Parents at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto are again attempting to takeover the school — which they say has been failing local kids for years with at least a third of students failing state math and reading tests.
The school board rejected their petition earlier this month with allegations on both sides of improprieties in both signature collection and revocations.
“We feel like we haven’t been heard,” said Doreen Diaz, an Adelanto mother of two. “Unless we stand up and fight for our children’s education, no one else will.”
If successful, the parents at Desert Trails will become the first to fully take advantage of California’s 2010 ‘trigger law’, and the case is being watched by interested parties at other schools throughout the state — including Compton’s McKinley Elementary School who are still locked in a legal battle with their school district over their right to become a charter school.
Parent Revolution is once again involved on the side of the parents campaigning for change. The well-funded activist group has been at the center of all ‘trigger law’ test cases providing expertise and help to offset the equally well-funded unions arguing the case against conversion and parent takeover.
“Parents want to see a positive change for Desert Trails, which is the worst school in the district,” Linda Serrato, spokeswoman for Parent Revolution, told msnbc.com on Tuesday. “Parents want the school board to hear about a proposed partnership, a partnership where parents work directly with the board, teachers and community.”
The Obama administration has been receptive to educational reform taking measures to expand charter schools, linking teaching pay to student test performance and making it easier fire teachers.
Unions see many of those reforms as a threat not only to their members but to the very nature of public education. Charter schools are free public elementary or secondary schools that operate independently from the local school district. They often do not employ union teachers, and are typically run by a private management company.
While union leaders are quick to point out that existing early data doesn’t prove charter schools to be a success, perhaps the Democrat administrations receptivity to new ideas shows that those in government are acknowledging that something needs to be done to stop a catastrophic slide in the skillbase of future generations resulting from a failing education system.
The nation invests $500 billion a year in educating children.