This week, Orlando, FL is hosting the U.S Conference of Mayors. According to Reuters, "hundreds" of mayors endorsed "parent trigger" laws...
"...aimed at bypassing elected school boards and
giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band
together and force immediate change."
Well, it does force change but is it change the only outcome parents create? Generally so. The adage "be careful what you wish for" surely applies here to those parents.
I called Mayor McGinn's office and they are going to let me know if he voted on this issue and if he did, how he voted. It will be a great disappointment if he voted yes.
Parent trigger laws are in place in several
states including California, Texas and Louisiana and are under
consideration in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York.
So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn
around a school.
Though it has not yet been shown to work, parent
trigger has support from many of the big players seeking to inject more
free-market competition into public education, including the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.
Major philanthropies and wealthy financiers have
poured money into backing political candidates and advocacy groups,
including one called Parent Revolution, that promote parent trigger,
according to campaign finance records in
Opponents of parent trigger, however, pointed
out that the mayors' endorsement was largely symbolic, since such
policies typically require legislative approval.
"Parents don't have control once they pull the
trigger," said Kathleen Oropeza, co-founder of Fund Education Now, an
advocacy group that successfully fought to derail a parent trigger bill
in Florida earlier this year. "Who profits? Not parents and children."
Keep in mind, I-1240 has such a trigger except that it's much worse. The majority of parents OR teachers can sign a petition for an approved charter to take over a school. There is NO other law or pending law in the country on this issue that allows just teachers to take over a school.
And, with I-1240 it is NOT just for failing schools - it's for every single school in every single district. Bye, bye Garfield? International High in Bellevue? High-performing schools are under this trigger as well.
In other news, Washington STEM announced Patrick D'Amelio as its new CEO. He was recently the head of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound and former CEO at the Alliance for Education.
Patrick was always warm and gracious to me when he was running the Alliance. It also bore no resemblance to the Alliance you see today so naturally, I missed him when he left. Good choice, Washington STEM.