Parent trigger: Can parent takeovers improve schools?

Are parents the solution to failing schools?

That’s the theory behind parent trigger laws, which allow a majority of parents in a failing school to petition and win control of the school and impose their own reform blueprint. Originating in California in 2010, the laws allow parents to take over a systematically failing school if they collect signatures from the majority of families.

But do the trigger laws really fire blanks?

A increasing criticism of parent trigger laws is that, while they involve parents at the start in organizing the petition drives to pull the trigger, the most realistic outcome is the hiring of an outside management firm to run the reconstituted school.

In fact, the possible ascendancy of for-profit education management companies contributed to the defeat of a parent trigger bill in Florida last year because parent groups argued that the law would lead to corporate interests exploiting the schools.

The Georgia General Assembly is now considering the Parent and Teacher Empowerment Act. If Georgia adopts the bill — and the debate around it will be fierce — it would become the eighth state to do so.

In explaining the rationale for his parent trigger bill, sponsor and House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, cited the need to get parents and school boards talking.

“It creates an additional avenue of communication directly from the parents to the school board, which I think is critically important,” said Lindsey

Georgia House Bill 123 allows a majority of the parents or a majority of the teachers to petition for a complete overhaul of a the school by converting to charter school status or another turnaround model. The bill specifies that the parents can remove school personnel, including the principal, or mandate the complete reconstitution of the school.

The bill requires school board approval, but Lindsey erected a high wall for a board to reject a parent trigger petition; a two-thirds majority of the school board must vote to deny a petition coming from 60 percent of parents.

However, the yea/nay power accorded school boards in the bill led Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, former chair of the Senate Education Committee, to ask, “What’s the point?”

“Remember, these are locally created public schools created by the local boards,” said Lindsey. “Given that fact, I do not believe we should cut these local boards out of the process. The purpose of the bill is to create a process for direct communication between a local board and the parents and students it serves. I respectfully disagree with my friend Fran Millar. I believe that elected school boards will listen to parents and teachers on the operation of their local schools.”

In a feature unique to Lindsey’s bill, even parents of high performing schools may apply for their schools to convert to a charter school.

“Any local traditional school may apply to be a conversion charter,” he said.  “However, I did add a provision allowing for parents or teachers in a low performing schools to seek an overhaul of the management  of the school. Let me also add that this section allowing teachers to petition for a management overhaul came as a result of past comments from teachers on your blog.”

Parent Revolution, the California-based advocacy group that created the parent trigger, sees the parent trigger as both an action plan and a negotiating tool. Recently, the specter of a parent trigger takeover led administrators and teachers in one Los Angeles school to sit down with parents and begin a collaborate effort to improve the school, according to Parent Revolution spokesman David Phelps.

But, if a parent takeover is required to transform the school, Parent Revolution opposes the reins of a school being handed to for-profit management companies. Such a prohibition is currently not part of the Georgia bill. “We take a very strong position that it should only be a not-for-profit that will continue to involve parents,” said Phelps.

Also, Parent Revolution wants an appeal process spelled out in Lindsey’s bill. “Because school boards can be very political, very divided, the law ought to make sure that if a school board rejects the parent petition, that there is some appeal process that can be in place,” said Phelps.

Phelps said it was unusual for a parent trigger law to address schools that are not failing, as does Lindsey’s bill. The case for a change to a charter school is weakened if a school is performing well. The point of parent trigger is to give a voice to parents in schools where children are not succeeding, he said,

“When you can see that there is a consistent history of failure, then you are able to say that this is a school where we would like to help parents organize for a change,” he said. “It narrows the universe with which you are able to work.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

90 comments Add your comment

[...] can file this article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in the “Who Woulda Thunk It?” drawer.  It [...]

indigo

February 2nd, 2013
8:37 am

This is just anothe ploy to allow fundamentalist parents to impose their anti-science pro creationist views into school systems.

