Parent Trigger in California: False Promises and Failure

Since “parent-trigger” is making its way back through the process this week, it is important Floridians watch this video from California and recognize the failures of this same legislation in that state.

In other school “choice” news, Bill Moyers has identified a number of voucher schools teaching creationism. Click on the map- it is no surprise that Florida leads the nation.


  1. Derek Kilborn · ·

    This post is a disaster!

    First, the prelude is dishonest as it seems to suggest that the video includes a narrative showing why the “parent trigger” law is a failure; however, the video never explains how the “parent trigger” law failed California’s children. Not surprisingly, the entire video highlights how an opposition group was able to stop implementation of this proposal before it ever had a chance to be tested.

    Second, the prelude is another indication of lazy reporting to make a partisan point. I previously left comments on this subject as part of a series by the same author titled, “School “Choice” Part II.” In order to avoid repeating myself, I encourage you to read my comment there:

    If we are serious about repairing the real and perceived problems with our public education system in Florida, then let’s get to debating real solutions. We can start by identifying the need. What is the need?


    The need is for a public education system that can nimbly respond to rapidly changing conditions on the ground, in the home, among our families and throughout our local communities.


    To address this problem and satisfactorily meet our need, a political right coalition comprised of Republicans, conservatives, constitutionalists and libertarians have put forth a cache of education reform solutions.

    Each of these solutions were initially designed to achieve maximum flexibility in execution, accelerate the response time to emerging problems, perfect measurements of accountability, and ultimately improve student performance despite a deteriorating family and social environment outside the schoolhouse walls.

    These reform solutions include, but are not limited to charter schools, vouchers, virtual learning centers, parent trigger options, collegiate partnerships, variable licensing requirements, etc. The performance of these reform solutions are also being monitored by a new set of metrics to improve accountability, including standardized tests and teacher evaluations.

    Reformers in the political right coalition see education reform as THE civil rights movement of our time. Launching ideas into action, they have invested a significant amount of resources, in both time and money, to build institutions that will test their ideas, expand their successes, retire their failures and ultimately improve the delivery of education services to our children.

    Criticism of these efforts from the political left has been voluminous, yet the stream of reform solutions from this same group has been anemic at best. This post, and the “School Choice” series that precedes it, are perfect examples of the counter-productive dialogue that is taking place on the subject. It is also a woeful indictment on the political left who seems limited to suggesting only that the current system could be repaired if we had the resources to prime it with more cash.

    After three series totaling more than 3,700 words and a video totaling more than 4:00 minutes of narration, we still don’t know how charter schools and vouchers are doing irreparable damage to the public education system whether it’s reading and match comprehension, high school graduation rates, college preparedness and admission rates, etc.

    There is is a great opportunity herewith for opponents to make an impassioned and detailed defense of their desire to protect the status quo; to show us how simply spending more money will help us resolve our need by adjusting to rapidly changing conditions on the ground, in the home, among our families and throughout our local communities. The fact that so many, including the author of this story, are unwilling to do so speaks volumes about the state of public education in the United States of America.

    The progressive reformers of the political right, despite their imperfections and occasional failures, are on the winning side of history. Our children will be better for it!


  2. C. Joiner · ·

    The very parents pulling the trigger are the cause of the school’s qualification. The process is eminently corrupt, just like its (putative) author, the harpy Gloria Romero.


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