"Parent Trigger": School Reform or Mob Rule? (VIDEO)

Nov 15, 2010
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.


'You can send me to detention, but my mom will close you down!' (Photo: Reuters Pictures).

The Wall Street Journal called it "The Radical School Reform You've Never Heard Of." California's teachers' union called it a "lynch mob provision."

The Journal and the teachers are talking about "parent trigger," the next political hand grenade in the battle to reform our nation's public schools.

In January, California became the first state in the nation with a "parent trigger" law. Under the provision, if 51 percent of parents at any given school sign a petition, they can trigger a transformation of the school: inviting in a charter operator, forcing administrative changes, or shuttering the school altogether.

To qualify for a parent trigger petition, a California school must have failed to make "Adequate Yearly Progress" toward improving test scores for four consecutive years.

The Journal reports that 1,300 schools in California fit that criteria.

Parent trigger is the brainchild of a California group called "Parent Revolution" that "aims to transform public education rooted in what’s good for kids—not grown-ups—by empowering parents to transform their own children’s low-performing schools through community organizing."

According to the Journal, parent trigger laws are expected to be introduced in five additional states: New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Georgia.

Watch the video from Parent Revolution, then tell us in the comments if you think parent trigger laws are a good idea. Will they turn around failing schools? Or do they punish teachers and administrators unfairly?

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