NPU unites parents of color, low-income parents, special needs parents, single mothers and fathers, grandparents, formerly incarcerated parents and parents in recovery with traditionally represented parent voices to join a vibrant coalition that disrupts the traditional role of parent voice in policy space. It develops a new narrative that is inclusive of families from a wide variety of perspectives.
Join the Parent Revolution
It is time to forge a path forward to create space to put education at the top of the list of our national priorities. Parents and families have the power to change the conversation and politics around education reform and innovation. This is the national parent movement to build the change needed in national education policy conversations to create the change we need for our families.
The time for change is now.
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Our mission is to support parents who have lived experience and are authentic voices, advocates and organizers who are engaging, educating and empowering families, neighborhood by neighborhood across the United States.
Parents trust and expect that education is the great equalizer and school systems of every type must be held accountable for meeting the promise of education for all students — that each student has equitable access to opportunity to launch into a successful future.
Statement of Values
National Parents Union believes:
We believe, our children should always be at the core of our agenda in every decision.
We believe, there should be liberation, justice, and equity in education for all children.
We believe, education systems must be transformed to eradicate generational, institutions of oppression.
We believe, families have a powerful voice that should influence educational and political policies and practices at the local, state, and national level.
We believe, in order to effect change and strengthen families, we must provide them with the resources and opportunities to develop their talents and share best practices.
Who We Are
Keri Rodrigues is Matthew, Miles and David’s mom and the Founding President of the National Parents Union. Called “arguably the most successful — parent organizer in education advocacy today,” her outstanding commitment to social, economic and educational equity for children and families spans decades.
Following her own difficult experience surviving the Massachusetts public school system and receiving her GED from Boston Public Schools, Rodrigues was not surprised when she struggled navigating the education system with her own children. Knowing that schools were not adequately meeting the needs of students and parents, she turned her focus to education activism, eventually helping other families across the Commonwealth identify and use their voice and place kids at the center of the education discussion.
Rodrigues began her career as an award-winning journalist and continued her career in advocacy as a long-time labor activist, communicator and organizer with the world’s largest local labor union, 1199SEIU, leading major campaigns across the country.
Armed with this experience and success, Rodrigues has served as founder and Mom-in-Chief of Massachusetts Parents United, the largest parent advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, reaching more than 250,000 families across Massachusetts since 2016.
Rodrigues has also worked as a senior advisor on dozens of nonprofit, ballot-issue and political organizing campaigns both locally and nationally. Keri sits on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s “Influence 100” advisory group to transform the pipeline to education leadership to be more reflective of the composition of the Commonwealth as well as the Superintendent Rubric Refinement Project.
Keri’s impact extends beyond Massachusetts Parents United as an elected member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, serving on the Executive Committee of the Ethnic Council of the Democratic National Committee and the advisory board of Democrats for Education Reform.
Peter Cunningham is the founder of Education Post. He served as assistant secretary for communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration’s first term.
Peter is affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy, research and communications firm. He serves on several non-profit boards, including Oakland-based Great Schools, which provides school quality information to parents through a national online platform, The Montessori School of Englewood, a Chicago public charter school, Manufacturing Renaissance, a career education program that trains public high school students for jobs in manufacturing, Unbounded, an organization supporting teachers in schools that are transitioning to higher standards and Foolproofme.com, which is focused on financial literacy for students.
Peter founded Cunningham Communications, serving public, private and nonprofit clients, worked for political consultant David Axelrod and was a senior advisor and speechwriter for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
A native New Yorker, Peter began his career as a journalist with small weekly newspapers in New York. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in philosophy from Duke University. He is married to artist Jackie Kazarian and they have two adult children who are proud graduates of the Chicago Public Schools.
Peter joined the Education Post board in 2018 after stepping down as the organization’s Executive Director.
Tim Langan is Max and Dylan’s Dad and the Chief Operating Officer of the National Parents Union and Massachusetts Parents United where he focuses on supporting leadership development, delegates and members with the tools needed to advocate for the children and families across the nation from their neighborhoods to at the table with elected officials and policy makers. He is also one of the co-hosts of NPU’s popular “Dad-to-Dad” program – a first of it’s kind effort to connect fathers across the country to advocate for their children from their unique perspective.
