What Really Happens When Parents Pull the “Parent Trigger?”

By Will Dooling and Brendan Fischer. Published July 5, 2012 by PR Watch

Democrats at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have recently backed “parent trigger” laws that allow parents to seize control of their public schools and fire the teachers and principal, or privatize the schools — a policy also supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.

Is the “Parent Trigger” a successful plan for empowering parents and promoting school reform, or is it a vehicle for the private takeover of public schools?

“Parent Revolution” Gives Limited Options

Parent Trigger laws allow parents at any persistently failing school to gather a majority and either fire the principal, fire half of the teachers, or turn it into a private charter school. The laws — which have been proposed in dozens of states and become law in California, Texas, and Connecticut — have been embraced by some Democrats and groups that claim to support progressive values, despite claims by some that the laws have the impact of privatizing education.

The Parent Trigger has its roots in the George W. Bush administration’s 2001 “No Child Left Behind” plan. That law required schools that consistently failed to show progress on a battery of tests to, after five years, be placed under “restructuring,” which could include turning the school over to the state for reorganization or transforming it into a charter school.

Read More: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/07/11612/should-parents-pull-parent-trigger

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