Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Great news from CA:

Great news from CA:

California Parents Celebrate Two Historic Victories! 

LOS ANGELES – Today, parents across California -- from Compton to Sacramento -- are celebrating two historic victories. Parents in Compton celebrated the opening of two new high quality charter schools that were the direct result of the historic first Parent Trigger campaign at McKinley Elementary, and parents across California celebrated the unanimous, final passage of the Parent Trigger implementing regulations at the State Board of Education.

"A year ago or even six months ago, we could have never imagined that we would be celebrating such a momentous day," said Ben Austin, Executive Director of Parent Revolution. "Just one year ago, parents at McKinley Elementary had no voice in their children's educational destiny and were forced to send their children to schools where children are 50 times more likely to drop out of high school than go to college. Now parents across Compton are breaking the cycle and sending their children to one of the two new Celerity campuses, including one only two blocks from McKinley Elementary."

"And far away in Sacramento, parents are celebrating the final vote passing Parent Trigger regulations that protect their rights under the historic Parent Trigger law," said Gabe Rose, Deputy Director of Parent Revolution.  "After almost a year of battling with some of the most powerful interests in California and four different overnight bus trips to Sacramento, parents have persevered and can now celebrate an historic victory.

"The defenders of the status quo are waking up to the fact that the parent power movement is not going away.  With the Parent Trigger law and the new regulations now in place, parents now have power and they are not going to give it up. In fact, they are using all the tools at their disposal to ensure that their kids get the quality public education that they deserve."

From the removal of Ben Austin and a number of reform minded board members from the State Board of Education last January, to the near inclusion of the California Teachers Association's proposed "Teacher Veto" provision, and even after the State Board almost exceeded the time limitations required by the state to pass regulations, many observers were doubtful that the final regulations would ever be reached. Instead, showing true leadership, State Board of Education president Michael Kirst, along with the entire board, drafted and passed regulations that empower parents and protect their rights under the Parent Trigger law.

Similarly, McKinley Parents for Change fought a long, hard battle to transform a persistently failing McKinley Elementary school with the high-performing Celerity charter operator. While that case is still pending in litigation, McKinley parents fought to not only protect their legal and constitutional rights under the new Parent Trigger law, but also began a process to successfully opened the doors to two new Celerity campuses in Compton.

"Today's victory is due to the leadership of State Board President Michael Kirst and the many local, Compton allies that fought to defend McKinley parents," Rose continued. "But mostly, it is proof that parents will stop at nothing to get their children the quality education they deserve."

"With these final regulations in place, parents will now be able to move forward on Parent Trigger campaigns across California – without the threat of harassment, bureaucratic delays, and cynical tactics designed to defend an indefensible status quo," said Austin.  "And with the two new Celerity schools opening today in Compton, hundreds of children will now be freed from dropout factories and have access to a high quality public education that will help them maximize their potential and achieve

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