Parent-Trigger Efforts in California Hit Stumbling Blocks

By Sarah Tully

The parent-trigger movement that allows parents to petition to take over failing schools is hitting obstacles in California because the system to determine if schools are indeed failing is in transition.

In 2010, California was the first state to pass a so-called parent-trigger law, which allows parents to overhaul schools that are determined as failing by turning them into charters, removing the administration, or taking other measures. It’s also the only state, out of six that have such laws, to successfully execute a campaign.

But now California school officials and parent advocates have different opinions about how to figure out which, if any, schools are actually failing and are subject to parent-trigger campaigns.

Two school districts—Los Angeles Unified and Anaheim City—rejected parent-trigger petitions because, they argue, the test scores are outdated.

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