The Wall Street Journal suggested it could be the “shot heard ’round the world.”
The New York Times called it a “nightmare situation.”
The LA Times avoided such hyperbole, reporting flatly that parents with children attending McKinley Elementary in Compton were the “first to use California’s new “parent-trigger” law, under which a
majority of parents can force a school to shut down, replace its staff
or convert to a charter.
“Giving power to the parents — this is what this is all about,” declared Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a strong supporter of the Parent Revolution led by Ben Austin which successfully fought for enactment of a year-old state law that has shaken up the education establishment across the country.
History was made on Tuesday when 60 percent of the parents of McKinley students, organized by the Parent Revolution, turned in petitions exercising their right to take over the school and turn it over to Celerity, a successful charter school operator.
With several other states moving to enact similar legislation, the Parent Revolution represents a radical shift in education, a devolution of power away from school boards and teacher unions and giving parents a direct say in the children’s education.
It has the support of the Obama Administration and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is running for mayor of Chicago in part on a pledge to enact a “parent trigger” law.
It is what Neighborhood Councils were supposed to achieve in local government in LA but have been thwarted for a decade by the obstructionist tactics of City Hall.
Needless to say, the teacher unions are bitterly fighting against the parent trigger as you can hear in KPCC’s Larry Mantle’s interview Tuesday with Marty Hittleman, president of the California Federation of Teachers who has called the parent trigger a “lynch mob law.”
United Teachers Los Angeles, the LAUSD union, also vigorously opposes the parent trigger as well as the mayor’s top-down reform effort through the Partnership for LA Schools that got positive coverage Tuesday from columnist Steve Lopez.
Like the citizen revolt that brought down the corruption in the City of Bell, the parent revolt over a failing school in Compton ought to inspire people everywhere to stand up against the failure of government to serve their interests.
This a revolutionary time in America.
The economy is never coming back to the point where hyper-consumerism defines the American Dream, the American way of life.
Dramatic changes are coming whether we resist them or stand by passively. Like the people of Bell and Compton, poor and largely minority communities, we are all need to become active participants in taking back our school, our cities, our states, our nation or leave it to others to determine what the new America is going to be like.