GaPeach

February 2nd, 2013
8:48 am

Does Rep. Lindsey have a financial interest in for-profit, charter school management companies? Just asking…

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

February 2nd, 2013
8:57 am

I have worked it what would be considered, “failing schools”. In most cases, I could count the number of “involved parents” on one hand. Regardless of the reasons behind the lack of parental support, I suspect if more parents had been “involved”, the schools would not have been “failing” so badly…. It worries me to think of those few involved parents making a decision with such wide ramifications, mainly because, although they were “involved”, some of them did not have a lot of expertise in HOW to improve the schools. They sometimes made unrealistic demands. I had one petition to have me replaced, because I was the “wrong color” to teach her children. That lack of background would make such parents vulnerable to the input of fast talking outside groups, including for profit education companies, looking to make a quick buck using a school where very few parents would even realize what they were doing once they got their hands in the cookie jar. Let’s be realistic. Outside of the parents of the enrolled children, how many outsiders want to take over a failing school without getting SOMETHING in return? The problem becomes, once you become beholden to your investors, there is pressure to shift funds from supporting the students to paying the investors. So when funds are thin, it is easier to fire a teacher, hire at low pay, overwork your employees, or fail to provide supplies in order to skim more money off the top.

I do not think every societal aspect of this country should run under the profit model. Look what “for profit” has done to health care? Some services should remain outside the realm of commercialism.
I do not understand the stance of those who, one the one hand, keep insisting there is nothing wrong with a company making a profit off the children while criticizing teachers as “greedy thugs” if they bring up the issue of a raise after years of slipping wages – even those teachers in successful schools (Oh, I forgot, there ARE no successful public schools.) Why is it okay for corporate interests to make a tidy sum, but not okay for teachers to ask for compensation? What’s up with that? And yes, I know we are in an economic downturn, however funding cuts started before that, and that has not stopped the for profit supporters from pounding the drum of educational corporate profit. I don’t mind sharing the burden of a slow economy with my fellow Americans, but not while someone else is making big bucks off educational tax dollars at the cost of some children’s future!

bootney farnsworth

February 2nd, 2013
9:00 am

I’m past caring. let the parents do whatever the hell they want.

South GA Teacher

February 2nd, 2013
9:00 am

Not a fan of the way the Charter Amendment went down, but now that it has passed, schools of the charter variety need accountability beyond what we have now. There is a positive in the bill: 60% of the parents have to sign the petition…in most cases that will be hard to do and 2/3 vote needs to be required accept the petition.

They days of “full-time” teachers is about to be gone…all of us will be freelancers.

Centrist

February 2nd, 2013
9:03 am

Good headline question. But we don’t know until it is tried.

Parents have their children’s interest as their only priority. Many administrators and teachers have their personal interests as their primary priority. There needs to be a better mix – BOTH priorities need to be balanced.

Theresa

February 2nd, 2013
9:06 am

Sure, I am totally for parent takeover…………if the parents can identify each of the acronyms from this partial list:
Acronym

AASA
AASL
AAVIM
ADA
AEL
ALA
AMAO
AP
AP
ASAM
ASCD
ASP
AYP
BCC
BOE
BST
C&I
CAO
CBA
CBO
CBO
CCSSO
CER
CEU
CISV
COE
CO-OP
COTS
CR
CRESST
CRT
DIBELS
DOE
ECE
ECP
ECS
EL
ELD
EO
ERIC
ESC
ESEA
ESL
FERPA
FEP
FY
G/T
GATE
GPO
HEP
HHS
HSGT
IAP

