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Campaign 2012: Democrats Struggle To Deal With Trigger

Democratic lawmakers and centrist think tankers are all struggling to figure out what to do with the "parent trigger" idea, which many don't think of as very good public policy and is despised by teachers unions among others but sounds so great and is difficult to oppose.  (See Andy Rotherham try and thread the needle here.) Of course, this isn't the first time a great-sounding but perhaps unwise or simplistic idea has created problems for lawmakers because it attracts so much public attention.  Think smaller class sizes, universal preschool, zero tolerance for anyone bringing a gun to school, raising the mandatory attendance age. But the trigger is likely to be one of very few education-related issues to get any attention in the 2012 election cycle.  If asked, it's hard to imagine Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney being against it.  Some Democratic lawmakers -- Miller and (still unconfirmed) Emanuel -- have already come out in favor.  So where will Barack Obama be on this, as well as the rest of the Democratic Caucus?  Nobody seems to know.  The teachers unions won't like it if Democratic candidates support the trigger, but then again they don't have anywhere to go and it's hard to imagine them running against Democrats who support the trigger given all the other things they're already dealing with.  


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What's so "great sounding" about half the parents in a school (this year) signing a petition that allows them to hand their neighborhood public school over to a private management company. Is it "great sounding" because you have some, until now undiscovered, research. showing that this ridiculous idea works or has worked somewhere else? Please show it to us, Alexander.

The question people keep missing is this.

When you are trying to catch Finland and Canada,

you do what Finland and Canada do.

* mitigate poverty
* lower class size
* invest in teacher training and development
* raise wages etc

Don't keep coming up with one hair brain off the wall scheme every six months.

Vouchers, charters, merit pay, Mayoral control, testing, teacher bashing, underfunding are not the strategies of the successful nations.

Parents in Florida don't like it. The PTO and large numbers of parents have gone to Tallahassee against it. The only parents testifying for it were flown in from California by a corporate charter foundation whose actions there have torn apart school communities with their petition drives. So its not just the unions, its the parents and school boards and PTOs and superintendents. The legislature came up with a "compromise" yesterday because they are being bombarded by thousands of phone calls from parents against this really bad idea designed to further degrade public schools and spend money on corporate charters and law suits.

the Parent trigger is an underhanded ruse designed by charter school lobby to privatize our public schools, to take advantage of the legitimate frustration of parents with the lack of support of the corporate reform crowd to actually improve or support our public schools.

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