First Parent-Triggered Charter School Clears Final Hurdle

After nearly two years of fighting the district that’s supposed to serve them, parents in Adelanto, Calif., succeeded Tuesday night in turning Desert Trails Elementary into a charter school. It’s the first successful implementation of the California law passed in 2010 allowing parents to force a school district’s hand and select a charter program to take over a failing school. And Desert Trails was definitively failing, falling among the bottom 10 percent of California schools.

Beau Yarbrough at The (San Bernardino) Sun reports:

The Adelanto Elementary School District voted 4-0 to approve the petition submitted by Debra Tarver, who operates the LaVerne Preparatory Academy in Hesperia.

In October, the Desert Trails Parent Union announced they'd selected Tarver to take over Desert Trails Elementary School, where three-quarters of students are unable to read and write up to standards, according to state testing scores. They used California's "parent-trigger" law, which allows groups who collect signatures from more than 50 percent of parents to imposing sweeping changes on the school, to force the district to relinquish control of the campus after the current school year comes to an end.

LaVerne Preparatory Academy received a 911 out of 1,000 Academic Performance Index score this fall, one of the highest in San Bernardino County, where the schools got an average 767 API. Desert Trails got a 699 this year, down 13 points from the year before.

I wrote a brief summary of the Adelanto takeover battle for the February issue of Reason magazine (on stands now).

A lawmaker in the State of Georgia is now looking to introduce parent-triggered takeovers there as well, which has resulted in the typical response from teachers unions. Via the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

“This is a betrayal of the public,” said Verdalia Turner, president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers. “It has nothing to do with what good research says is needed for a child to learn. Not a damned thing. You can quote me on that. It has everything to do with putting public funds in private hands.”

Turner said more charter schools in Georgia will simply be an opportunity for for-profit charter school companies to make money.

“The public” in Georgia notably approved a constitutional amendment in November to allow the state the power to approve charter school applications over the objections of local boards. "The public" has been consistently voting in favor of more school choice, not less.

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  • SugarFree||

    Teachers are always saying that parents need to get involved in education.

  • ||

    ...unless it interferes with them getting paid. Then parents need to STFU and GTFO.

  • ||

    Don't forget inter-fearing (pun intended) with the curricula as well. Also, those sweet, sweet bennies.

  • John||

    This is a betrayal of the public,” said Verdalia Turner, president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers. “It has nothing to do with what good research says is needed for a child to learn. Not a damned thing. You can quote me on that. It has everything to do with putting public funds in private hands.”

    How is giving public money to unions not "putting it in private hands"?

  • sarcasmic||

    Regardless of merit or results, charter schools are bad because they are run by people who are outside the public sector.
    Textbook ad hominem.

  • John||

    Another example of what we were talking about yesterday. Liberals really do think ad hominem is legitimate argument. I think it goes back to the Marxist idea of class consciousness.

  • iggy||

    You don't get it, John. If feelings are proof, and liberals believe they are, then saying mean things about your opponent and hurting his feelings is the same as winning an argument.

  • sarcasmic||

    It goes back to the primitive morality of 'might makes right' where if you say two plus two equals five, and you have the power to do great violence to anyone who says otherwise, *presto* two plus two now equals five!

    Violence is all that matters to liberals. Why do you think they worship government? Because government is violence.

  • John||

    See collective responsibility. They believe the ad hominem fallacy because they believe that you are responsible for the actions of whatever group you are a part of.

  • sarcasmic||

    They believe the ad hominem fallacy because if their group can beat you up (or they can get government to do it for them), that makes them right.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Oh yeah? Says who?" "Oh yeah? Who's gonna make me?" "Oh yeah? You and what army?"

    Might makes right. The most primitive morality of them all.

  • Cytotoxic||

    And that is why the thought of people splintering out of The System terrifies them much more than say conservatives somehow taking over the public education system. The latter is reversible and manageable while the former could lead to INDEPENDENT THINKING.

  • $park¥||

    "There is one characteristic of the present direction of public opinion, peculiarly calculated to make it intolerant of any marked demonstration of individuality. The general average of mankind are not only moderate in intellect, but also moderate in inclinations: they have no tastes or wishes strong enough to incline them to do anything unusual, and they consequently do not understand those who have, and class all such with the wild and intemperate whom they are accustomed to look down upon."

  • Hollywood||

    This. Well said (or quoted, rather).

  • $park¥||

    This. Well said (or quoted, rather).

    Mill said it ... in 1858.

  • Rhywun||

    We could always eliminate the "public funds". I'm sure she'd go along with that idea.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "How is giving public money to unions not "putting it in private hands"?"-john

    damn you beat me to it, her private hands are probably getting several hundred thousand a year in public funds.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    "The public" has been consistently voting in favor of more school choice free stuff, not less.

    [/ftfy] I definitely like school choice but let's not delude ourselves.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Not mutually exclusive.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    ""The public" has been consistently voting in favor of more school choice free stuff, not less."-tulpa

    there seems to be some parallels between charter schools and gay marriage, from a libertarian standpoint.i see more opposition to gay marriage here though. i wonder if we started calling it charter marriage, would they like it better?

  • yonemoto||

    Seriously, who here opposes gay marriage (who doesn't also oppose straight marriage)?

  • iggy||

    I don't think you see opposition to gay marriage. All the opposition I see simply argues that the government shouldn't be involved in marriage at all, and that people should be allowed to have whatever ceremony they want without government interference.

    I don't think that's really opposition to gay marriage.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    true,i should have said state sanctioned gay marriage and state sanctioned charter schools.

  • yonemoto||

    It's a good analogy, but I think your profiling of the reason commentariat is off.

  • $park¥||

    And Desert Trails was definitively failing, falling among the bottom 10 percent of California schools.

    Look, there's always going to be a bottom 10 percent.

  • John||

    True. But bottom 10% of California schools is pretty bad. And even if it weren't, I like the idea of having a sort of demotion system like English soccer. If you are at the bottom, you lose control of your school.

  • $park¥||

    It has nothing to do with what good research says is needed for a child to learn. Not a damned thing. You can quote me on that

    Where might I find this so called "good research" that defines what is needed?

  • Rhywun||

    Duh - Ed schools.

  • iggy||

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50.....ege-major/

    I wonder what he'd think about the 'good research' which says education majors enter college with the lowest SAT scores and leave college with the highest average GPA of any major.

    Huh, that sure does sound like teachers are among the dumbest students but benefit from grade inflation. Clearly we just have to pay them more.

  • Brandon||

    I had some excellent teachers when I was in public schools. I assume that they are not the ones howling about charter schools.

  • sarcasmic||

    Policy manuals. Read and obey.

  • waaminn||

    Dude makes no sense at all man!

    www.BigAnon.tk

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