I’ve written often about the sham that is the California “parent trigger” law that allows an unclear number of parents in a school’s general area to “trigger” that school’s takeover by a charter school operator (not-so-coincidentally, the push for the law was led by a group connected to a charter school company).
Sadly, we can now see how it will be used by “school reformers” as they try it for the first time on a school in Compton (see Parents hope to force sweeping changes at Compton school).
Ben Austin, the head of the group pushing for the takeover, demonstrated a fair amount of self-righteous over-zealousness:
“The only way to succeed is to bring about a radical and unapologetic transfer of raw power from defenders of the status quo to parents, because they’re the only ones who care only about kids.”
Check-out my previous posts to learn about more of my concerns, and also read today’s post from School Finance 101, Potential abuses of the Parent Trigger???
(ADDITION: Here’s an article from The Huffington Post with a little more information on what’s happening in Compton — Compton Parents Use New ‘Trigger Law’ To Demand Charter School)
I would actually question whether Ben Austin is zealous. He is entirely a paid mouthpiece who has never put in a moment’s effort on education if it wasn’t on the timeclock. He’s just doing his job, which runs kind of counter to the concept of zealotry.
I see the whole Compton issue as a failure of the hierarchical governance models of schools, a model that excludes parents and particularly excludes the students. In trying to help a younger generation to prepare for adulthood in a democratic society I have always felt we miss the boat by not letting kids play a role or at least have a voice in helping run their schools. See my blog post for more details… http://www.leftyparent.com/blog/2010/12/07/parents-students-as-citizens-in-their-own-schools/