Parents use charter threat to force reforms

California parents will pull the trigger today on a low-performing elementary school in Adelanto, a Mojave Desert town east of Los Angeles. Nearly 70 percent of parents at Desert Trails Elementary have signed a petition demanding the school district negotiate changes in the school or turn over control.

The Desert Trails Parents Union wants to work with district leaders to improve the school, but couldn’t get a response until the petition drive started. If negotiations fail, the petition seeks to convert Desert Trails to a charter run by parents and local teachers.

There could be lawsuits for years,” Principal David Mobley told the LA Weekly.  But the law is on the parents’ side.

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    “…couldn’t get a response…”
    Never heard that one before, by golly.

  2. “The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully” – Samual Johnson, more or less.

    I do wonder if “parental trigger” isn’t the best way to reform the public education system. A credible threat’s quite often adequate to get the desired response and parental trigger’s more threatening then the opening of a charter. The school district has a distinct chunk of its corpus sliced off simultaneously acquiring a competitor.

    Then there’s the somewhat random nature of the exercise of parental trigger. A school board running awful schools might have no problems with the parents who supply the kids that justify its existence but another school district, hardly distinguishable, could its schools pried loose one after another. That randomness alone would increase the threat inherent in parental trigger.

    If a school board consists of people too stupid to understand the threat or too arrogant to credit the threat then, sooner or later, the threat materializes into a loss of schools and, when the law catches up with the reality of eviscerated school districts, the dissolution of the school district.


  3. Stacy in NJ says:

    I love these parents for being aggressive and trying to get some results. They’ll probably have a bumpy road ahead, but because the school is so awful already, it doesn’t seem things can get much worse.

    Public schools especially in the lower income areas are a prime example of the tragedy of the commons.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    I’m not curious enough to try to find out how long the parents have, in an unorganized fashiion, and in an organized fashion, been trying to get somebody’s attention. But, my curiousity level aside, it remains a question.
    Like to know if there’s been a school board election in that period. If there have been recall attempts.
    IOW, if the folks have been working various methods within traditional citizenship structures and been ignored. Or if this is their first blow. Where, as the old adventures used to say, they threw away the scabbard.