Board rejects ‘parent trigger’

Under California’ s “parent trigger” law, a majority of parents can petition for a low-performing school’s change of management — including handing control to a charter school. But Compton Unified School Board voted 7-0 to reject the state’s first parent trigger petition. The board said the petition failed to include information required by state regulations,  cited the wrong education code and failed to provide evidence parents had selected their desired charter operator, Celerity Educational Group, after a “rigorous review process.”

Parent Revolution, which organized the drive at McKinley Elementary, will take the board to court.

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  1. CarolineSF says:

    Parents didn’t select Celerity at all. The organization Parent Revolution, which was started by the charter operator Green Dot, looked around the state for a school to target, then pre-selected Celerity to take over the school it chose — all before making contact with a single McKinley Elementary parent. Then Parent Revolution sent paid operatives out into the community to go door to door collecting signatures.

    Here’s a detailed blog post:

  2. You could almost forget, after reading that quite neatly slanted piece, that if parents were happy with their kid’s school they would’ve sent the proponent of the “parent trigger” packing.

    The school was “vulnerable” because it SUCKED you partisan hack! Satisfied parents would’ve recoiled from the prospect of tampering with the school if it were any good so you cynical protectors of the failing status quo have to try to steer the discussion into the few avenues that don’t, inherently, highlight the failings of the current system.

    By the way, the reason the “parent trigger” law “barely squeaked through” through the solidly-Democratic California legislation is because even the Democratic party is getting distinctly skittish continuing to carry water for a constituency that’s as damaging to the elective prospects of Democrats as is the teacher’s union.

  3. CarolineSF says:

    Namecalling me just discredits your case, Allen.

    Actually, most of my information and much of the content of my blog post is quotes from an avidly PRO-Parent Revolution source, so when you say it’s slanted — true, it’s slanted in favor of Parent Revolution.

    When someone comes knocking at the door and asks the parent to sign a petition to improve the school, parents are pretty likely to say yes. And maybe they would have chosen exactly what Parent Revolution chose for him if they had been given a chance to make that informed decision. But the fact is that they weren’t. Parent Revolution orchestrated the petition drive, chose the school and pre-selected the charter operator. That’s not the way the Parent Empowerment Act was presented and not the way it’s supposed to work.

  4. Namecalling? It was a compliment. I wrote that the piece was neatly slanted. You’re not going to try to offer yourself as a objective observer, are you?

    Of course the parents would sign. The schools suck. The parents know it and they also know there’s not a damned thing they can do about it working through the current system. Same situation as with charters. The reason parents sign their kids up and then wring their hands in anxiety hoping their kid gets one of the all-too-rare slots at the charter is because the district school sucks.

    Your implication that parents are too stupid to understand what’s best for their kids, or that they’re easily-led sheep when it comes to their kids, may make you and your fellow defenders of the status quo rock with poorly-concealed smugness but it’s not a point of view that’ll have much impact on those parents.

    And let’s not overlook the fact that the law was passed through a Democratically-controlled state legislature. If this is such a bad idea it’s the source that ought to be addressed the problem being the Democratic party’s the traditional ally of the educational status quo. Not much help to be got there, hey?

  5. Roger Sweeny says:


    You have to realize that any time a group of people acts contrary to a union or a government system, that are–wittingly or unwittingly–being stooges for corporate America.

    Once you realize that , everything becomes simple and clear.

  6. CarolineSF says:

    I was referring to your calling me a “partisan hack,” Allen.

    Parent Revolution has made a great big huge flamboyant deal of its top staffers’ Democratic Party ties — Ben Austin from the Clinton admin, another top staffer an Obama campaign leader, etc. etc. This mightily funded professional Astroturf operation has positioned itself to woo Democrats. And centrist Democrats are inclined to favor charter schools and other education-reformy fads and nostrums. So it’s actually surprising that the Parent Empowerment Act didn’t get more Democratic votes than it did.

    All the “you’re being patronizing” race-baiting aside, the fact is that the way the Compton petitioning was maneuvered was a fraud and was in direct contradiction of what Parent Revolution claimed was supposed to be the process in its sales pitch for the bill.

  7. I don’t think it’s name-calling if it’s accurate. Then it’s describing.

    And careful about that bending over backward in support of the cynical status quo. You wouldn’t want to rupture a disk.

    Those Compton parents hated the schools the law required them to send their kids to and when given an option they jumped at it. If they’d been happy with their kid’s schools they would have sent anyone who wanted to change those schools marching briskly down the road with a boot up their rear end.

    Oh, and as for the stupidity of Democrats who aren’t in thrall to the teacher’s unions there are some folks with pretty impeccable “progressive” credentials. Does the name “Barack Obama” ring a bell? You know, he of Race to the Top and Arne Duncan?

    Of course he doesn’t have to send his kids to the gawdawful Compton schools but then he is sufficiently literate to see the handwriting on the wall. That’s the handwriting of those Compton parents.

    And there’s nothing you can do about it.

  8. It seems to me the issue here is whether the most important thing to someone is process or result.

    The bureaucrats in Compton, and Caroline in her comments, complain that the action is illegitimate and has no meaning because Parent Revolution failed to follow the rules. While the petition should not carry any legal weight, it is absurd to insist that they reflect absolutely no frustration on the part of parents.

    McKinley is in the absolute bottom bracket in terms of performance. The school is clearly not getting the job done. Yet the Compton school board never questioned whether a majority of parents might actually be frustrated. The school board never looked at ways to respond to honked off parents. Instead, they decided to immediately look at whether the correct process was followed with the petition. Worse, they tried to make the process so onerous for parents that they had to be sued to put a stop to their games.

    Focus on the results McKinley is getting and the meaning behind the petition is clear. Focus on the process used to collect the signatures and the abject failure of McKinley is overlooked. When it comes to putting children’s education first, which of these outlooks is going to get the job done?

  9. Roger Sweeny says:

    Will everyone quit piling on Caroline? Caroline knows the great truth. The bumper sticker tells us, “A bad day fishing is better than a good day working.” Because, well, fishing is fishing and working is working.

    A bad government school is better than a school, no matter how good, run by a private company. A government school has solidarity and concern for our common humanity. A privately run school rewards greed and selfishness.

    The Green Dot people may have fooled the parents into thinking that their kids will learn more if the school is taken private. What they don’t tell them is that they will lose their souls. Fortunately, Caroline and like-minded people are around to keep that from happening.