Tim studied English at New York University, holds a M. Ed in Secondary Education and has more than a decade of experience in operations and people management. For the past several years, Tim’s work in support of parents and families across the country has helped them to create a powerful voice to change the education policy conversation and informed the “experts” about the realities faced by communities at the grassroots level – powerful parent advocates from across the country pushing back on the status quo.
Tim lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, enjoys podcasts and is continuing to build his epic music collection.
Marisol Quevedo Rerucha is a proven leader who doesn’t just talk about healing, equity, social justice, and disrupting generational trauma; she has both lived experience and a proven record of doing this work while leading change in education and non-profit systems. Marisol has formed and used her voice as an educational advocate for students, parents and our communities, while creating space and providing resources for staff, students, and parents to elevate theirs. Her passion is ensuring all students, especially those pushed out and most marginalized by society and our school systems, have high quality educational experience and are provided comprehensive services. She has engaged in the real work of addressing and ending the school to prison pipeline by building and leading career readiness and career technical education in juvenile court and community schools.
The impact of her passion, experience, work, and voice is felt beyond her own community as she serves as the Chief of Partnerships and Strategy for the National Parents Union, as the Director of Culture and Community for DBC Inc, is a member of the UNIDOS US National Institute for Latino School Leaders alumni council, serves on the board of Youth Empowerments Finest, and partners with organizations (nonprofit and for profit business) to provide comprehensive strategic action planning.
I am Christina Laster, proud Black Woman/Afro-latina, mother, grandmother, Civil Rights Activist, and Humanitarian! I was born and raised in San Diego, California where I gained a deep understanding and appreciation for culture and diversity. I graduated from the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science then moving on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I worked for nearly 13 years in the San Diego Unified School District as an early childhood education and a special education para educator.
I am deeply committed to children, families, and communities. My passion is equipping parents, families, and community leaders to become more fortified in their establishment of foundational, generational, adequate progress, and lasting change. A favorite Bible scripture: And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
My motto: Let My People Think!
Gerard Robinson is the Executive Director of the Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO), a Washington, D.C.-based research and education initiative created by a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries. The mission of CAO is to develop evidence-based solutions to the most pressing education, entrepreneurship and criminal justice issues in fragile communities throughout the United States by working with faculty and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other postsecondary institutions. To advance ideas in the public marketplace, Robinson co-edited Education for Liberation: The Politics of Promise and Reform Inside and Beyond America’s Prisons (2019) and co-authored a book chapter about U.S. education reform for Oxford University Press (forthcoming). He published or is quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Hill, Gallup News, RealClear Policy and the HBCU Times Magazine.
Prior to CAO, Robinson worked as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise. His scholarship areas included parental choice, prison education, K-12 policy and the role of community colleges and HBCUs in adult advancement. Robinson co-edited Education Savings Accounts: The New Frontier in School Choice (2017) and was published or quoted in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, The 74 and CNN Opinion. He remains a fellow at AEI.
Robinson also served as Commissioner of Education for the State of Florida from 2011 to 2012 where he managed several divisions with 3,000 employees. In addition to supporting the education initiatives of Governor Rick Scott, Robinson assisted in the development of a $16 billion education budget and instituted for the first time in a decade new achievement level scores for grades 3-10 in reading and grades 3-8 in mathematics. He also chaired a task force to improve opportunities for English learners and students with special needs, adopted new competency and skill standards for STEM teacher certification, developed new pre- and post-assessment measures for the voluntary pre-kindergarten program, and approved several new degree programs for Florida’s colleges. Robinson also managed several federal programs and partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Council of 100 to strengthen career and college readiness.
Prior to Florida, Robinson served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to supporting the education initiatives of Governor Bob McDonnell, he provided guidance to 16 public universities, the community college system, five higher education and research centers, the department of education and state-supported museums. Robinson managed the governor’s Opportunity to Learn agenda in 2010, which produced new laws for traditional public schools, virtual education, charter schools and college laboratory schools. He directed the Top Jobs for the 21st Century agenda in 2011, which produced the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 that invested an additional $100 million into postsecondary education to support the conferral of 100,000 additional degrees by 2025.
