Opinion
School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Parent Revolution: We Need to Work Together

July 09, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Three years ago, California enacted a groundbreaking new law called the “parent trigger” that gives parents the power to transform their failing neighborhood schools. From the start, opponents of the parent-trigger law have argued that the secret agenda behind it is a conspiracy to convert public education into a national for-profit charter school movement. And they see parents as well-meaning pawns in this effort.

All this changed on May 14, when the parents of Weigand Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles won the first entirely in-district reform parent-trigger campaign. These parents have proved the critics and conspiracy theorists wrong. Their campaign for Weigand, which ranks as the 16th-worst elementary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, calls for keeping the existing teachers and their union contract in place and bringing in new leadership.

The decision to bring in new leadership was not made rashly or in a vacuum. The effort to replace Weigand’s principal began two years ago, when parents and teachers joined together to sign a no-confidence petition calling for new leadership.

Parents recognize the rights of teachers and administrators to unionize and bargain collectively on behalf of their interests. Parents just want teachers and administrators to recognize that same right for them.

Parents trapped in failing schools across America want to work with good teachers, good principals, and progressive unions to transform their schools for their kids. But some entrenched interests refuse to engage in constructive dialogue and resort to name-calling and conspiracy theories, instead of focusing efforts on helping turn our failing schools around.

School leaders and education advocates on all sides owe it to our children to comport ourselves as mature adults and model behavior that we’d want to see on the schoolyard. It’s time to put aside our differences and work together in the interest of our children.

Ben Austin

Executive Director

Parent Revolution

Los Angeles, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as Parent Revolution: We Need to Work Together

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 3 Ways School Districts Can Ease the Pain of Supply Chain Chaos
Have a risk management plan, pay attention to what's happening up the supply chain, and be adaptable when necessary.
3 min read
Cargo Ship - Supply Chain with products such as classroom chairs, milk, paper products, and electronics
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
4 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP
School & District Management Opinion What It Takes for Universities to Conduct Useful Education Research
Many institutions lack the resources to make research-school partnerships successful, warns Thomas S. Dee.
Thomas S. Dee
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers collaborating.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Trust Keeps Our School-Research Relationship Alive in the Pandemic
An educator and a researcher describe how their team was able to nudge forward a plan for equity even as COVID changed almost everything.
Katherine Mortimer & Scott Gray
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers analyzing data.
iStock/Getty