Parent Revolution

LAUSD: Public School Choice In 2009 our first major success was passing LAUSD’s historic Public School Choice resolution. It opened up hundreds of failing and newly constructed campuses for bidding by quality charter school operators, teachers, and other non-profits. We ran a grassroots campaign that generated over 4,000 supportive postcards from parents and then organized 3,000 parents for a rally on the day of the vote. When we passed LAUSD’s Public School Choice policy we gave birth to the parent empowerment movement. The Parent Trigger Law In January 2010 we passed California’s Parent Trigger law — a concept far more powerful than Public School Choice. The law empowers a majority of parents at failing schools to transform them. The Parent Trigger law has reframed the public debate on the role organized and empowered parents can play in public school reform. Compton’s McKinley Elementary School Campaign In December 2010 we helped parents at McKinley Elementary School in Compton, CA become the first to successfully use the Parent Trigger law by submitting signatures of over 61% of their school’s parents. Parents Union Chapters and Policy Training Parents Union Chapters are dedicated to improving educational outcomes at local schools through organizing and activism. A major project we undertake with each chapter is to provide parents comprehensive education policy training to help them formally evaluate the strengths and weaknesses within their schools. “Parent Power Express” Bus Tour In September 2011, our “Parent Power Express” bus tour made stops at our Los Angeles area chapters before ending in Sacramento. The tour showcased the incredible, important organizing work Parents Union Chapters are doing to transform their children’s under-performing schools through the Parent Trigger law. It was a hugely successful media campaign that promoted the continued expansion of growing parent empowerment movement. It proved that the work we started in L.A is on the cutting edge of the most dynamic school transformation movements in the country. Parent Trigger Law Regulations In 2011, we completed a campaign to pass final State Board of Education Parent Trigger law regulations. We mobilized a powerful grassroots movement and generated supportive editorials from almost every major newspaper in California. Desert Trails Elementary School In January 2012, parents launched the nation’s 2nd Parent Trigger campaign. In January 2013 the Adelanto School Board finally complied with two court orders. This is the first time in the United States a school board voted to approve Parent Trigger implementation. LAUSD’s 24th Street Elementary School In January the 24th Street Elementary Parents Union Chapter launched the first Parent Trigger campaign at an LAUSD school. 69% of school parents signed the petition. In February, on a 7- 0 vote, the Board of Education unanimously approved the parents’ petition.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Transforming Los Angeles Schools Using the Parent Trigger Law

    Parent Revolution’s unique mission is to empower parents to transform their children’s underperforming schools through community organizing.

    Our success comes not through traditional top-down reform strategies, but by empowering parents to drive change in their own communities. Our organizing work has sustained a growing body of empowered parents that hold school systems accountable for providing children with the high quality education they deserve.

    In 2010 we passed California’s historic Parent Trigger law. It gives a majority of parents with children trapped in a failing public school the right to transform it.

    This year, our Desert Trails Elementary Parents Union Chapter is transforming their failing school in Adelanto, CA. Despite fierce opposition from their school district, they became the first parents in America to successfully implement the Parent Trigger law.

    Our theory of change is working.

    Our idea is to identify low performing schools within the L.A. Unified School District where we will organize parents into Parents Union Chapters to transform failing schools using the Parent Trigger Law.

    Parents Union Chapters are the building block of our growing parent empowerment movement. They are structured parent organizations that choose to formally affiliate with us through a MOU. Once a chapter is formed, we help parents evaluate the weaknesses within their schools and then organize to transform them using the Parent Trigger law - either as bargaining power or formally implementing one of its turnaround options.

    By empowering a growing body of LA parents, we will positively impact the key factor that causes poor educational achievement - schools that fail to enthusiastically instill strong adult accountability policies. Our efforts will change schools that fall far short of adopting “kids first” educational agendas – policies and procedures that stress a commitment to unwavering achievement and cultures of academic success.

    Our project will help spur failing schools to enter a sustained era of reform - where informed, empowered and active parents exert meaningful powerful over the educational destiny of their children.

    As the LA2050 study concludes, far too many parents with kids in LAUSD have no choice but to enroll their children in underperforming schools. In fact, approximately 220 LAUSD schools are eligible to be transformed under the Parent Trigger law. Many thousands of Los Angeles’ parents are trapped into enrolling their children in neighborhood schools that fail to adequately educate their children.

    Our current LAUSD Parent Trigger campaign is proving this point. This grant will help us to pursue a course that can improve the educational outcomes of thousands of deserving students. We will use our parent organizing skills to turn many failing LA schools into vibrant laboratories of learning.

    We are off to a tremendous start - just see what parents are now doing at LAUSD’s 24th Street Elementary School.

    24th Street Elementary is one of the worst in LAUSD - and has been for many years. It’s in the bottom 2% of district elementary schools. It also has the second highest suspension rate (8%) of any elementary school in LAUSD – a testament to its culture of low academic expectations.

    We helped 24th Street parents organize and learn how to wield their power within the Parent Trigger law in ways most likely to improve student outcomes. We also guided them through an education policy training program that helped them analyze school policies and practices and translate their understanding into actionable information to transform their school.

    In January, the 24th Street Parents Union made history - it launched the first Parent Trigger campaign at an LAUSD school. A total of 69% of school parents signed the petition.

    LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy publicly praised the 24th Street Parents Union saying, "I would love to have this kind of parent involvement at every school.” In February the LAUSD Board unanimously approved the parents’ petition. It was unprecedented – and offers great hope for continued cooperation with LAUSD.

    Here are some of the headlines: “For the First Time, a Parent Trigger Without a Hitch” “L.A. School Board Approves Parent Trigger at 24th Street Elementary” 24th Street parents have received four proposals from organizations seeking to transform troubled their troubled school starting this August.

    One is a partnership between LAUSD and a charter school that neighbors 24th Street Elementary. This sends another important signal that LAUSD is poised to continue cooperating with our Parent Trigger law campaigns.

    We’re optimistic that a new era of reform for LAUSD can begin. We will spark an “outbreak of idealism” that can motivate other parents to put stock in the Parent Trigger law as a means to transform many other low-performing LAUSD schools.