Meaning

American Association of School Administrators
American Association of School Librarians
American Association for Vocational Intructional Materials
Americans with Disabilities Act
Appalachia Educational Laboratory
American Library Association
Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
Accomodation Plan (Section 504 Students)
Advanced Placement
Alternative Schools Accountability Model
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Alternative School Programs
Adequate Yearly Progress
Basic Core Curriculum
Board of Education
Basic Skills Test
Curriculum and Instruction
Chief Administrative Officer
Curriculum-Basic Assessment
Community Based Organization
Congressional Budget Office
Council of Chief State School Officers
Center for Education Reform
Continuing Education Unit
Catalog Information Systems Vendor (f.k.a. QISV – TX Procurement Approval List)
County Office of Education
Cooperative Education
Commercial, Off-The-Shelf
Classroom
Center for Research on Evaluation Standards and Student Testing
Criterion Referenced Test
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
Department of Education
Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Programs
Education Commission of the States
English Learner
English Language Development
English Only
Educational Resources Information Center
Education Service Center
Elementary and Secondary Education Act
English as a Second Language
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Fluent-English Proficient
Fiscal Year
Gifted and Talented
Gifted and Talented Education
Government Printing Office
High School Equivalancy Program
Health and Human Services
High School Graduation Test
Inidivualized Accomodation Plan

DunMoody

February 2nd, 2013
9:10 am

Lindsay said: “I respectfully disagree with my friend Fran Millar. I believe that elected school boards will listen to parents and teachers on the operation of their local schools.” Sounds utopian, doesn’t it? Reality exists in DeKalb County, and that’s the situation parents are trying to address through their legislative representatives.

"Increase the Dole"

February 2nd, 2013
9:11 am

Kind of oxymoronic imo. If the parents are involved, the school usually succeeds, right?

Mary Elizabeth

February 2nd, 2013
9:14 am

“But, if a parent takeover is required to transform the school, Parent Revolution opposes the reins of a school being handed to for-profit education management companies as could occur under Lindsey’s bill. ‘We take a very strong position that it should only be a not-for-profit charter school that will continue to involve parents,’ said Phelps.”
================================================================

I agree that public charter schools should not be handed to for-profit educational management companies. Even if the initial intent to hire a for-profit management company has an educational priority, in time (as the link, below, illustrates) for-profit management companies can quickly evolve into having a profit priority instead of an educational priority. Monetary greed can take priority over student and teacher needs, in other words.

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

DunMoody

February 2nd, 2013
9:14 am

I should note that I appreciate and support Lindsay’s efforts, but legislation has to do more: delete the restrictive Constitutional prohibition on new school systems, change the paradigm of education to one of local control (ie, portfolio model), and restore funding to schools. The parent trigger law is one tool, not a panacea.

David Hoffman

February 2nd, 2013
9:16 am

Republicans and super-majorities. If you want to have democratic rule then you need to adhere to the concept of 50% plus 1 wins for almost all democratic decision making. The parents or teachers should win the conversion on that basis. The board should be able to block the conversion on that basis. The parents or teachers could appeal to a state board. The state board could overturn or affirm the local board’s decision by 50% plus 1. Super-majorities should be reserved for things like amending the US Constitution, impeaching governors and presidents, admitting new states to the union, and going to war. Changing a school’s operation is not such a big deal that it needs a super-majority.

Pride and Joy

February 2nd, 2013
9:19 am

This quote is funny…”argued that the law would lead to corporate interests exploiting the schools.”
Nefarious interests ALREADY exploit the traditional public schools from jacked up racial politics to outright commercial exploitation. The fear of exploitation is here and now because it has already come to pass in our traditional public schools.
Failing traditional public schools need to close and every employee in them needs to lose their job.
I HOPE and am GLAD that a business can educate kids in a nurturing enviornment AND make a decent profit.
Today’s traditional public schools are already exploited by greedy, for-profit administrations like Dekalb county’s public school system.
In my deepest and most sincere wishes I hoped traditional public schools would educate kids honestly and efficiently and in some parts of the country they do but here in the metro Atlanta area, traditional public school systems are corrupt and need to be abolished.

Cindy Lutenbacher

February 2nd, 2013
9:30 am

My first question is this: what defines a “failing” school? Is it the thoroughly discredited standardized tests? Graduation rates? Successful graduates (successful, as in living productive lives as citizens)? Teachers’ evaluations of kids’ progress? What? “Failing to make AYP” is merely code language for the silly standardized tests.
Secondly, has anyone in Georgia looked into the few schools in California that have activated the “parent trigger law”? I recall reading a few months ago that they were dismal flops. Sorry that I can’t recall the source of that reading.

Google "NEA" and "union"

February 2nd, 2013
9:35 am

The fact that the teachers’ unions have Maureen out pot-banging against this sensible pro-choice reform speaks to its favor. As does her trotting out the old “for-profit’ bogey. (Wonder if the fat-cat union bosses, by the way, will ever consent to work for free?)

Parents interested in some general background on school reform would do well to rent the film WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.

bootney farnsworth

February 2nd, 2013
9:36 am

the irony of this while thing is most teachers would welcome parental involvement with open arms.

Cindy Lutenbacher

February 2nd, 2013
9:39 am

I totally agree with you, “I love teaching.”
I’ve not really researched Parent Revolution in California, but while I agree with some of the things the organization says, I would note that it is funded by the usual suspects: Gates, Broad, Hewlett, and Walton (Wal-Mart). These folks have put major bucks into what they call education reform, but it has become increasingly clear to me that their primary interest is in harvesting the taxpayer’s dollar–an enormous return for those major bucks.
Furthermore, Parent Revolution sent out paid staffers to collect the parent signatures for schools under the parent trigger law. Knowing that, I doubt that 60% is very hard to reach.

Cindy Lutenbacher

February 2nd, 2013
9:40 am

@ “Google”–WAITING FOR SUPERMAN has also been widely discredited. Look at the stats for charter schools, instead.

10:10 am

February 2nd, 2013
9:56 am

@Theresa (9:06 am)

The central issue, of course, is the education establishment’s continued inability to demonstrate mastery of these terms:

progress
accountability

C. Tampa Ironworse

February 2nd, 2013
9:58 am

I think most parents simply want the school to run like a business. Good teachers…pay them well and keep them teaching. Bad teachers…hit the bricks. Same for Administrators. And FOR SURE the students. This is the heart of the problem. Get bad kids OUT of traditonal schools and alllow teachers to TEACH, not follow a PC outline on how to baby sit horrible students and their irrational parents.

PS: I’ve hever heard of parents needing to petition about a private schoool. What does that tell you?

living in an outdated ed system

February 2nd, 2013
10:00 am

@Maureen, I am unclear why you are posting again about the Parent Trigger. It seemed to me that you covered all of the salient points in the last post.

This is supposed to be about parent empowerment. If a school is failing, and the school board (elected by the taxpayers) is not doing their job, then parents should have an option to act in this manner. The problem with the current bill is that it is too broad and would only serve to put pressure on local school boards to act. As I stated previously:

1. I do not believe it should apply to any school – only to a school that is “failing,” and the language in the current bill is inconsistent and ambiguous about what constitutes “failing.” And as we know, the bill indicates that a school doesn’t have to be “failing” to become a charter conversion school.
2. The bar is really not that high for a local school board to override a petition with a very strong backing. However, the fact that a local school board can reject a petition is a huge problem and a constraint of our flawed constitution. Perhaps, as people have commented, it will simply be used to pressure a local school board to act boldly.
3. Parents whose children are currently attending the school should be the ONLY ones who are eligible to vote.
4. Finally, I do not believe that the for-profit charter management companies should be an issue, especially if the company is legitimate and has a solid track record of successful student achievement. This seems to be the place where the teacher unions have flexed their muscles.

Bottom line is this. A parent trigger bill is likely to be passed in some shape and form – the question is whether the Dems will rally enough support to push for the needed changes to make this legislation work for our parents and our children.

Atlanta Mom

February 2nd, 2013
10:02 am

If 60% of the parents were involved with their children’s education, the school would not be failing.

