One of our contributors, Eric Goranson, forwarded this article from a couple of weeks ago in The Wall Street Journal entitled “The Radical School Reform You’ve Never Heard Of” (subscription required) by David Feith and in it he describes a law passed this year in California called the parent trigger law.
I absolutely love it. I’ve talked a lot about parental sovereignty and choice in education, and this gem of a law puts the power in parents’ hands when dealing with a failing school. The National Journal described it this way after the law was passed.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed education reform legislation on Jan. 7 that will give unprecedented power to parents whose children attend the worst-performing public schools. Under a provision known as the “parent trigger,” if 50 percent of parents at a given school sign a petition, the school board must choose among several options, including closing the campus, converting to a charter, or replacing the principal and other administrators.
Unfortunately this law doesn’t address a possible private school option, but I love the concept nonetheless. Feith notes that state legislators from Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and West Virginia plan to explore a similar law to what California has. It’s catching on and that has the teacher’s unions worried I’m sure.
Cross-posted at American Principles in Action