Before working in Virginia, Robinson was President of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization whose mission was to support parental choice policies that empower low-income and working-class black families. A former legislative aide in the California and Virginia legislatures, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Education Policy at The City University of New York. He is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and a board member of G.O.A.L. Scholarship and other organizations.
Robinson has testified before federal and state government officials, consulted to private sector leaders and spoken to university audiences in the United States as well as at Oxford University in England and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. International education tours also include travel to China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Germany, Haiti, Israel and Senegal. Robinson earned an Ed.M. from Harvard, a B.A. from Howard and an A.A. from El Camino Community College. He is married and has three daughters.
As TNTP’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weisberg oversees TNTP’s executive team and all aspects of the organization’s operations, strategy and growth.
Prior to becoming CEO in June 2015 as part of TNTP’s long-term growth strategy, Dan was the Executive Vice President for Performance Management and General Counsel. In this role, he built and led a 130-person team to support the efforts of school systems and states nationwide to recruit, develop and retain effective teachers and principals.
Previously, as Vice President of Policy, Dan helped build TNTP into “a leading voice on teacher quality” and co-authored TNTP’s acclaimed study on the failures of the nation’s teacher evaluation systems, The Widget Effect, which has helped to catalyze evaluation reforms in more than 30 states since 2009. More recently, he participated in the writing of The Irreplaceables (2012), which explored the teacher retention crisis through the experience of the country’s best teachers, and The Mirage (2015), which questions the prevailing assumption that we know how to help teachers improve.
Before TNTP, Dan served as Chief Executive of Labor Policy and Implementation for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), the country’s largest public school system. In this role, he led negotiations between the Department and the United Federation of Teachers that resulted in a series of groundbreaking reforms, including the city’s highly regarded “mutual consent” system, which gives teachers and schools the primary voice in school staffing. He also led a team that provided labor support to NYCDOE’s 1,700 principals and implemented a number of high-stakes talent initiatives.
Before joining the NYCDOE, Dan was a Partner in the New York office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he led the firm’s east coast labor and employment practice. He holds a J.D. from New York University Law School and a BA in Political Science from Columbia University.
Bibb Hubbard is Founder & President of Learning Heroes.
Bibb has dedicated her career to helping ensure all students are prepared for life after high school. She founded Learning Heroes to support parents as their children’s most effective education advocate. Bibb brings extensive experience in communications, policy, and advocacy from the public, private and philanthropic sectors to her role as Founder & President of Learning Heroes.
Before Learning Heroes, Bibb held leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Widmeyer Communications and Scholastic. Her public-sector experience includes positions at the White House and the U.S. Labor Department.
Bibb has served on the Boards of City Year New York and the Boys & Girls Club of Alexandria, VA and is an active board member with the New York City Leadership Academy.
She graduated from Dickinson College and is the proud mother of two teenage sons.
Steven Vigil was raised in the state of Colorado and at an early age discovered the ability of getting diverse groups of people to work together for a common goal. He has a background in conflict transformation, community organizing and United Nations peacekeeping. In his formative years he was actively involved in programs to promote positive lifestyles in youth using education, art, culture, theatre and sports. Prior to joining The National Parents Union, he was the Deputy Director for a San Diego based grassroots organization that inspires leadership through community mentorship, resiliency building, advocacy, and system transformation for justice involved individuals and families from historically marginalized communities. Mr. Vigil holds a BA from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) and an MA in International Affairs from the School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He is fluent in English and speaks Spanish.
Colleen Cook is a passionate advocate for school choice and parents’ rights. When forced in 2012 to make a change to improve her children’s education opportunities, Colleen became actively involved in the school choice movement in Oklahoma. Since that time, Colleen has grown from an advocate for her children into a national advocate for students in her home state of Oklahoma and across the country.
Colleen is the Director of Membership Communications for the National Parents Union, a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents, as well as a volunteer serving as president of the board for The National Coalition for Public School Options, a national alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children.
Vivett Dukes is a mom, wife, classroom teacher, writer, educational consultant and public speaker who uses her experience, her acumen, and her platform to eradicate the school-to-prison pipeline and other forms of systemic educational and societal inequities that disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities.
