Thursday, December 1, 2011

Teachers Unions Continue to Fight Compton Parents' Efforts to Help their Children

Back in the spring, we wrote about the unsuccessful efforts of parents at Compton's McKinley Elementary School to force a conversion to a charter school using the so-called "parent trigger" law. After 61% of McKinley parents signed the trigger petition, the local school district and teachers' union fought back in court, and got the signatures thrown out because they were undated. And now, a report in today's LA Weekly describes the ways in which the fight is continuing.

In a flourish all too typical in California politics, the organization that spearheaded last year's petition drive has adopted a new approach for helping the parents of McKinley students: helping parents organize into "parent unions" that negotiate collectively with the teachers' unions. This organization, Parent Revolution, is apparently trying to downplay its connections to the charter-school industry and its wealthy patrons, and is pushing the new concept in order to play nice with the teaching lobbies that effectively run education policy in Sacramento these days. As such, the new petition the parents are pursuing involves not conversion to a charter school, but rather the creation of a non-charter management organization run by Compton Unified. This might be good for Parent Revolution, but we're not sure why the people who have made McKinley one of the worst schools in California should be trusted to make it better. And once again, the students stand to lose big in the bargain.

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