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Reform: Parent "Trigger" Moving East

ScreenHunter_12 Jan. 24 10.01 Like a big midwinter storm heading West to East across the country, the so-called parent "trigger" is moving from California to Connecticut. Popularized in Los Angeles by a group called Parent Revolution, the trigger concept -- essentially a parent referendum that sets off a turnaround effort -- went statewide in California in December.  Last month the pointy-headed wonks at National Journal debated the concept (most seemed opposed, as you'd expect). Now it's being introduced by several minority legislators in Connecticut on Thursday, according to the attached press release sent to me this afternoon.  Who knows?  It could be coming to your state next. Now watch the other education blogs play catchup.



For IMMEDIATE Release                                                                                                                         

Monday, February 8, 2010

Contact: Gwen Samuel

Tel: (203) 953-5154

Email: [email protected]                                                                                                                


Lawmakers & Advocates Introduce a Comprehensive Education Reform Bill which includes a Landmark

 “CT Parent Trigger”


Press conference Thursday, 02/11 at 12:30 p.m.in LOB Room 2A


Lawmakers from the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black & Puerto Rican Caucus, led by State Representatives Jason Bartlett (D-Bethel, Danbury, Redding), Douglas McCrory (D-Hartford),Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford), and Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven), will hold a press conference on Thursday, February 11,2010  at 12:30pm to announce the introduction of  a Comprehensive Education Reform bill that is clearly in alignment with what the U.S. Department of Education is looking for regarding meaningful education/school reform and Race to the Top criteria. These are Smart Choices and Bold Action!


This comprehensive education bill will also include the Historical CONCEPT: 


 “CT Parent trigger”:  Balancing the power between Parents, Administrators & Educators within the education/school reform process.


On January 7th, 2010; California legislators have taken an historical step toward balancing the power between Parents, Administrators and Educators by passing an important comprehensive education reform bill which includes a “parent trigger” law that allows a majority of parents (51%) in a 3 or more year failing school to petition for a school reform. The law requires district to do something sooner rather than later — replace administrators, reconstitute a school or make other major reforms to ensure academic success for ALL children.


CT has over 185 of these “failing” schools within 2007, 2008 and 2009. They are failing 3 or more years in the same subject area.  Some CT schools are in their 9th year of failing under federal requirements. A CT Parent Trigger law may only apply to schools in the second year or more of federal "program improvement" status (NCLB).


The concept was developed by the grass-roots group Parent Revolution in the Los Angeles Unified School District.   The Parent Trigger is a concept that will engage the necessary conversations needed among parents, community advocates, and school boards across the state to transform schools from failing to educate some students to educating all students equitably.


A question from parents and legal guardians; what is wrong with giving parents the same power as administrators and educators to participate in a meaningful decisions making process to decide how a “FAILING” school should provide the needed integrated services and comprehensive supports to children?  Furthermore, to ensure that schools are centers of communities, for the ultimate goal of assisting students to stay in school, become successful learners, and improve academic achievement.  The answer; there is nothing wrong with giving parents the access to the opportunities needed to ensure their child’s academic success.


A “CT Parent Trigger” law could especially empower parents primarily in minority and poor communities where FAILING SCHOOLS exist in large numbers.


In closing here is a math equation for Connecticut’s tax payers and registered and active voters.


Here are the economic results of a 1% increase in the education levels.


 Connecticut:  $5 billion more economic activity each year

Fairfield County: $ 1.8 billion

Greater Hartford: $1.6 billion

Greater New Haven: $800 million

Southeastern CT: $300 million


Higher levels of education equal better community, higher employment, lower taxes, stronger businesses and less crime. 


 This is just one more step toward economic stability within Connecticut by reforming education!





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I hope Connecticut is successful in passing this proposed legislation. It is a brilliant idea and long, long, long overdue. I would like to have enough reason to return my children back to public school after having paid private school tuition for several years. If such legislation was in place, I would seriously consider moving them back into the public school setting, but I am sooooo sick and tired of whining teachers and administrators who live off of tax payers dollars and poor excuses for their dismal failures. Yet their wages continue and increase while children are miseducated. I hope this legislative mandate is passed.

I believe that politicians and ignorants are trying to use parents as weapons against teachers. I am not surprised that Califirnia Governor, AKA Terminator, inspired this bizarre idea, similar to the "tea parties."

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