National Parents Union

Our Kids. Our Voice.

The National Parents Union is 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. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation.

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

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

Leadership

Keri Rodrigues

Co-Founder, Founding President

Keri Rodrigues

Co-Founder, Founding President

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.

Alma Marquez

Co-Founder, Secretary Treasurer

Alma Marquez

Co-Founder, Secretary Treasurer

Alma Marquez is a Los Angeles Unified School District survivor and Miquitzli’s mom, a college student and graduate of Alliance-ESAT Charter High.  She proudly leans in to her mother Ernestine Madrid’s legacy of advocating for education equity and excellence. Ernestine was a parent organizer, teacher’s assistant and proud member of SEIU in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Alma is Founder of Del Sol Group, a communications and public affairs firm. She has over 20 years of experience in finding solutions to complex problems and a vast network of allies nationally. She is Founder of La Comadre, a network of Latina women using their collective influence to demand excellence in education. A highly regarded strategist and public affairs expert, Alma’s ability to envision and implement winning strategies has earned her a reputation as a game changer.

As Vice President of External and Government Affairs for Green Dot Public Schools, she led political and community engagement efforts that grew Green Dot from 4 schools to 18 as well as the first two turn-around school projects in LAUSD’s history in Watts and South LA. Alma led organizing efforts for the Political Action Committee for the Small Schools Alliance, making education the mainstay of the Los Angeles Mayoral Race of 2005. This was pivotal for creating the pro-education reform powerbase that still exists in Los Angeles.

Alma co-founded the Los Angeles Parent Union (LAPU) which grew into 12 chapters, the largest of which had 4,000 members. She created the strategy and parent organizing curriculum, trained thousands of parents and led community actions including the March of the Parents to demand excellent schools.

Alma served as the CA Latino Vote Director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, where she developed innovative Latino Voter strategies including the “Obama Nos Llama,” the first ever interstate Latino campaign within a Presidential campaign.  Alma is a graduate of East Los Angeles College and Occidental College. She earned her Masters in Urban Planning with emphasis on Social Policy from UCLA. Alma is a Board Member of Great Schools, the leading provider of data for parents about schools and a national policy council member for Ed-Loc, which is committed to elevating the voices, leadership and influence of people of color in education.

Peter Cunningham

Board Member

Peter Cunningham

Board Member

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.

Gerard Robinson

Board Member

Gerard Robinson

Board Member

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.

Dan Weisberg

Board Member

Dan Weisberg

Board Member

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

Board Member

Bibb Hubbard

Board Member

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.

Paid for by the National Parents Union for Education Equality