A WSJ Editorial about the stalemate in Compton, CA. Highlights:
No good idea goes unchallenged by the forces of the educational status quo, but the tactics they’re using to stop the first experiment at “parent trigger” school reform in California sure are revealing—and ugly.
The parents want [their public school] to be run by Celerity Educational Group, which operates three high-performing charters in the Los Angeles area. The educational empire has not taken this well. At a PTA meeting teachers urged parents to rescind their petitions, and during school hours they pressured students whose parents supported the trigger effort.
When that intimidation failed, the school district suddenly came up with a new signature-verification process. The district required parents—many of whom work multiple jobs—to show up at [the public school] at appointed times on one of two days.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order stopping the district’s verification gambit, so the empire struck back again, declaring last week at a hastily-called community meeting that every petition had been disqualified on technicalities: Some legal code numbers were mistyped, for example, and some petitions weren’t stapled. Really. The parents will now also challenge this in court.
This is nasty business, another example of rigging the system to help the adults who run it rather than the children it is supposed to serve. Would it be too much for Education Secretary Arne Duncan or President Obama to speak up for the parents and kids of Compton?