Monday, June 11, 2012

Power to the parents of school children

DFER's Gloria Romero on the union's thuggery in CA to demolish attempts by parents to implement the Parent Trigger law she wrote when she was in the legislature:

There's a problem with California's groundbreaking "parent trigger" law. But it isn't what you might think.

The law, which I wrote, passed in 2010, and it sought to give parents genuine power and control over their children's educational destiny by allowing them to force staff changes at failing schools or even to convert such schools to charters. The parent trigger law has attracted attention from legislators across the nation who are looking to put the "public" back into fractured public education systems.

But here in California, just as parents have begun trying to harness the power of the law and demand new approaches at underperforming schools, powerful political interests have rushed in to keep parents from exercising their new rights.

We saw that happen in Compton last year, and more recently we've seen it in the Antelope Valley town of Adelanto. In both cases, more than half the parents at a failing school signed petitions demanding change. But then some of them, after pressure from outside interests, got cold feet and asked to remove their names from the petitions.

The problem in both cases was that those who had long wielded power weren't about to relinquish it, even though the law was clear. Those who are used to calling the shots in school districts — teachers unions, administrators, politicians — have wanted to keep it that way. The goal has been to keep parents at bay, as passive consumers with few choices.

In both Adelanto and Compton, parents trying to exercise their rights felt the full onslaught of a "sweep and destroy" mission launched by the California Teachers Assn. and its affiliates. What had taken weeks to build was destroyed in a few days of heavy-handed lobbying. Parents have reported being told outright lies about charter law and about their rights. Some parents reported that they were even threatened with deportation if they didn't rescind their signatures.

The operatives brought in to derail the parents' campaign fully understood that the easiest way to do so was to smear the opponent.


Power to the parents of school children

Powerful political interests have rushed in to circumvent the 'parent trigger' law in California schools.

Parents of the Desert Trails Parent Union rally at Mgrdichian Park in Adelanto to submit the second-ever "Parent Trigger" petitions to transform Desert Trails Elementary. (Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2012)


By Gloria Romero

March 28, 2012,0,6184499.story

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