L.A. Parents Pull the Trigger on School Choice


L.A. Parents Pull the Trigger on School Choice
by Kyle Olson
Big Government

The parents of students at McKinley Elementary School in Compton, California have risen up and taken control of their children’s education.

The parents are making use of a new California law, called the Parent Trigger, which gives them the power to impose sweeping changes on failing schools.

For the Parent Trigger law to be invoked, a school must fail to meet federal academic standards for three consecutive years; have a score …

Under this law, if the majority of a school’s parents agree, they can choose to close down the school, replace the entire staff, or convert it to a charter school. All that is required is a petition signed by 50 percent of the parents.

I do not know how this law got past the CTA’s protectors in the CA legislature, but Gov. Schwarzenegger signed this into law abour 11 months ago!


What stuns me is that CA would have a law w/the word “Trigger” used in a possitive light! :freaked:


From the article:

For the Parent Trigger law to be invoked, a school must fail to meet federal academic standards for three consecutive years; have a score of less than 800 on the state’s Academic Performance Index, which is based on student test scores; and be among the lowest performing five percent of schools in the state.

I thought that criteria was going to be tough to meet - until I read…

There are many California schools that would qualify for parental action under the Parent Trigger law, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

In the Los Angeles United School District alone, 250 schools have failed to meet academic standards for more than three years, the newspaper said.

Holy mackeral! What a pitiful disgrace our schools have become.
And while I was glad to see that parents finally have an alternative, it bugged me to read our schools described as if they never were excellent. I’d say they were pretty darn good pre-Nat’l Dept. of Ed days.
Speaking of which; after reading that other states are thinking of adopting this law, maybe there IS hope that the Dept. of Ed. will eventually go the way of the dodo bird. --pun intended.
Couldn’t happen soon enough.


Remember how the schools got down to brass tacks right after Sputnik went up? Unfortunately, the days of the flower children came awfully close behind that.


Some Liberals want better schools too.

May 16, 2010
ADL (Anti-Defamation League) takes a hard line **against school-choice voucher **programs, which give parents the wherewithal to rescue their children from failing public schools and enroll them in private schools instead.

Three months ago, the executive committee of ADL’s Philadelphia chapter voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution endorsing vouchers. Now it is urging the entire organization to follow suit.

As it happens, the ADL regional board isn’t the only liberal voice in Philadelphia calling for expanded school choice.

State Senator Anthony Williams, a black Democrat and a candidate in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary this week, is the founder of a charter school, a champion of vouchers, and an ardent believer in the power of competition to improve the quality of education.

His position puts him sharply at odds with the state’s largest teachers’ union, which opposes choice and has endorsed his main opponent. But Williams — like the local ADL leadership — sees school choice as the great civil rights battle of the day.

“Anybody who was for Brown v. Board of Education — it baffles me that they would be against vouchers,’’ he told me last week. **“Brown condemned schools that were separate and unequal. Well, that’s exactly what we’re back to now **— schools that are segregated by income, by ZIP code, by race.’’

Liberal grit in the fight for school choice - The Boston Globe



Williams is still playing the class warfare card, but I’ll give him credit for “getting” - maybe indirectly - that if PSs have very little competition pressuring them to improve, they won’t. He might even “get” that throwing $$ at PSs just rewards and subsidizes mediocrity. What government subsidizes it gets lots more of! I’m guessing Williams has heard from a bunch of parents telling of the horrors of the schools their children attend, the real human horrors, not just roofs and heating systems in need of repair.


The Philadelphia Catholic school system is overwhelmed with “non-Catholic” students that are trying to get away from the Public Schools. This puts pressure on the Arch diocese financially because they don’t want to refuse the “poor”.

A Catholic School teacher told me the suburban Parishes were being short changed in order to provide money to the city Catholic schools. The increasing tuition in the suburban schools to offset this, causes parents to use public schools more. A vicious cycle.