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Gwen Samuel, President & Founder, Connecticut Parents Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 16, 2012
CT Parents Union Founder Gwen Samuel Testifies Before Congress : The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), today held a hearing to examine state and local efforts to increase parental engagement and options.

3.28.12 Stan Simpson Show Education Advocate Groups Talk With Commissioner Watch CTPU Gwen Samuel, CT Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Conncan's Executive Director 07.33 http://www.ctnow.com/news/stansimpson/


Watch School Choice, Mothers and Women YouTube link co-hosted by CT Parents Union

CT Parent Unions appears on Fox CT "The Real Story"

2012 CTPU Education Reform Plan

Watch CTPU Education Reform Plan Press Conference 1.18.12

Thank You To All Who Participated in the March 14, 2012

Photos from the 2012 CT Parents Union Event
  1. The Struggle Continues Education Panel Discussion w. Bernard Center For Women
  2. Parents & Communities High Quality Education Rally w. Special Guest Kelley Williams - Bolar, Akron Ohio, Michelle Bernard, Bernard Center for Women and Michelle Rhee - StudentsFirst

"One in four students in America drops out of high school—and in the minority community; it’s closer to one in two. We’re sending 1.2 million kids into the streets each year without an education. It’s economically unsustainable and it’s morally unacceptable." - US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

CTPU Supports "Children First" In Parent Teacher School Partnerships -Join Your Local School Governance Councils

A Joint Statement from Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, and Gwen Samuel, President, Connecticut Parents Union (see attachment for full press release)

Thank you to all who participated in the 2011 "Parent Express" Bus Tour Experience!


Lawmakers Must Reform School Residency Laws

Connecticut and states across the county must reform school residency laws /zip code educational practices to ensure parent’s are able to send their children to safe and high quality schools when there are not any other safe and high quality school options in their neighborhood!

January 9, 2012, Connecticut Parent’s Union hosted press conference with Akron Ohio, Ms. Kelley Williams - Bolar of the newly formed Ohio Parent’s Union, Mr. Matt Prewett, Texas Parent’s Union, Mr. Kenneth Campbell, President of the Black Alliance For Educational Options and the author of the California Parent Trigger law and California Director of Democrats for Education Reform Senator Gloria Romero (Ret.) to discuss the need to reform and end Zip Code education in areas like Beach Park, Illinois.

Beach Park, Illinois is the home of the nation’s fourth case of a parent, Ms Annette Callahan, accused of stealing a “free public education” through, what CTPU alleges to be, unconstitutional School Residency laws, due to the very "selective selection" process.

Listen to CTPU's Press Conference LINK: https://www.freeconferencing.com/playback_ow.html?e=1328504400000&cid=conferences/90-17-65-67-17-65-674632996520123307057-17-65-67-17-65-67-17-65-67108.mp3&cn=94-43-28-63


An analysis of the State of Connecticut using almost any indicator of socio-economic progress quickly reveals stark contradictions in the fortunes of its residents. Connecticut, one of the richest states in the nation is also home to some of the nation’s poorest cities; it is home to some of the most prestigious Universities and schools in the nation, yet its academic achievement gap is among the highest in the nation, observable between rich and poor students, and between white students and students of color. The socio-economically disadvantaged in Connecticut’s cities tend to be people of color, trapped in schools that persistently fail to meet their need for a quality education; these residents are also likely to be underemployed, or lacking in job skills that would provide a livable wage, consequently they tend be under-insured, or uninsured. CTPU will partner with communities and key stakeholders to affect sustainable change through thoughtful, responsive public policy, re-allocation and application of critical resources, and the empowerment of residents to become engaged in reforming their communities.

Why do we need a Parent's Union?
In the past 20 years, public school enrollment in Connecticut increased by 24 percent, from 459,215 students in 1989 to 569,237 students in the fall of 2008. (http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/pressroom/ConditionofEd_08_09.pdf

More than one-third of children from poor communities enter kindergarten classes already behind their peers in reading; a child who is not reading by the end of first grade has only a one-in-eight chance of ever becoming a proficient reader. America ranks in the bottom third among developed nations in terms of student performance, 25th in math and 21st in science. We fall behind in nearly every other subject as well.

Needless to say, the U.S. public school system and economy is in crisis! Providing resources and access to the decision making table is paramount as America attempts to stabilize the economy, unemployment rate, and educational achievement gap. Across America, there is a need for increased levels of civic engagement from parents, family and community. Therefore, parents, guardians, and families need an organized power base that can level the playing field within the public policy arena.

Note: Every child will not attend college but that does not mean they should not have access to a college ready academic experience!

Why is our emphasis on parent & family engagement?
A child’s parents, family members and community are his or her first teachers. Today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce and the role of the parent to the future of America's workforce is critical.

This important role must be recognized and validated within educational systems. Parents and guardians must be able to provide their children with all of the support systems necessary for them to succeed including: equal access to high quality educational, a safe and healthy home and school environment to learn and grow, and equal access to programs that promote the well-being of family members. Healthy children come from healthy families and communities; and, healthy children thrive in school!

Research clearly states that a parents’ active engagement within their child’s learning is the most important long-term influence on academic success and behavior. Parental engagement goes well beyond being engaged in activities in and around school – it is about parents and effective teachers working together to support the child’s learning in the classroom and, most importantly, in the home.

Refer a Parent, Grandparent, Foster Parent, Adoptive Parent, Mentor, and Role Model...

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