Saturday, January 29, 2011

media advisory for Parents Across America Feb. 7 education forum with Diane Ravitch



Julie Woestehoff


Leonie Haimson


New national organization, Parents Across America,

launches with inaugural education forum in NYC

featuring Diane Ravitch

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2011 ­­– Diane Ravitch, a national authority on education policy, will be the keynote speaker at the kickoff event for Parents Across America (PAA), a new national public education advocacy organization, on Monday Feb. 7 in NYC. Ravitch will address the topic: “Are our schools going in the right direction? What parents should do.”

This public forum will be held at 6 p.m. at PS/IS 89 in Lower Manhattan, 201 Warren St. Sponsors include: Parents Across America, Class Size Matters, Community Board 1 and the PS/IS 89 PTA.

WHAT: Forum and discussion on public education featuring Diane Ravitch and a panel of parent activists from around the nation.

WHEN: Monday, Feb.7 at 6 p.m. Admission free. Reservations are required and can be made online at:

WHERE: PS/IS 89 – Liberty School, 201 Warren Street (Lower Manhattan), New York, N.Y. 10282. (Map here. Directions: take the A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers; or the N, R, 4,5,6 to City Hall.).

WHY: This forum represents the first effort by a national grassroots parent organization to present their vision of positive progressive education reform –- a perspective PAA believes has been so far ignored in the national debate on education –- and what’s wrong with the current policies being imposed on our schools.

The evening will feature a talk by Dr. Ravitch, followed by comments from PAA panelists and a Q&A session with the audience. The PAA panelists will include: Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, Karran Royal Harper of the Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center and an education advocate in New Orleans, Rita Solnet of Testing is not Teaching in Florida, and Sue Peters of Seattle Education 2010. Other parent leaders participating will include Julie Woestehoff of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) in Chicago, Dora Taylor of Seattle Education 2010, Caroline Grannan of San Francisco, Andrea Mérida, Denver school board member and a founding member of Democrats for Excellent Neighborhood School Education, Pamela Grundy, a parent activist from North Carolina, Sharon Higgins of Oakland, whose blogs include The Broad Report and Charter School Scandals, and Mark Mishler from Albany, N.Y.

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University, an education historian and author of many books, including the bestselling "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education" (2010). She was recently awarded the Daniel Moynihan Prize by the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Charles Eliot Award from the New England Association of Schools & Colleges. From 1991-93, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. From 1997- 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program.

Parents Across America (PAA) is a new grassroots organization comprised of parent leaders throughout the nation who are advocating for positive and progressive educational reforms. Founding members hail from New York (Albany, NYC), California (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland), Florida (Boca Raton), Texas (Houston), North Carolina (Charlotte, Durham), Illinois (Chicago), Louisiana (New Orleans), and Washington State (Seattle).

PAA supports reforms that work, focused on strengthening public schools rather than closing them, providing smaller classes, increasing parent involvement, and a well-rounded curriculum, rather than the current policies of privatization and punitive test-based accountability. PAA believes that parent voices must be heard in the national dialogue on public education.


& the PAA Facebook page:

Our children, our schools, our voices.

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