Many parents feel helpless when it comes to correcting the problems in public education but some parents are taking control of their children’s learning environments and are literally taking over failing schools.
California parents take over failing schools
Education is definitely a hot topic in parenting circles. Your stance on the issue probably has a lot to do with the quality of your own child's education.
If you’re less than thrilled with your local school, you may be encouraged by a growing movement geared toward empowering parents to act on their concerns.
Parent Trigger Law
In January of 2010, the California legislature passed a ground-breaking law, the Parent Trigger, to address chronically failing schools. Essentially, this law gives parents the ability to demand change if their school is failing their children. The main requirements for action are low Academic Performance Index scores and demonstrated concern (in the form of a petition) from at least half of the school’s parents. While California was the first state to pass a law like this, several other states have followed suit by passing their own versions of the law, validating parents in their efforts to mobilize.
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The parent revolution
Parent Revolution is an organization created to support parents in their efforts to enact powerful change in their local schools. Their mission is: To transform public education based on what is good for children, not adults, by empowering parents to transform their under-performing schools through community organizing. Parent Revolution has been involved in a number of California campaigns including McKinley Elementary in Compton, Desert Trails Elementary in Adelanto and 24th Street Elementary in West Adams.
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Change in education can take many forms. In some cases, when parents band together in search of a common goal, remarkable change can be realized. As an example, parents of students at John Muir High School in Pasadena, California launched a campaign to help improve truancy rates which have been impacting academic performance. Rather than depend on the school administrators or teachers to stay on top of attendance, the parent union encourages other parents to closely monitor their children and encourage improved attendance.
While Parent Revolution has assisted in "triggering" efforts throughout California, parents all over the country can certainly take action without the backing of a well-funded organization. If you are concerned about your child’s school, there are several steps you can take to instigate change:
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