Opinion
Families & the Community Letter to the Editor

‘Parent Trigger’ Measures Are About Opportunity

April 23, 2012 1 min read

To the Editor:

Regarding Diane Ravitch’s blog post “The Lesson of Florida” (March 20, 2012), the goal of every educator and advocate of education should be to ensure that all children receive a high-quality education.

It is unfortunate that an achievement gap still exists; however, this gap was much wider before such leaders as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush started taking meaningful actions in education reform.

Contrary to critics’ claims, reforms like “parent trigger” bills are not rooted in advancing the interests of charter schools and for-profit entrepreneurs. No, they are focused on providing every child an opportunity to attend a school that will properly prepare him or her for success in college and a career.

If a school can accomplish this lofty, yet essential, goal and at the same time directly contribute to rebuilding America’s tattered economy, then kudos to it.

However, operating in the black is not the prerequisite for educating the future of our nation. Achieving significant gains is. And what our children desperately need is the opportunity to attend schools that foster significant gains—regardless of whether they’re for-profit or not-for-profit schools—if the schools that students’ ZIP codes assign them to are not getting the job done.

Ms. Ravitch is right about one thing: Democracy did live in Florida this year. Our Founding Fathers would have been proud at the opportunities for discourse and debate from proponents and critics and, ultimately, when a simple majority was not reached on the state Senate floor, the bill died—or at least went into hibernation.

But this begs one question: If democracy lives in state politics, why then can it not find a home in state education? If a simple majority is good enough for politicians to have their voices heard and their presence felt, why is it not good enough for parents at failing schools to have their voices heard and their presence felt?

Matt Minnick

Tallahassee, Fla.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2012 edition of Education Week as ‘Parent Trigger’ Measures Are About Opportunity

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

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
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Families & the Community Opinion 7 Ways for Teachers to Truly Connect With Parents
For some parents, the most relevant question is, "How is your family doing," according to researchers working in an Oregon school district.
Laura Brady, Stephanie Fryberg, Hazel Rose Markus, Camilla Griffiths, Jenny Yang, Perla Rodriguez & Laura Mannen-Martínez
5 min read
Teacher communicating with a student's family
iStock/Getty
Families & the Community How Schools Are Preparing for the Perfect Storm of Holiday Travel and COVID-19
Schools are putting in place or considering measures such as extending holiday breaks or shifting back to full-time remote learning.
7 min read
covid travel img new
iStock/Getty
Families & the Community Opinion Families Not Engaging With School? Rethink the Problem
Parents are ready to support distance learning, but educators need to speak the right cultural language, writes a team of researchers working with an Oregon school district.
Laura Brady, Stephanie Fryberg, Hazel Rose Markus, Camilla Griffiths, Jenny Yang & Perla Rodriguez
6 min read
family remote ed Opinion
Feodora Chiosea/iStock/Getty
Families & the Community Washington State Kindergarten Teachers Ask: Where Are the Children?
Thousands of Washington’s kindergartners haven’t shown up or logged in to their public schools this year.
Joy Resmovits & Seattle Times
6 min read