Press Release – Parent Summit 2013

/ 16 May 2013 / eunice

Parent Leadership Summit on May 23:
Designing a Better School System for 21st Century Minnesota

St. Paul, MN, May 16, 2013—The 11th annual Parent Leadership Summit will be held **on May 23 in the Grand Hall at the TIES building in St. Paul.** The program, “Designing a Better School System for 21st Century for Minnesota,” asks the question: Are public schools failing? Or have our schools been doing exactly what they were designed to do— be a sorting mechanism? America’s public schools have been ever evolving. Parents United contends it’s time for the new iteration of public schools.

“I’ve been to a number of conferences that make it seem like preparing 100% of our children for college and careers is an easy fix,” said Mary Cecconi, executive director of Parents United for Public Schools. “One thing we need to understand is the complexity of educating 100%. We need to transform the system to meet individual children’s needs. This will require a systems change, and a supportive public.”

The Summit will feature a varied group of people who spend their time thinking about this issue. Also participating in engaging the audience in the conversation is the Theater of Public Policy.


  • Keith Lester, Superintendent of Brooklyn Center Community Schools
  • Vina Kay, Lead Researcher/Policy Analyst, Organizing Apprenticeship Project
  • Rebecca Wade, teacher, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Radious Guess, Family and Community Empowerment Specialist, Northwest Suburban Integration School District
  • Rep. Kathy Brynaert, Mankato, chief author of the newly aligned assessment system
  • Dr. Keith Brooks, Bethel University Assistant Professor of Education

“The best way to predict the future is to design it,” Cecconi said. “The public should be part of the conversation about what this ‘100% system’ of public schools should look like.”

There is an Optional Afternoon Session: Legislative Wrap-Up with Mary Cecconi. This session will summarize the 2013 Legislative session, and how it will impact local schools. Attendees will learn how to maximize effectiveness in policy making through parent-led Legislative Action Committees.

The Summit is open to the public. To register, visit

For more information, please contact Mary Cecconi, executive director for Parents United for Public Schools at 651-214-6565 or