DunMoody

February 2nd, 2013
10:07 am

Underlying much of the give and take (as well as MD’s post content) seems to be a somewhat disparaging viewpoint of parents. Can parents recognize acronyms? Will parents be lulled by “for profit” companies who may not be as altruistic as a nonprofit? Do parents have the intellectual and professional wherewithal to conceive and institute a parent trigger process? Don’t parents need to be taken care of by “professionals” who know better?

Gosh, look where that’s gotten us with public education in DeKalb, Georgia, and across the country.

That’s very frustrating. It’s as if posters and this post believe otherwise intelligent people become less capable when they become PARENTS. We are still prone to generalization and labeling rather than considering the fact that PARENTS represent the cross-section of humanity. I’m no pollyanna, but I do believe that PARENTS are the front line of raising the next generation.

We didn’t get stupid just because we gave birth or adopted.

Google "NEA" and "union"

February 2nd, 2013
10:10 am

@CindyLutenbacher

It’s those who seek to “discredit” and silence all criticism of traditional public schools … who are themselves (shamed and) discredited.

The film WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is an expose of reform failures only a union organizer would seek to deny.

Dewey Cheatham & Howe

February 2nd, 2013
10:12 am

Somebody commented that “we should let the parents do whatever the he(ck) they want”. Not a bad idea. A random group of parents culled from a computer generated list couldn’t do a worse job than the clown show we see in some school systems (Dekalb, Clayton). So what is there to lose? The good systems won’t be affected,and the bad ones will see the leech/parasite class unemployed posthaste. Again, how is this not an improvement?

A common sense reform that is long overdue.

Status Quo Again...

February 2nd, 2013
10:13 am

@Cindy “WAITING FOR SUPERMAN has also been widely discredited”.

Because it doesn’t support your opinion?

Once again the defenders of the status quo attack any and all threats to meaningful change.

1 out of 4 kids across the country drops out, 32% in Georgia. The current model has failed but you can’t see the forest for the trees!

Clutch Cargo

February 2nd, 2013
10:16 am

“the irony of this while thing is most teachers would welcome parental involvement with open arms.”

Not true. Well, partially true. They would welcome parental involvement on their terms only,with all the condescension and blame laying that they could squeeze into the encounter.If things worked out well,then the teacher could take the credit.If not…Then the parents are just bad parents.Just like in business, credit flows up and blame flows down

living in an outdated ed system

February 2nd, 2013
10:18 am

@Clutch Cargo, you are unfortunately correct. On a separate topic, the “system” works against the parents and children who are subject to bullying behavior. I have seen far too many cases where the school does NOTHING. It seems that policies protect the aggressor, not the target! But that will be for another fight and that will also get fixed!

Mary Elizabeth

February 2nd, 2013
10:37 am

“I Love Teaching. . . ” at 8:57 am asks: “Why is it okay for corporate interests to make a tidy sum, but not okay for teachers to ask for compensation? What’s up with that?”
======================================================

What’s up with that, in my opinion, has been a national propaganda movement, of the last few decades, toward the advantages of the private sector taking over much of the public sector’s job functions. I am posting, below, the remarks of a poster in response to my post on Kyle Wingfield’s blog thread (1/31/13) regarding tax-credit scholarships, which will give the details which justify my contention, above. Again, it should be highlighted that both Rep. Lindsay and Sen. Millar are members of ALEC.
—————————————————————————————————-

“I believe that you do indeed ’see what is going on in our era, with long ranged ramifications for our state and nation.’ You correctly observe that this private school tax-credit scholarship movement must be viewed, not just in terms of whether it is but one more good public policy alternative for promoting education in general, as Kyle Wingfield would have us believe, but whether it is in fact just one more destructive prong in the multi-pronged radically conservative, well-financed ‘national movement towards dismantling public schools for private ones, or for public charter schools which are operated by private corporations for profit…’ as you say. And I firmly believe that when one ‘follows the money’ back to the individuals and groups working behind the scenes in state legislatures around the country promoting the passage of these private school scholarship tax-credit laws, people like billionaire radically conservative Betsy Devos and her public school-privatization front group, the American Federation for Children, and the also radically conservative, extreme right-wing legislative clearinghouse group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, one certainly gets a better understanding, a more complete picture, ‘what is going on in our era.’ What’s going on? The elimination of universal, traditional public schools in America.

