The Parent Revolution in Los Angeles continues to bring home the bacon, having managed to put organized parents squarely in the center of local education politics. In August, the LA Unified school board launched a new school choice policy, a corner stone of which is the outsourcing of 200 underperforming schools to outside operators. This fall, the Parent Revolution lobbied LAUSD Superintendent Ray Cortines to bump schools to the top of the 200 if a simple majority of the school’s current or future (i.e., feeder schools’) parents support a takeover. Though the final version of the so-called “Parent Trigger” clause is weaker than the original proposal (to the point of being “more likely to frustrate parents than empower them,” according to the L.A. Times editorial board), we still can’t help but admire Parent Revolution for its assertiveness and surely hope that kindred parent unions spring up and seize power in many other cities. Tom Vander Ark, former Director of Education for the Gates Foundation, called the Parents Revolution an idea “that will change the education landscape.” Let’s hope he’s proven right.
“LA Unified to allow parents to initiate school reforms,” Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2009
“L.A. Gives Parents ‘Trigger’ to Restructure Schools,” by Lesli A. Maxwell, Education Week, November 4, 2009 (subscription required)
“Parents Unite to Transform Your Schools! (Just Kidding…),” by Ben Austin, Parent Revolution blog, November 2, 2009