Chanting "yes we can!" and "si se puede!", a busload of parents on Tuesday became the first in California to try to force reforms at their children's failing school using a new law empowering parents to demand change.
The group of Latino and African-American parents delivered a petition signed by 62 percent of parents at McKinley Elementary School to Compton Unified Acting Superintendent Karen Frison.
The campus ranks in the bottom 10 percent of California's elementary schools. With the petition, the so-called "parent trigger" law mandates the campus be converted to a charter school next September...
The action was a landmark in the school reform movement. California was the first state in the nation to adopt a parent-trigger law, which stipulates that a district must make radical changes at a school that has failed to meet progress benchmarks for four years when at least 51 percent of parents sign a petition for reform.
Parents choose the reform they want - conversion to a charter school, replacing the principal and staff, rebudgeting, or even closure.
California's law was adopted in January and inspired a similar law in Connecticut. Six other states, including New Jersey and Michigan, are now considering parent-triggers.
While I'm all about parental influence and options, I wonder what the unintended consequences of this law will be.