Parents in Adelanto, Calif., fought teachers, the school district and even resistant parents to use the state's "parent trigger" law to force the district to allow a charter program take over the operations of failing Desert Trails Elementary School.
Now called Desert Trails Preparatory Academy, it opens its doors on Monday as the first of its kind, and many education reformers (and opponents) are watching. Politico notes:
A grand experiment in letting parents seize control of their neighborhood schools is unfolding in an impoverished Mojave Desert town — and lawmakers as far away as Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan are watching, and pondering the implications for troubled schools in their own states.
Desert Trails Preparatory Academy in Adelanto, Calif., will open for the academic year on Monday as the first school in the nation to have been remade under a law that gives parents the power to take over a low-performing public school and fire the principal, dismiss teachers or bring in private management.
The law, known as "parent trigger," passed in California in 2010 and has since been adopted by six other states — Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas — though parents have not yet taken over schools in any of them.
Teachers unions are resistant but Politico notes more and more Democratic politicians are coming out in favor of the parent-controlled option. The success or failure of Desert Trails is going to be used as ammunition by one side or the other.
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