A terrific New York Times news article on the subject of these private school tax-credit scholarship programs published May 21, 2012, written by Stephanie Saul: ‘Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools,’ digs into this as it reports these facts:

‘A national network of school choice advocates has been promoting the programs with financing from conservative activists and foundations. The advocacy groups do everything from financing political advertising to lobbying state legislatures. One group, the American Federation for Children in Washington, D.C., has not shied from the rough and tumble of state politics.’

In Florida’s 2010 election, the federation supplied $255, 000 to finance an organization that paid for advertising against Dan Gelber, who was running for attorney general and opposed state financing fro private schools.’

‘The ads, mailed to Jewish neighborhoods, called Mr. Gelber “toxic to Jewish education.’ His staff found out about them from his 11 year old daughter, who called the office in tears after finding an ad in their mailbox.’

And this: ‘One big proponent of the tax-credit programs is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a coalition of conservative lawmakers and corporations that strongly influences many state legislatures…’

‘ALEC is a huge player in pushing forward a conservative agenda based on the premise that the free market and private sectors address social problems better than the government,’ said Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has been critical of ALEC’s education agenda.’

Believe me, Republican Rep. Earl Ehrhart who sponsored the 2008 bill that authorized the SSOs and the tax credits is not operating in a vacuum here. He is carefully following the radical right-wing Republican-Libertarian public school privatization-for-pofit-and-ideology national game plan of Betsy Devos, the Koch brothers and their legion of fellow like-minded conservative Republican-Libertarian billionaires who are using their fortunes to radically transform public education in America by effectively using back-door means to eliminate it. This private school scholarship program is but one of those means.’ ”

“Here is a link to the New York Times article covering these private school scholarship tax-credit laws, especially the Georgia law, the article entitled ‘Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools’ by Stephanie Saul, May 21, 2012:”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/education/scholarship-funds-meant-for-needy-benefit-private-schools.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

KB

February 2nd, 2013
10:37 am

Blaming parents, teachers, Bill Gates or the next arrival of Haley’s Comet is a waste of time. Everyone over the age of 18 realizes that schools need to raise their expectations and students must rise to those expectations. America has gotten lazy – from our waist lines to our welfare lines – so how do we change it?

I’m in my 25th year of teaching, and I’m honestly doubtful it can be done. Our politicians don’t have the will; our parents don’t have the way as the ones who need to have lost control of their children; our teachers are mostly too frightened to actually raise their standards.

The key to our educational future is that our students, all of our students, need to work harder. What ideas do you have to make that happen?

Mary Elizabeth

February 2nd, 2013
10:43 am

CORRECTION: Rep. Lindsey, not Rep. Lindsay. My apologies.

Dr. Monica Henson

February 2nd, 2013
10:49 am

I see no problem at all with permitting parents to pull the trigger on a failing school when the board of education refuses to. The thing that parents need to educate themselves about when it comes to charter schools and management of them is that they do NOT have to hand full control of a school over to a charter management organization (for-profit or not-for-profit). The optimal situation results when a skilled administration takes over or launches a school, supported by an education services provider that does not employ the administration or staff. This only happens when an astute board of directors negotiates a contract that puts the provider in its proper place.

What has happened in some Georgia charter schools is that a for-profit CMO comes in and recruits a group of parents for the board of directors, convinces them to cede full control of the school to the CMO, and then effectively controls the board as well by ensuring that they don’t have a broad knowledge base of school law, school finance, etc. Decision making is then the purview of the CMO and profit motives supersede the educational mission.

