Thursday, July 14, 2011

California Government schools may be forced to change

This will be interesting.  Parent Trigger Regulations Approved by California State Board of Education: Let the Reform Begin! reports on what may be a huge change in California public education.

Huge victory today for the education-reform camp, and charter groups ready to flip public schools into places of learning, not administrator-heavy cesspools of FAIL:

At about 10:20 this morning, after not even an hour-and-a-half of deliberations, California Governor Jerry Brown's new State Board of Education unanimously approved a set of rules that will regulate the Parent Trigger -- a radical parent-empowerment law passed under former Governor Schwarzenegger.

The Trigger lets parents petition for their children's school to either undergo major staffing changes or be taken over entirely by an outside charter organization.

I can see this going in various directions.  One option will be that parents will petition, and the schools will say thank you very much for your concern, but not fundamentally do anything different.  It is possible that this will lead to improvement, but given the last four decades of decline in our government schools I am not very hopeful.

Hat tip: Waiting for "Superman"


Ben said...

"One option will be that parents will petition, and the schools will say thank you very much for your concern, but not fundamentally do anything different."

The statute says once half of the parents at a failing school have petitioned, a local education agency must undertake one of four (or five, depending on how you parse it) reforms. Charter conversion is one. Closing the school is another. The others involve bureaucratic tinkering, for the most part.

It's possible to think of the trigger in a couple of different ways. One would be for parents to use the threat of, say, petitioning to shut down a school to extract reforms they might otherwise not get. Another would be to get a charter school. Yet another might be to fire the principal and half of the staff. The law allows for some wiggle room for districts to reject a prescribed remedy, but these new rules appear to make that outcome slightly less likely.

From a homeschooling perspective, of course, this is all so much rearranging of deck chairs. But the law does give parents a few more options today that they didn't have yesterday.

Mrs. Dani said...

Ben, does it REALLY give parents options or does it just make them feel like they do? IF the district has wiggle room as you put it, rest assured they will use it to stop or stall what ever the parents want.

To be honest, I do not understand what any of this does except create more red tape, aggrevation and keep kids in a failing school long enough for the teachers' union to come up with some lawsuit.

Perhaps I am missing something.