Green Dot’s Steve Barr is trying to launch a Parent Revolution in Los Angeles, urging parents to demand better schools or else. Or else they’ll start a charter school with the help of Bright Star Schools and the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, successful charter operators. From the Los Angeles Times:
If more than half of the parents at a school sign up, Barr’s organizers say they will guarantee an excellent campus within three years. They call it the Parent Revolution.
With parents, they predict, they’ll have the clout to pressure the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve schools. They’ll also have petitions, which Barr and his allies will keep at the ready, to start charter schools. If the district doesn’t deliver, targeted neighborhoods could be flooded with charters, which aren’t run by the school district. L.A. Unified would lose enrollment, and the funding would go to the charters instead of to the district.
Organizer Ben Austin, a lawyer and political consultant, “characterized a proper school as one that is safe, orderly and small, where the principal can personally and rapidly fire ineffective teachers, where nearly all dollars get to the classroom and where every child is progressing toward college.”
On Fox and Hounds Daily, Austin writes: “We are done with bake sales. We are done playing by their rules.”
In addition to Green Dot, funding for the Parent Revolution groups has come from philanthropist Eli Broad, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Service Employees International Union.