It doesn’t have to be that way, but it takes a board of directors with a variety of expertise in several areas, as well as a good board attorney to negotiate the contract with the CMO. The best possible outcome is a contract where the CMO is a service provider ONLY, with the administration and staff hired as public employees of the board. This arrangement keeps the integrity of the administration and the board intact and allows decision making without regard to profit.

Banning for-profit CMOs is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

living in an outdated ed system

February 2nd, 2013
11:01 am

Dr. Henson – we are in 100% agreement! Thanks for the clarification.

Mitch

February 2nd, 2013
11:07 am

Not sure if parents can “fix” a school but they absolutely can make sure their child learns. Children will pretty much turn out just like the parent.

Private Citizen

February 2nd, 2013
11:11 am

Lots of bandwidth going to niche fix-its, charter schools, parent trigger, a school board here, a school board there, but my point is this is 10% of the aggregate activity?

How come the private school gets an award, a real one, for being decked out stem to stern with digital curriculum software, but in the government K12 school outside of Atlanta, teacher’s last words to me were “We have no supplies. Nothing.” “Supplies” means books, software, cogent intelligent planned materials. There’s a big void. I know it from having taught without books for a few years. Goes like this: you have books but it is obsolete and not enough to distribute in a productive manner. And then there is the books left are loaded with graffiti. My point is, I am guessing? out in the real world? what you serve is where the nutrition is at? Maybe it is not a simple matter. Maybe as a state, Georgia needs some outside influence and performance models, and I don’t mean from Arne Duncan, the make-work do-nothing who does nothing to provided curriculum. I guess he thinks the school districts will do it themselves. If Arne Duncan was managing a manufacturing factory…

Proud Teacher

February 2nd, 2013
11:24 am

All of this is just leading to the privatization of the “public school.” All of our children are just going to be a number on someone’s accounting sheet. It’s already that way now because your child’s name is not important on the principal’s report, it’s only the child’s standardized score that the principal finds really important because that’s what makes him look good to the board. The board certainly doesn’t want to hear names, they just want to hear good numbers. It’s all about the bottom line, really. Why are people like Bill Gates and other software gurus so very interested in education? I’d like to think it is their interested in improving America’s education, but when you study their grant offers and try to tap into their resources, you’ll find they’re more interested in their accounting bottom line as well. In the meantime, what happens to our children? Another set of standards? another set of conflicting teaching/learning methods? Whole language isn’t that many years old and wasn’t it supposed to cure the cross-curriculum and writing ills? What’s to be muddled next? Oh, I forgot, it doesn’t matter as long as the bottom line of the CEO’s accounting sheet is doing well and the trained teachers who truly care have been driven straight to hell.

Pride and Joy

February 2nd, 2013
11:33 am

Theresa, what’s your point in listing industry acronyms?
Acronyms are jargon. I am not impressed with industry jargon. The fact that you do says a great deal about you and unfortunately, it isn’t good.
Parents want:
accountability
honesty
efficiency
good communicatin
nurturing environments
Notice all of the above don’t have acronyms to describe them — because acronyms aren’t important.

Pride and Joy

February 2nd, 2013
11:38 am

Private Citizen, I am a tax paying parent. I DO NOT want my child to be decked out stem to stern with techno-ggadgets. I work everyday with techno-gadgets and I sure don’t need them to learn.
I want my child to use a pencil, paper and a text book.
I want the teachers to have a white board and marker and TEACH.
If I could, I would throw away the copy machine and burn the teacher’s computer and her Promethean board.
All those gadgets break, malfunction, cost ridiculous amounts of money and do no better than teaching with chalk, pencils and books.

Lee

February 2nd, 2013
11:43 am

I really don’t see much utility in Parent Trigger laws, other than it might (emphasis on might) cause school administrators to be a little more diligent in the performance of their duties.

No, what parents need are alternatives to the traditional public school model and I think tax credits would be the simplest, most effective way to accomplish that.

