Parent Trigger R.I.P.

Today, The Los Angeles Times published an editorial reflecting on the parent trigger’s lack of success, and described Parent Revolution’s retooling effort:

Instead of choosing the schools for a possible parent trigger and engineering the petitions, Parent Revolution now leaves it up to parents to determine whether they want to initiate major reforms and what kind.

The article charitably describes the organization’s success at this new strategy as “modest.”

Of course, this “new” strategy is the primary strategy used by all effective community organizers in modern times, and by successful organizers in history before the term was even coined.

If the Parent Revolution had begun its efforts with that perspective, had chosen not to demonize teachers and had decided not to declare forcefully that they were the only people who really cared about children, they might have been a positive force for educational improvement and had a lasting impact.

Now, however, their change in strategy has come far too late, and any credibility they might have had has been lost by the destructive tactics they have employed in the past. Of course, that would not necessarily mean they would be “out of the picture” in any kind of major school improvement efforts. If they had any power, it might still be worth engaging with them. In community organizing, power is either organized people or organized money. Parent Revolution has no people, and no money of their own — only grants from a handful of the usual suspects who support their version of “school reform.” With no people, and no success, those grants will wither away. Given this situation, there is no reason why any other parent, teacher or school organizations should pay any attention to them.

Parent Trigger R.I.P.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

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