Parent Trigger Pulled On Failing LA School - KMSP-TV

Parent Trigger Pulled On Failing LA School

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Los Angeles, CA -

From the time they got to school to the time they got back on these buses at the end of the day, it was a day of lessons for the kids here at the 24th Street Elementary School.

But it was also a day of lessons for their parents who were also on buses.

They got on them at a park not too far from the school to go downtown to the LA Unified School District headquarters where they handed over petitions to the superintendent.

For two months they collected petitions to try to get control of their kids school using California's Parent Trigger law -- that's the one from 2010 in which parents are able to fire teachers, principals, and even turn the school into a charter school.

It's an effort by parents and its supportive group Parent Revolution to take over a school in Compton failed. One in Adelanto just last week was successful. Both were contentious.

The parents might be trying to get control of this school but the superintendent says if he has any control there will be dramatic changes at 24th Street Elementary.

Live Blog:

They're pulling the trigger! Frustrated LA parents handed petitions to the LAUSD this morning. Using "Parent Trigger" they want changes at 24th St. Elementary.

12:15pm: The party's over! Interesting end to an eventful day for parents of students at 24th Street Elementary School. Starting at Potter Park on 2nd and 24th St. parents gathered to bus to LAUSD headquarters. After handing over the petitions to the Superintendent they returned to the park for a celebration lunch. Lots of hugs and cupcakes as they celebrated the end of their petition drive! The next move will be the school district's.

Class is over for today!

11:00am: Mission Accomplished! 24th Street Elementary School parents "pulled the trigger" handing over 3 books of petitions. There were just over 300 representing 400-plus students. Parents spent 2 months working on this trying to get enough petitions to turn over to LAUSD Superintendent john Deasy.

After receiving them he told a boardroom full of parents he was "a fast reader" and would get thru the petitions and then have a response. He told me he's looking forward to responding to the problems at the school. As he told a parent he don't know why it took so long to recognize a problem, but it won't be long before it's fixed. Now, parents are on their way back to Benny Potter Park for a lunchtime celebration! We'll be there live at noon on FOX 11.

9:00am: It's rally-time!  In a park at 2nd and 24th St. in West Adams parents are gathered to begin a process they've been working on for months. "Pulling the trigger" on their kids school. They say the school is a failure. Some parents told me their kids have had rotating teachers and are not learning. One told me she wants more leadership in the school and better academics.

At the park pavillion you can see everything from coffee to apple juice and tee-shirts that have the words "Parent Revolution." After their rally in the park it's off to LAUSD headquarters to drop off their petitions. They  have a little more than 300 signatures representing a little over 400 students. Superintendent John Deasy is expected to personally receive the petitions at LAUSD. He has not yet commented on the parent action.

They want better academics, leadership and environment. They're not happy. They said they've tried to make changes at the under performing school for 4 years without success. So, they are using California's "Parent Trigger" to try to make things better.

We are talking about California's "Parent Trigger" law. Officially, it is called California's Parent Empowerment Act of 2010. It allows parents to organize and take control of failing schools. That means such things as firing teachers, principals and turning schools into private or charter schools.

This morning parents are gathering at a park at 2nd Avenue and 24th Street. They tell us they'll make some remarks and then get on yellow school busses that will take them Downtown to LAUSD Headquarters. Once there they'll deliver petitions they've been gathering for the past 2 months. They say they'll hand them over to Superintendent John Deasy in a little red wagon.

There have been other efforts in Compton and Adelanto to take control of schools using the "Parent Trigger" law. Only Adelanto has been successful and that was just last week. Now, the "Parent Trigger" spotlight will focus on Los Angeles - the second biggest school district in the US!

Stay Tuned,

Hal Eisner

Ben Austin is executive director of the nonprofit group "Parent Revolution." Ben stopped in to our newsroom discuss the latest in this issue with Steve Edwards.

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