Friday, June 21, 2013

Reforming the Parent Trigger Law

LAUSD Board Meeting June 18, 2013

Mr. Zimmer's Resolution calls for reforming the Parent Trigger Law.  Please read it!  I urge school districts to adopt similar resolutions to bring order to the chaos that the Parent Trigger Law brings to local communities. 

Item 45.     Mr.Zimmer - Comprehensive Information for Parent Initiated School Transformation (Noticed June 18, 2013, 9am)
Whereas, The Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District recognizes the essential role of parents and legal guardians in every aspect of their child's education and in the successful transformation of schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District;

Whereas, California State Education Code 53300-53303 (The Parent Empowerment Act) allows for parents at persistently lowest achieving schools to trigger options for school transformation if over 50% of parents or legal guardians at a campus sign a petition calling for the implementation of one of four interventions;

Whereas, California State Education Code 53300-53303 only allows parents and legal guardians who sign the petition to vote for the selected transformation model;

Whereas, California Education Code 53300-53303 does not currently require public meetings or other mechanisms to ensure accurate and balanced information about school performance or transformation options be provided to all stakeholders during the petition process;

Whereas, Two District elementary schools have been transformed through this process in the 2013-14 school year and the Board assumes there will be several attempts to transform District schools in the 2014-15 school year;

Whereas, Very limited information about the school and monitoring of the signature gathering process was presented to the Board for 24th Street and Weigand Avenue Elementary Schools;

Whereas, The Board has not adopted specific policies and guidelines for receiving petitions and validating the transformation process; and

Whereas, The Superintendent has not issued clear guidelines for principals and school site personnel regarding protocols and operational procedures for each stage of the parent trigger process; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District directs the Office of General Counsel and the Superintendent to submit the following information to the Board for each future transformation petition that is presented to the Board:

1. Independent verification of the signatures and the signature gathering process

2.  Evidence of public notice and a summary of information presented at a public meeting held in the school community detailing accurate information about the school and the available options for transformation

3.  An analysis of five years of school data

4.  A summary of interventions attempted at the school site and an analysis the success or failure of these attempted interventions

5.  An analysis of school report card data and/or school climate survey data:

Resolved further, That the Superintendent bring guidelines and operational procedures for school site personnel to use during parent trigger process for review by the Board at the first scheduled business meeting of the 2013-14 school year; and, be it finally

Resolved, That the Board urges the Superintendent and the Office of Government Relations staff to seek legislative changes to California State Education Code 53300-53303 that will better serve all parents and legal guardians in the transformation process. These changes should include, but not be limited to:

1.  Provisions that ensure all parents and legal guardians (not solely those who sign the petition) be allowed meaningful participation in all aspects of the transformation process and vote on the transformation option;

2.  Provisions that ensure accurate and independently verifiable information about school performance and transformation options that are available to all parents; and

3.  Provisions that safeguard against manipulation of families in the process and validate training of all Parent Empowerment Act Signature gathers.

LAUSD 6-18-2013 board meeting. Item 45 from timeline 7:10:00 to 8:04:00. Mr. Zimmer: Comprehensive Information For Parent -Initiated School Transformation Resolution. It calls for reforming the Parent Trigger Law.

Parent to LAUSD School Board: Please Protect Us with Fairness