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Parent Trigger: An "Easy" Button For Parents & Kids


This post is mostly just an excuse to use the Washington Post's parent trigger image (a riff on the famous "Easy" button from Staples), and to link to some recent stories on LA School Report.  But it's also a chance to rebut Valerie Strauss's highly selective and inaccurate post about the parent trigger, which ignores all the career Democrats who are involved with and support the trigger and bypasses the latest events in Los Angeles where the trigger is being used in interesting new ways that don't involve lawsuits or ousting school board members. 

For the record, the trigger was championed and passed thanks to the work of a career Democrat named Gloria Romero, with the help of a career Democrat named Ben Austin.  Eli Broad is a career Democrat (he supported Hillary in the 2012 Democratic presidential primaries).  David Phelps, the current PR person for Parent Revolution, previously worked for the Washington Education Association.  His predecessor left to join the Obama campaign.  

Several big-city Democratic mayors support the trigger, including both Democrats running to replace Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles.  Obama education secretary Arne Duncan has given the trigger a nod (and then managed to avoid talking about the issue for a remarkably long time). 

These may not be Democrats you like, or an issue with which you agree with them (like drones, or fracking, or other issues), but there's no doubt about their being mainstream Democrats.  

As for the real-world impact of the trigger, I'd urge Strauss and others to update their files to include 24th Street Elementary School, where the district and a charter are going to run the school next year and the union has not filed suit, or Haddon Elementary, where parents gathered signatures but then came to an agreement with teachers to waive some of the contract provisions.

You don't have to agree that the trigger is good -- we don't really know -- but credibility requires a balanced set of facts.  Yes, there are some Republican supporters of the trigger, and yes there are some Democratic groups who are opposed (along with the reform policy community, which still treats the trigger like an ugly cousin). But wishing for the trigger to be a Republican-only conspiracy just doesn't fit the facts as I know them.  


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From Parent Rev:
Dear Media Colleagues --

As parent empowerment efforts move into the mainstream, we wanted to ensure you had the current facts and information about 'Parent Trigger' efforts in California. Some writers (notably Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post) continue to suggest there have only been two 'Parent Trigger' campaigns in California. This is incorrect and has been for sometime. We hope this update will clarify:

There have been FIVE 'Parent Trigger' campaigns in California since the 'Parent Empowerment' Act was signed into law in early 2010. In chronological order, these are:
Compton (2010) where the parent petition was ultimately dismissed by a judge on a legal technicality;
Adelanto/Desert Trails (2011/2012) where two Calif. Superior Court judges upheld the parent petition, allowing the parents to move forward with the selection of high-quality, non-profit charter school which will begin operations at Desert Trails Elementary in July
24th Street Elementary School (Los Angeles/2013) where parents overwhelmingly selected an historic collaborative partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and high-performing, non-profit charter operator Crown Prep Academy to begin the transformation process starting in July. LAUSD will be responsible for Pre-K - 4; Crown Prep for 5-8
Haddon Avenue Elementary School (Los Angeles/ 2012-2013) where parents voted to "pause" their 'Parent Trigger' petition efforts to work on a collaborative in-district reform plan for their school with teachers and the district
Weigand Avenue Elementary School (Los Angeles/2013) where parents are petitioning for a "transformation" model, allowing them to work collaboratively with teachers and LAUSD on much-needed changes. The Weigand parents are not asking for a non-profit charter school option.
We hope this clarifies where 'Parent Trigger' efforts in California currently stand. We will keep you updated on these -- and other efforts as they emerge.

I am absolutely for the "trigger".We as parents have to hold our educators and administrators responsible.It's all about the children...

I agree, as parents the main objective is to have your kids best interest at heart.The concern of the parents is important,and shold be took inconsideration.

Parent Rev doesn't represent parents. They represent the same imperial forces as Russo.


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