Cali’s Parent Trigger Tests Capacity of Parent-Organizers

Only one week has passed since the California Board of Education finalized the rules that will implement the new Parent Trigger Law, but parent groups are already organizing to put them to the test in their communities, the Los Angeles Times reports. Parent Revolution, one of the groups instrumental to passing the law last year, has identified 120 low-performing schools and sent representatives to the communities serves by those schools in reach out to parents and educate them on their options.

The local organizers will work to sign parents up for chapters of Parents United and offer help in bringing about changes in their schools.

Parent Revolution will offer training, policy ideas and other support. And chapters must pledge to put the interests of children first — taking on ineffective teachers even at the risk of alienating them, for instance, according to Ben Austin, the group's executive director.

This approach is a change for Parent Revolution, which come about partially because of their first parent-trigger campaign in Compton. The Los Angeles Weekly, which covered the Compton organizing effort, says that critics of Parent Revolution made the group seem like an outsider pushing its own agenda instead of agent of real change. Frank Wells, the spokesman for the California Teachers Association, said "The Parent Trigger law was meant to be a vehicle for a local grassroots movement, as opposed to a vehicle for outside charter groups to sell their organization." CTA was one of the most vocal "Anti-Trigger" groups. The Compton petition is currently tied up in court.

The new approach means an increased focus on empowering parents and working with local groups. Sign On San Diego reports on a forum, held this Tuesday, organized by Parent Revolution together with a local non-profit Up for Ed.

Dozens of parents turned out at a University Heights coffee shop to learn about the 2010 law and school reform regulations that were finalized by the state last week.

San Diego is just the first stop of a state-wide bus tour sponsored by Parent Revolution in the wake of the finalization of the parent trigger rules.

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