Update: Texas Close To Enacting Parent Trigger Law
There are two new articles about parent triggers that have gone live today -- with dramatically different takes. More of a primer on the issue, TIME's Kayla Webley emphasizes the energy, controversy, and frustration behind trigger proposals in her piece, while noting that legislation has been proposed in 14 states and that the Texas version has passed both legislative chambers. EdWeek's Sean Cavanaugh paints much more of a glass half-empty scenario. He notes logistical and political obstacles standing in the way -- underplaying the ferocious political opposition a bit in my opinion (oppenents in California described it as a "lynch mob provision") -- but noting that the newness of the idea plays a part too (which is almost certainly true). What both stories leave out is the reality that, while funded by Walton, Wasserman, and Gates, Parent Revolution and the whole parent trigger idea have been given the cold shoulder by most of the wonky center-left school reform community. Reformers already have a way to get new schools: charters. Not many seem to have an appetite for fixing existing schools. Even more fundamentally, the parent trigger is relatively simple, eye-catching and political (and relies on actual grassroots organizing). It's a community organizer's version of school reform, or a politician's (or a Republican's!) -- not a policy wonk's vision or a reformer's complicated scheme. And in today's reform world that's just too simple and too hard to control to be a favorite. Image via.