Beverly Fraud

February 2nd, 2013
12:14 pm

Tell you what would help the schools; a teacher trigger. Make it a nice high number, so as not to cut the principal off at the knees. But if a full 75% of a teaching staff says a principal isn’t effective, you better believe there is a really good chance he/she is the one wearing the “I’m Stupid” T-Shirt in the I’m with Stupid——>/I’m Stupid duo.

It’s called checks and balances people; checks and balances. And it works.

Proud Teacher

February 2nd, 2013
12:31 pm

Beverly Fraud, that is a wonderful idea! Teacher Trigger! Most teachers who sense the fraud, much less speak the fraud are soon gone from the faculty.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

February 2nd, 2013
12:41 pm

@Status Quo Again “@Cindy “WAITING FOR SUPERMAN has also been widely discredited”.

Becaause it doesn’t support your opinion?

No, because it is a propagandistic piece of fiction, and should be watched with this firmly in mind, lest one become prone to believing “facts” like a group of “mutants” were the ones who averted the Cuban Missile Crisis, as we are shown in X-Men: First Class. :)

Once Again

February 2nd, 2013
1:05 pm

At the end of the day you still have socialistically-funded schools that are ultimately relying on the government to steal from the general population on behalf of their children.

If parents really cared about their children, they would TAKE BACK responsibility for educating them and either home school them or work within the current marketplace of educational alternatives to get them a good education. Better yet, they would work to end the government monopoly on education and government micromanagement and control of the education marketplace so that there was a truly free market in education in which they could participate.

But as so many have pointed out, this is about a power grab, not a responsibility grab as these parents don’t actually want to take responsibility for the education of their children and its accompanying costs. They continue to want government to STEAL on their behalf to subsidize the choice they have made in their lives rather than assuming personal responsibility.

Typical. Just another example of why our society will never really get better until the government system that exists today finally collapses and people are forced to go back to taking responsibility for themselves.

RCB

February 2nd, 2013
1:55 pm

If you can’t get some parents to the school a single time in an average school year, how the heck do you think these parents would ever pull that trigger? The kids who need it the most do not have parents capable of doing this.

Private Citizen

February 2nd, 2013
2:09 pm

This initiative has an unfortunate vigilante name. And to think, we claim the kids have violent computer games.

Truth in Moderation

February 2nd, 2013
2:10 pm

Teachers, would you say that $50,000/year is your average pay? I’m doing a survey.

Private Citizen

February 2nd, 2013
2:14 pm

Once Again, the truth is that for some reason that is well beyond my current comprehension skills, in the USA, government services are used to fraud and self-serving dealings. For example, I’ve been reading about police departments who basically write tickets as a form of taxation. Meanwhile, online commenters from Europe say, “In comparison, Europe has tradition of good public services without corruption.” If they want to make a tax there, they do it in a rational manner, not widepread use of police to harass the public, like what is soooo common in Georgia and many places in the US. Seems to me US government is plagued by people with “child mind.” like when a little kid steals of breaks something and then tells a magic story / lie about it. This type official operations approach is so wide-spread in the USA. My point is, there are places with public services that are delivered in an efficient productive manner. The problem is not the benefits of public services, the problem is something else, this sort of addiction to dysfunction.

Private Citizen

February 2nd, 2013
2:22 pm

Truth, I’d put that number at $40k, with the master’s degree credential. Maybe $39k and some change.

Here’s special present just for you: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/teachers-salaries_teachsal-table-en

Private Citizen

February 2nd, 2013
2:31 pm

Truth, the other thing you want to look at is number of hours required. If do some Google searching, there is commentary re: comparative conditions. In the rich countries, read that the US teachers are paid less and work more hours than teachers in other rich countries. Hmmm I wonder at what is point is “the point of marginalization” and have we passed that, considering pay / hours / conditions?

My point is that the conditions are not efficient; hence, hampster, meet wheel. PS Have you been themed today?