Parent-triggered Charter School Transition Effort Given New Life in California

Efforts by parents in Adelanto, Calif., to attempt to convert their failing elementary school into a charter school had been rebuffed by the school district, which had invalidated more than 100 signatures from their petitions.

A judge, however, has ordered many signatures restored, allowing the parents to move forward. Via the Redlands Daily Facts:

The ruling makes the Desert Trails Parent Union the first group to successfully enact California's 2010 Parent Empowerment Act.

The "parent trigger" law allows parents at underperforming schools to force major changes on a campus if they can gather signatures from 50 percent of the school's parents.

The changes include converting the school into a charter school or replacing half the staff.

Judge Steve Malone on June 18 ordered the Adelanto Elementary School District to accept the petition filed by the Desert Trails Parent Union's, ruling that the district did not have the discretion to toss out signatures that proponents gathered, saying it was an abuse of their discretion.

Proponents said the petition had been signed by about 70 percent of the parents at the district's worst school, but district officials attempted to disqualify many of the signatures, enough that the petition fell 16 signatures short of the 50 percent needed for the parents to enact sweeping changes.

The judge ordered the school district to start accepting proposals from charter schools to take the elementary school over. Desert Trails Elementary is considered one of the worst elementary schools in the state, ranking in the bottom tenth in test scores. Only a quarter of its sixth-graders can read and do math at grade level.

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  • Spittle of Rage||

    Ahhh...the sweet sound of the educariat clutching at pearls. Either half of them or up to all them will be thrown out on their asses. For the children.

  • Elphie||

    Speaking of education...

    There's a lot of little devices I want to build, and it recently occurred to me that if I took some engineering classes, I could design and build things a lot easier and maybe get a useful degree in the process. Mostly I want to design and build small home devices for personal use, like an air resistance-based exercise machine. Any idea what sort of engineering degree would be most appropriate for this?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Mechanical?

  • Elphie||

    That makes sense...

  • ||

    Social engineering. It's perfect for that kind of stuff. You get people to build it for you.

  • ||

    Political science degree.

    Get other people to build and pay for it even when no one wants or needs it.

  • JEP||

    Mechanical. Of course, you could just go buy a C2 rowing machine.

    If you're interested in building little devices for yourself, get an electrical engineering degree. The cost of building PCBs and buying surface mount parts is relatively cheap compared to buying the tools you'd need to apply a mechanical, chemical, etc engineering degree at home.

  • SKR||

    Depends on how much those devices move.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Good, now the education establishment will finally have the proof it needs that charter schools make no difference in academic achievement.

    [sarcasm]

  • Tman||

    The worst part of this whole story was this-

    Proponents said the petition had been signed by about 70 percent of the parents at the district's worst school, but district officials attempted to disqualify many of the signatures, enough that the petition fell 16 signatures short of the 50 percent needed for the parents to enact sweeping changes.

    Members of the parents union sued, and on June 18, Malone restored 97 of the signatures tossed out by the district, raising the number of qualified signatures to more than 50 percent.

    These fuckers are literally trying to change the rules AFTER THEY LOST THE GAME. If you needed any more evidence that the Teachers Union doesn't give a flying fuck about the students, here you are.

  • ||

    It owuld be instersting to read the reasons why they kicked out the vote.

    "Parent 54's vote: student is in grade 2 and will leave 2 years from now therefor his vote is invalid."

    "Parent 103's vote: Student will not enroll in the 1rst grade until the spring therefor vote is invalid."

  • SKR||

    So only parents of 1st grade students qualify? Interesting.

  • ||

    No idea I was just making that up as a possible example.

  • SKR||

    Ahh my brain must have skipped over the owuld, lol.

  • ||

    Dude, in a town I lived in in NYS, they wanted to build a new, super-expensive high school. So they had a vote. It got shot down. So they had another vote a month later. It got shot down then too. So they had another vote a few weeks later. This time, it barely squeaked by.

    Voila! The school got built, and everyone's property taxes went up. Will of the voters? Ha.

  • califernian||

    Charters are great and all, compared to a real public school, but we'll get nowhere until people realize that the government shouldn't be involved in schooling AT ALL.

  • PapayaSF||

    Incrementalism got us into socialism. Incrementalism can get us out.

  • Ted S.||

    I see Scott is finally learning alt-text.

  • Scott S.||

    What? I've been doing all sorts of alt-text. Alt-text all over the place!

  • PapayaSF||

    And by the way, I applaud the brilliance of calling this a "parent union." See, libertarians aren't "anti-union" at all! It's just that we prefer parent unions to teacher unions. Right there, that takes at least a quarter of the wind out of the opposition's sails, and will likely leave them sputtering mad.

  • Joan J. Strong||

    It still blows my mind that some folks calling themselves libertarians can support charter schools. Y'all understand that:

    * 18% (and growing) of Charters in the USA are already unionized?

    * A couple of years ago the Charter school industry in CA helped passed the first local tax increase enabler in decades (Prop 39)?

    * That all charters are going to do is create a "education-industrial complex" to rival our friends in the defense industry, or the prison industry, or the garbage industry? All of these businesses perform their "marketing" to elected officials primarily.

    * That charters want taxpayer dollars just as badly as public schools do?

    * That they socialize the losses and privatize the profits, just like the banksters?

    Private schools are libertarian. Tax credits are on the road to libertarian. Charters are fascist. They are mixed-government corruption.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    * 18% (and growing) of Charters in the USA are already unionized?
    So? Libertarians shouldn't have anything against unions, just government backed ones. How many of those 18% are in RTW states?

    * A couple of years ago the Charter school industry in CA helped passed the first local tax increase enabler in decades (Prop 39)?

    Citation? And you're 100% sure it wouldn't have passed without the supposed support of the Charter school industry? Also, while it's annoying, it's one of those things like GayJay saying he'll use public funding for his campaign. It exists, so at least occaisionally a force for good can use extortion money, since it's going to get taken anyway.

    * That all charters are going to do is create a "education-industrial complex" to rival our friends in the defense industry, or the prison industry, or the garbage industry? All of these businesses perform their "marketing" to elected officials primarily.

    You mean like the one that's in place right now? Try not to let perfect be the enemy of good, mmkay?

    * That charters want taxpayer dollars just as badly as public schools do?

    Actually they just want dollars. I'm sure they'd be happy if they were paid privately, unlike the teachers' unions.

    * That they socialize the losses and privatize the profits, just like the banksters?

    OH NOES NOT LIKE THE BANKSTERS!!!

    A fairly well played false flag all in all, but you went a bit too far with the 'fascist' comment.

  • Joan J. Strong||

    My Citation is California Proposition 39. Google it. It's not hard.

    My other citation is common sense: what do you THINK a for-profit business who makes money based on handouts from the government is going to do? The same as every industry based on government funding. They aren't in the business of making customers happy, they are in the business of making government bureaucrats happy.

    (Your assertion that these businesses will suddenly turn into private schools and give up their government money is bizarre).

    All charters will do is bring the power of open competition and fewer rules in the quest to raise your taxes. They will make the teacher's unions look like amateurs and entrench their model (which is government-funded education) more than ever before.

    When did libertarians become warmed-over Fox News Republicans, blindly following their talking points? Since when is that going to accomplish ANYTHING?

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