Bernita Bradley is a social entrepreneur who advocates for and with families in Detroit, Michigan. She is the founder of The Village, an outreach and recruitment team that ensures that future outcomes for children are prioritized within community, philanthropic and education environments.
Bernita understands that successful community partnerships are authentic and must be built on fidelity. Foundational to The Village success is understanding that youth and parent voices are key to all great community partnerships; and works to be a fair and just liaison between families and institutions.
Bernita is the mother of two beautiful children, and a grandmother of one. She is committed to this work not only for them, but also for the many youth whose futures are so important.
Bernita invites individuals who have her shared values and principles to join her in her work, and together they bring about successful outcomes for all involved.
I’m the blessed mother of Nina Isabella and Emilio Fidel, both brown, brilliant and beautiful bilingual children attending an urban public charter school in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. When I started showing up at the parent committee meetings at their schools, I quickly realized I was one of the very few parents of color present despite our student population being extremely diverse. I promised to myself I would take action and hopefully–in the process–model what Latinx families hold so dearly as core values: that our children come first, that the future is bright when we fight for our rights and dreams, and that as parents we will do everything and anything to ensure that our heritage and cultures are respected, represented and understood. I have since joined forces with the Missouri Charter Public School Association to fight for equity in education and parent voice inclusion. I have helped push legislation through, been a language liaison between schools and low English proficiency families, and have advocated for ELL, immigrant and refugee students and families to make sure they are informed, invited and involved in the education of their children. I’m proud to be part of the National Parents Union and am excited to be on the most important and meaningful path I’ve ever walked; a path that is built on a solid foundation of love for our kids, parent voice and power, and education justice for all children.
I am Soangelis Rivera Perez, I am 28 years old. My elementary and middle school I studied at S.U. Dr. Jose Padin from the Cuchillas neighborhood of the town of Corozal, in this school I began my courtship with my current husband. The superior school attended in the private school of my city. When I turned 19 years old, I married my husband Carlos A. Rivera, with whom I have two sons, one 8 years old and the other 7 years old. I studied Accounting in Puerto Rico and a year ago I became a prek teacher in the state of Ohio. Now I assist and introduce parents to be active in the education of their children in the face of this need, create the organization Puerto Rico Parent’s Voices being the founder and spokesperson of said organization. Then I work for National Parent’s Union as a Puerto Rico Delegate.
Tafshier is an advocate and community organizer based in Newark, NJ. Chief Operating Officer at Parent Impact, an organization created by parents for parents dedicated to empowering, advocating, and connecting families to resources that support their family’s needs for greater outcomes in urban communities. Parent Impact envisions creating opportunities where parents are partners and leaders in their communities. A proud Newarker, Mother to three young adults and three wonderful grandchildren. She has spent more than 20 years volunteering and organizing in various schools and community organizations in Newark. She strongly believes that parents active in the school community and neighborhood organizations have a positive effect on student outcomes. She also knows that having school choice is important and continues to advocate for the civil rights of Black and brown children to receive an equitable and quality education. An avid reader, lover of documentaries and lives a pescatarian lifestyle.
Yahaira Lopez is the founder of Autism Sprinter, Inc: a parent led grassroots organization building parents as experts in special education. Yahaira knows the struggles of Autism firsthand—she has twin boys on the Autism Spectrum as well as ADHD. As any parent knows, young boys can be a handful. Young premature twins added even more complications. And having twin boys with different levels of unique challenges adds even more difficulties. As a parent, Yahaira put her career on hold where she turned one of her bedrooms into a home classroom. She began to watch YouTube videos of autism therapies to self-learn different form therapies to support her children needs to develop her own parent expertise.
Yahaira has a Master’s degree in Human Service Organizational Management from Springfield College. She also has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Salem State University. Yahaira has over 15 years of experience working with children, youth and families in many different capacities. She has worked at Boston Public Schools, DCF, and Boston Center for Youth and Families. Yahaira is currently the Affirmative Action Officer for the Randolph Democratic Committee and a former Crisis Specialist for the mobile crisis team. She is also a Boston Public School alumni who immigrated from Puerto Rico at the age of 4.
Yahaira’s work is dedicated to improving the lives of families and their loved ones presented with unique abilities navigating systems that seems impossible to understand. She believes parents are more than just caretakers. Yahaira says “Parents are experts too”.