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It's another amazing teachable moment, and this time the teachers are some of our children's biggest heroes. More below....

Take a knee for public education

Scores of NFL players and team owners have been protesting police brutality and racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem at the start of recent football games. Controversy has flared. But no amount of heated rhetoric about patriotism or respect can cover up the truth about racism and inequity in America.

PAA has been working on this issue for the past few years. Our fact sheets on   educational inequity (newly updated) help parents and others speak out with real data and information to counter corporate reform's insistence that children of color and low-income children just need to get more "grit," "pluck," "tenacity," and, of course, school choice, to succeed.

And our work on solutions is ongoing: 13solutions

#Takeaknee for public education. Inequities cheat children of color out of fair educational opportunity! Fair school funding, strong, well-supported public schools, quality education for all! 
NPE in Oakland coming up!

We're looking forward to meeting up with PAAers and other allies at the NPE conference Oct. 13-15 in Oakland, CA. On Saturday afternoon of the conference, PAA will present a workshop session, "Real parent choice - real parent voice: How Parents Across America connects the dots - and parents -- to fight corporate reform."

Several PAA leaders are panelists on other sessions as well. The schedule for PAA presenter is here. 

Student privacy webinar Oct. 3

From PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson:

This Tuesday October 3 at 8 PM EST, the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy will hold a free webinar on what practical steps parents can take to safeguard their children's data from breach or abuse.

The webinar will cover the following topics:

1. How to opt out of directory information sharing -- and why;
2. What common practices in schools violate student privacy & federal law;
3. Practical tips for protecting your child's privacy;
4. Questions to ask your teacher or principal about apps and other technology used in the classroom.

Registration is required so please sign up today!

Helen Gym reports on PA state supreme court school win

PAA founding member and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym is happy to report that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just ruled that a school funding  lawsuit filed by many advocacy groups must go to trial. The case had been dismissed by a lower court which tossed the issue back to the legislature. The Supreme Court agreed with plaintiffs that the legislature cannot police its own compliance with school funding requirements, and ordered the case to proceed.
Helen says, "Harrisburg legislators have failed time and again to protect and fairly fund education across the state, and now we can go to trial and demand that our students and our schools get the support they need. The shortchanging of public education in our Commonwealth will not go unanswered."

Read more here.  

Dignity in Schools Campaign announces  Week of Action beginning October 23
The Dignity in Schools Campaign announces its 8th Annual National Week of Action Against Schools Pushout! Our theme this year is Education is a Human Right! We Will Not Give Up the Fight! DSC members and allies will hold local events across the country, and participate in our two-day National Week of Action Event in New Orleans on October 23-24.
PAA is a new member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign and supports the efforts of PAA affiliate Portland Parents Union as they provide leadership for this important event.

On October 23 & October 24, DSC members and allies will convene in New Orleans, Louisana for a two-day national event in partnership with the Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF), Families and Friends of Lousiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), Black Man Rising Movement, Community Education Project of New Orleans and #WeChoose Campaign. We will be joined by legislators, parents, and students, with Keynote Speaker David #GodBox Banner.

October 23: National Conversation on Race: Cultural Resistance

The CJSF National Conversations on Race Campaign will engage different local communities across the country to bring together students, parents, educators, and policy leaders in conversations about race, racial disparity and how it shows up in the education system.  
CJSF will kick off its National Conversation on Race Campaign in partnership with DSC's National Week of Action Event featuring the theme Cultural Resistance. Cultural Resistance, defined by the DSC Cultural Resistance Peer Exchange Group is: "The use of culture (language/slang, art, symbols, dance, music, clothing, etc.,) to combat oppressive systems. It is a way for a group to define itself on its own terms and to politically resist social control. It is a way of reclaiming our humanity."

October 24: Tribunal on School Discipline and "School Choice"

New Orleans is currently the only city that has a 100% charter school district. Since Katrina, families continue to experience the trauma and gentrification, ethnic cleansing and the horrors of the voucher and charter school experiment that includes an influx of Teach for America teachers, school closings and a major lack of accountability. This continues to leave our already marginalized youth further behind. Schools are breaking laws by not being compliant in completing 504 Plans, IEPs or student evaluations for children who have special needs. Parents continue to be confused or uninformed about their due process as student codes of conduct can differ from school to school or Charter Management Organization (CMO). Children continue to be counseled out or sent to court because schools are ill prepared to support our students.
FFLIC and Black Man Rising in partnership with DSC and other allies will put the New Orleans School System on trial for failing our children.

The #WeChoose Campaign will also further the conversation about the privatization of public education and the illusion of school choice.

We will be demanding that policy makers will sign on to the DSC Members' Platform to create an independent monitor for schools, requiring them to be accountable for ensuring laws and best practices are followed, as well as the utilization of culturally relevant curricula.


If you share our overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and more parent input in education policy making, we invite you to affiliate with us if you are an existing group, or to form a new PAA chapter. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be at every level.  Here's how! 
If you have questions, comments, suggestions or stories to share, please e-mail us at or visit

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