Schwarzenegger’s Parent Trigger Law Becomes Action: Parents Take Over Failing California School!
Here at 8BitDad, we report on a lot of funny B.S., since we’re generally only interested in funny B.S. (and the occasional sad story about a pedophile opening a theme park). But it turns out yesterday morning brought us a game-changing story about McKinley Elementary School in Compton, California that was literally taken over by local parents.
If you’re not familiar with Compton, California – you can take a crash course on Amazon.
In all seriousness, this morning’s Parent Trigger decision will change how public education is handled around the country. It’s kind of exciting.
The Parent Trigger, introduced by the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger last year, gives parents the ability to vote for (and force) a change in their child’s failing school. Once a 51% majority is met among the parents, five options are available:
1. Bring in a local out-performing charter school to transform their children’s failing school.
2. Leave the school district in-charge, but have all staff replaced.
3. Replace the Principal, and make other small changes.
4. Close the school and have students sent to other local out-performing schools.
5. Make small individual changes through bargaining power.
These options give the parents an unprecedented amount of power in a system that has seemed to be in a slow decline year after year. To read the actual text of the Parent Trigger law, check out Parent Revolution.
One of the underlying problems in the United States’ educational system is that in our 14,000 school districts, low-income students often get lost in low-income schools. “Bad” areas and under-motivated administrators often have no reason to reform. Those administrators and staff that are motivated and have a commitment to education receive no support or resources – and local governance hasn’t forced the issue…until now.
Back at McKinley Elementary School, one that is ranked in the bottom 10% of all elementary schools in California, the parents have chosen to transfer ownership from the Compton Unified School District to the Celerity Education Group. Celerity ranks in the top 10-and-20% of schools when compared within similar demographics.
What this means for the rest of California, as well as the rest of the country, is that parents can make a difference. Often, when the topic of a low-rank school is brought up, the parents and the school point the finger at each other – and nothing is done. Solutions are pushed around desks, and the wishes of a few parents for better education is usually lost. With a law like Parent Trigger in power, parents can now assemble and vote for change. Parents only needed two things – resources and power. Now they’ve got both.
8BitDad wishes the parents of McKinley Elementary School good luck with their decision! If you’d like to do more reading about Parent Trigger, check out all 38 billion news articles on it.