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Reform: "Trigger Lock" Legislation Gaining Popularity

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In a handful of statehouses around the country, lawmakers have been introducing a new, controversial kind of legislation that is raising concerns among district and state administrators as well as in Washington. Commonly called PTL ("parent trigger lock") legislation, these proposals would allow parents whose children attend schools slated for turnaround, closure, or charter conversion to block that process with a simple majority vote, and to return their school to its previous state, however low-performing that might be.  "It's our school, and they're our kids," said Jeremy James, the Oxnard, California parent credited with popularizing the idea.  "If we want to keep things the way they are we should be able to do that." A statement provided by the U.S. Department of Education said that the "intriguing" approach was currently being reviewed for compliance with NCLB and SIG grant requirements.

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Alexander, what is this? The link goes to the viral Kofy video, not to anything about a "parent trigger lock," and I can't find anything else (at least in a relatively cursory search) about it.

D'oh. I looked at this again to see if there was an explanation and only now saw the made-up news. It was such a burst of sanity that I knew it was bogus -- sanity is not happening in the ed reform world -- but otherwise couldn't figure it out.

It isn't totally made up news, Carolyn, because parents are indeed fighting back.

State legislators haven't had the political security (so far) to introduce legislation to support the parents, who have no legal avenue to defend their schools from takover by entrepreneurs. Several different Massachusetts State Assembly members told me they were threatened with retaliation by the state Democratic party if they failed to support the RttT Education Reform Act of January 2010, which mandates siezure of local schools by unnamed private "turnaround partners", to be selected by the DESE.

So, Alexander made up his smarmy quote about a parent wanting to "keep things just the way they are" to push the entrepreneurs' narrative (they're out to save America from a failed status-quo, not to line their own pockets at public expense).

But "trigger lock" is too good an idea to keep to himself, and thus this satire. He hates it when we speculate about his motives, but I think some small part of his mind is irrevocably on the side of truth and reason.

In fact, I'm planning to take his idea up with one of my legislators who DID have the courage to stand up to the RttT juggernaut. She sits in the state senate, now.

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