Archive of PAA newsletters from September 2016
Is there a PAA chapter or affiliate in your state?
JOIN US! Here’s how to start a PAA chapter!

Letter to the editor on EdTech

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

PAA urges parents and others to take a moment whenever you see a mention of digital learning in your local newspaper to write a letter to the editor to help educate the public about some of the many concerns raised by EdTech. Here’s an example, written by PAA interim executive director Julie Woestehoff and published earlier this week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Feel free to “borrow” any of it!   As the heavy push for so-called “personalized learning” moves …

The violent legacy of Chicago’s mass school closings

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

by Julie Woestehoff, PAA interim executive director It has been more than 10 years since I and many of my former colleagues began warning Chicago that massive school closings would not improve education and would most likely lead to increased violence. It gives me no pleasure to see that this prediction has come true, and to such a tragic extent. We began to sound the alarm about school closures in 2004, as Mayor Daley and Arne Duncan touted their Renaissance …

The violent legacy of Chicago’s mass school closings

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

By Julie Woestehoff, PAA interim executive director It has been more than 10 years since I and many of my former colleagues began warning Chicago that massive school closings would not improve education and would most likely lead to increased violence. It gives me no pleasure to see that this prediction has come true, and to such a tragic extent. We began to sound the alarm about school closures in 2004, as Mayor Daley and Arne Duncan touted their Renaissance …

A better way: PAA affiliate’s Restorative Listening Dialogue

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

With data showing that black students in Portland public schools are four times more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled, PAA’s affiliate, Portland Parent Union, has been working to replace ineffective and discriminatory policies and practices with ones that are responsive to student needs. A recent TV news piece shared the story of PPU member Cashawn Edwards whose son attended a local charter school. The only African-American student in the school, he was bullied, called the “n” …

More charter school scandals: California district robs low-income public school to enrich charter school

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

People in Marin County have learned that their school district has been funneling resources to a Sausalito charter school away from a nearby Marin City school that’s attended by a majority of black students, potentially segregating the schools in violation of federal civil rights laws. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that, “In looking at the relationship between the district’s board and Sausalito’s Willow Creek Academy, an independent charter school attended by a majority of white students, investigators found that leaders …

EdTech: PAA leader challenges state school board on personalized learning

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

PAA-Roanoke Valley leader, Laura Bowman, recently spoke at a Virginia Board of Education Hearing on changes to graduation requirements, school accreditation, and the Virginia Standards of Quality. She reports… Several Southwestern Virginia superintendents advocated for Personalized Learning at the hearing. This was alarming to me, as Parents Across America has just come out with a detailed report on the pitfalls and serious problems with so-called “Personalized” Learning. I wonder if the Superintendent who spoke the most fervently about Personalized Learning …

Ed Week interviews PAA director on EdTech

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Ed Week detailed our EdTech reports in this week’s print edition, and included an interview with PAA’s interim executive director, Julie Woestehoff. The story begins: An influential parent-advocacy group that has vocally opposed high-stakes testing, the Common Core State Standards, and charter school expansion has its sights on a new target: education technology. Parents Across America, a nonprofit group with 44 chapters across 25 states, last month issued a set of resources warning of the “threats” posed by the explosion …

EdTech: New Heart Assoc. report on dangers of prolonged sitting

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

A new report by the American Heart Association reinforces PAA’s concerns that the push for digital learning, which we call EdTech, may result in serious physical health problems due to, among other things, an increase in seat time. Researchers for the AHA reached their findings after conducting a review of the current evidence on sedentary behavior….Based on current evidence, (the researchers) found that spending too much time sitting may raise the risk of impaired insulin sensitivity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and …

EdTech series: Addiction experts warn of “digital heroin”

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

There are strong warnings about the dangers of digital device addiction from Dr. Nicholas Karderas in Saturday’s New York Post: We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved …

Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Everyone loves choice — it’s so all-American. And we cheer the idea of student-centered learning because it’s so clearly all about the children. And, of course, ALL parents want personalized learning because every parent knows that their child is unique and has special academic needs and interests. At our parent leadership conference in July, we asked participants what they think of when they hear “personalized learning.” Here’s what they said: “It’s personal to your child.” “It is tailored to your …