School Choice & Charters

Calif. Parent-Trigger Charter Advances, and New Effort Begins in Conn.

By Katie Ash — January 09, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Last night, the Adelanto, Calif. school board voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of the Desert Trails Parent Union to transform Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter school operated by LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy.

The vote makes the Adelanto District the first in the country to have officially approved any aspect of implementing a parent-trigger law—which allow schools to be restructured through a majority vote of parents, said Parent Revolution, a Los Angeles-based organization that has advised a group of parents in their efforts to overhaul the school’s structure. The vote to support the parents’ union’s decision was aided by results from the November election, which ousted school board president Carlos Mendoza, who had vocally opposed the parents’ effort. In the same election, Teresa Rogers, a member of the Desert Trails Parent Union, was elected to the school board.

The operator of the school will be LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy, which is located in nearby Hesperia, Calif. The academy currently operates one school, and it does not have experience turning around low-performing schools. When LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy was selected as a finalist for the charter model Desert Trails could turn into, Debbie Tarver, the school’s founder and executive director, said that she envisioned implementing a “classical” academic model that would emphasize language development, history, and the integration of subjects.

The decision would appear to conclude a long and contentious battle between Adelanto district officials and the parents who pushed for the school’s restructuring. Meanwhile, for another group of parents, in Waterbury, Conn., it appears the battle is just beginning.

Parents there are invoking a form of their state’s parent trigger law to begin the process of turning around Walsh Elementary School, an academically low-performing school in the area. In 2012, 53 percent of the students there demonstrated proficiency in math, while only 32 percent were deemed proficient in reading, lagging far behind the state average in both subjects.

Connecticut’s law is a much more modest form of trigger policy than those approved in California and some other states. Passed in 2010, the state’s law allows parents in low-performing and failing schools to form School Governance Councils consisting of parents, teachers, and community leaders, which serve an advisory role to the school’s administration. The Walsh Elementary School Governance Council recommended either the creation of a CommPACT school, a model to help close the achievement gap in Connecticut’s public schools through collaboration with parents and community leaders, or an innovation school, which are created through a local decision and operated under a plan developed by the school faculty, district leadership, or an external partner (which could be a higher ed. institution, a nonprofit charter school operator, an educational collaborative, or an educational consortium).

The Walsh Elementary School Governance Council will be meeting tonight at 6pm with district officials there to discuss the school turnaround process and how it could play out in that district.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

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 Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty