Parents fight for better schools

…For those who have not heard of the concept, parent trigger laws allow parents whose children attend persistently low-achieving schools to petition for change.

If a majority of parents join in that effort, they can choose from one of at least four school transformation options: new leadership, conversion to a charter school, reconstitution of the school with new staff, or school closure. These laws are powerful tools that force education officials to heed parents’ calls for change.

In Los Angeles, we have recognized that without parent engagement, school improvement efforts will not succeed. As part of our Public School Choice initiative — designed to turn around low-performing schools — we require educator teams to collaborate with parents. And through the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit I established to accelerate achievement at our highest need schools, we launched the Parent College to empower parents with the tools and skills they need to support their children’s education. These initiatives are critical pieces in our overall strategy to improve Los Angeles schools.

And we’ve seen results. The number of local schools meeting California’s academic performance standard has more than doubled and the number of low-scoring schools has dropped from 32 percent to 9 percent. While we celebrate this progress, we also recognize that our work won’t be finished until all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers…

Read the rest at The Hill blog. Image by Joits.