Parents Across America held our fourth annual leadership conference in Philadelphia PA from July 18-20, with twenty great leaders from twelve states. Most were in the room and some joined us online. We had an excellent mix of new and returning leaders and of geography, cultural background, age, and gender (three men!!!).
What we discussed, experienced, and learned
We had a rich program of discussion, sharing, learning and planning over one full and two half days. The details of each session are below, along with links to the recording and slide show for most sessions.
But first, here are some key “take-aways” from our time together:
The value of the PAA annual meeting: We all agreed that it is very important and meaningful to get together at least once a year. We all bring to the table an intense passion for public education and for children which we clearly recognize in each other. This helps us trust each other enough to share the honest, deep and often painful emotions that go along with our work. It is also a good way of bringing together people from diverse backgrounds in a group that’s small enough for us to really listen to each other and feel comfortable sharing our thoughts and ideas.
ESSA changes: We had a good discussion about ESSA including reviewing the comments Julie had prepared for submission to the Department of Education on its proposed regulations for implementing the new ESSA. The proposed comments were agreed to with the addition of a statement encouraging a school curriculum that is culturally relevant to diverse communities and programs which are responsive to the real life conditions of students and their families. The group would also like to require much stronger, more inclusive steps before any school is closed, and requested that our policy paper, “What is a Quality Education,” be attached. This will be done in time for the August 1 deadline.