C/O New York City Parents Union | 225 Broadway, Suite 1902 | New York, NY 10007

E: admin@nationalparentsunion.org P: (646) 481-5760 W: www.nationalparentsunion.org

Gwendolyn Samuel- CT
Connecticut Parents Union


Rhonda Gatch - GA
Moms for School Choice

Mona Davids - NY
New York City Parents Union

Kelly Bolar-Williams - OH
Ohio Parents Union

Hamlet Garcia - PA
Pennsylvania Parents Union


July 9, 2014

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Arne Duncan U.S. Department of Education
Secretary Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue SW 400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202 Washington, DC 20202

RE: SUPPORT for Excellent Educators for All Initiative with Recommendations for
Accountable Parent Participation in Development of Equity Plans

Dear Secretary Duncan :

This letter is to express the National’s Parents Union support, with recommendations, for
Excellent Educators for All Initiative which will help states, school districts and parents
support great educators for all students, especially the ones that need effective teachers
the most.

It goes without saying, all children are entitled to a safe and high-quality educational
experience regardless of their race, zip code or family income; yet too many of America’s
children, especially African-Americans, Hispanics, those living in poverty and rural areas
are denied equitable access to resources which include access to effective teachers.

Our hope, as parents, is that the U.S. Department of Education will ensure that the actual
consumers of education, parents, students, and taxpayers, will be included in the process
of implementation to enable impartial and balanced decision making.

Simply put, parents would like to respectfully recommend the following amendments to
the initiative:

a. Parents recommend that the Parental Involvement Title 1, Part A section be
changed from Non-regulatory guidance to regulatory guidance to hold local and
state boards of education accountable for meaningful engagement in equity plan
development well beyond the required parent sign in sheets that are meant to
validate parent participation.
b. Parents recommend that this initiative should address efforts to make sure that
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C/O New York City Parents Union | 225 Broadway, Suite 1902 | New York, NY 10007
E: admin@nationalparentsunion.org P: (646) 481-5760 W: www.nationalparentsunion.org

poor performing teachers are not allowed to continue to teach.
c. Parents recommend that educators in rural and low-populated school districts
have access to high quality digital learning.
d. Parents recommend that a transparent mechanism be put in place to track the
spending of all monies that are allotted to this initiative.
e. Parents recommend that the U.S. Department of Education include all
stakeholders – parents, students and community members – when developing
initiatives to ensure a fair and balanced approach to education policy.

In the Vergara v. California lawsuit, the judge ruled it unconstitutional to deny any student
access to an effective teacher. We feel that the best way to guarantee equal access for all
children is if parents, students and community members have a voice in the
implementation of this initiative.

This initiative, allows us, as a nation, to address challenges addressed by the Vegara v
California lawsuit as it relates to identifying and retaining great teachers. Furthermore the
initiative may help to address New York parents’ and students’ concerns identified in the
most recent filing of the David’s lawsuit in New York, in which eleven students – all
children of members of the New York City Parents Union — filed a lawsuit to protect all
children’s Constitutional right to receive the opportunity to receive a sound basic

This initiative has the potential to provide all students with equal access to high quality
teachers. For these reasons, the National Parents Union is pleased to support this
important initiative with the outlined recommendations.


Gwendolyn Samuel
National Parents Union

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