Parents taking control of their kids education – The Parent Trigger Law

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Should parents be allowed to force major change at a poor performing school?

Now available in California, the majority of families at a struggling school can force major changes, from firing the principal to closing the school and reopening it as an independent charter. To implement this new “parent trigger law”, all they need to do is sign a petition. Here is what one LA resident, Doreen Diaz, said about the law – “Our children will now get the education they deserve. We are on the way to making a quality school for them, and there’s no way we will back down.”

According to Lyndsey Layton from the Washington Post, some see the law as dangerous, handing the complex challenge of education to people who may be unprepared to meet it. Critics also say the law circumvents elected school boards and invites abuse by charter operators bent on taking over public schools.

Here are my thoughts, I like the idea, but in order for a parent’s petition/vote to count, they should have to show proof that they have also taken responsibility for their kids education. What do I mean? Well when I was in elementary school, although I went to a good private school – St. Rose, my dad also gave me additional school work to do. Yes I hated it, but now looking back, I appreciate what he did. For example, every week I would get a new set of vocabulary words to learn. My father, would make me write a sentence using each word and then also quiz me in spelling the word. We would do this every week along with math problems that he would quiz me on. And this was in addition to my regular homework. My parents were very involved in my education, and did not rely solely on my teachers to educate me.

Parent Trigger Law is a good idea, but parents should first show proof that they have taken some responsibility in their kids education. If parents have never attended a parent – teacher conference, then they should not be allowed to vote. Also, proof should be a lot more then saying “I bought my kid a math app for the iPad”.

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