I have somewhat been following Ben Austin and the whole Parent Trigger movement but mostly from a distance. Suddenly, this has become an increasingly entertaining war that has emerged. There has been a lot going on the last two years or so and you might need to get up to speed on this if you have not been already following it.
Over a year ago, Ben Austin was going around promoting a concept called “The Parent Trigger”which meant that if your mailing address landed your child the option of attending a lousy school as is common in the LAUSD system then parents should have the right to organize. If 51% of parents agree that the school is harming their child, then they should be able to take action. Bare in mind that this would in turn, take action against the teachers unions in particular. I heard snippets of Ben Austin talking to one of the LA talk radio stations which is how I became aware of him.
There was one victory when he was put on the State Board of Education in 2010. The California Education Association and their monstrosity of a leader came out to say that the Parent Trigger and the “Kids first” movement was nothing but a “lynch mob”. She predicted Ben Austin would be stripped from the State Board of Education Board. Of course, when Jerry Brown was put in as governor, this was one of the first things he did–take Ben Austin off the State Board of Education…This all happened under the radar for the most part.
Ben Austin and the movement did not and have not gone away. On January 1, 2011 McKinley Elementary School had historic petitions which would put the parent trigger into motion. The staff and unions reacted by invalidating the parent trigger. Parents were sent a letter home that if they did not show up the next day between certain business hours with photo I.D and resign then the petition would be invalidated. This was the teachers unions trying to shred the petition.
Prior to that on the 18th of January, 2011 two parent activist Marlene Romero and Herbert Hidalgo filed complaints with the Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education.
I do not know how accurate the CNN and CBS reporting on this has been. I have to believe that they are going to go out of their way to protect the teacher unions since it is part of they are all collectively left wing family and complete allies.
It would be nice if more of the radio stations were covering this. It is hard to know what is going to happen next. I would be more than happy to support the parents of McKinley. It might be that Government run public schools are increasingly failing us and going forward, we should plan on teaching our own kids about the quadratic formula and how to get the surface are of a cylinder.