A judge has ruled that a California school district must allow
parents to convert a failing elementary school to a charter school
-- a decision one school-choice activist deems a big victory for
parents trying to implement the state's "parent trigger" law.
Steve Gunn of the Education Action Group
Foundation (EAG) tells OneNewsNow an earlier ruling in favor of
the parents was ignored by the school board for Desert Trails
Elementary in Adelanto. So, they returned to court and obtained a
second ruling in their favor.
"We would hope that this is the end of it; that the school board
and the teachers union out there will get out of the way and allow
these very impressive parents to take over that school and turn it
into a worthwhile school for their kids," he comments.
Gunn explains that this effort to implement the trigger law
inspired the movie Won't Back Down, which accurately
portrays teacher union opposition to the effort.
"The union worked very hard to end the Desert Trails district,
to defeat the parent trigger efforts," the EAG spokesman notes. "So
the movie is actually a pretty accurate description of how unions
fight parent efforts to take over and improve schools."
The Los Angeles Times reports that only
one-third of sixth graders are at grade level in reading and math
at Desert Trails, and the school's achievement score on a
1,000-point scale known as the Academic Performance Index fell by
13 points to 699 this year.
Desert Trails is the first successful parent-trigger petition in
the nation. According to Gunn, it sets an important precedent for
future trigger law petitions.