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L.A. Unified Retreats on Parental Power to Trigger Reforms

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It looks like the Los Angeles Unified School District, just a few days after announcing that parents would have the power to initiate new reforms at troubled schools, has disempowered them--or, at the very least, watered down their power.

It seems Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines' has had a change of heart. If District Dossier reads the latest version of the the "parent trigger" correctly, parents will have the authority to suggest an overhaul of their children's schools, but Mr. Cortines himself will have the ultimate say (along with the school board) on when and whether a school will be restructured.

The "parent trigger" was one part of a series of rules that Mr. Cortines has been writing to guide how the district's controversial school choice policy will work. That policy, passed in August by the Los Angeles school board, will open up as many as 250 new and existing schools to outside operators. Charter schools, expected to be a major player in this new policy, have been balking at some of Cortines' rules and some operators have said they may decline to participate at all.

United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy predicted last week that this reform effort could fall flat on its face.

Read the Los Angeles Times editorial about the change here.

1 Comment

I routinely advocate for parental involvement in the education process in my workshops for parents and teachers, articles, and blog posts. But I don’t think identifying troubled schools and initiating reform should be the responsibility of parents. If a school is not performing as expected, shouldn’t the superintendent and other district administrators be aware of the problem and take steps to address it? They’re the experts in the field of education.

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