Desert Trails has some of the lowest standardized test scores in the state – its most recent Academic Performance Index rating is 699 on a scale of 1000. LaVerne recently ranked more than 200 points higher than that.
The first group of parents in the nation to successfully invoke California’s Parent Trigger law has voted on a new operator to take over a failing school: LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy, a non-profit charter organization based in nearby Hesperia, will run the new school starting next August.
After 18 months and two court victories, members of the Desert Trails Parents’ Union voted overwhelmingly for LaVerne because of its success with low-income students.
Doreen Diaz, a leader of the trigger movement, said that was the deciding factor for her. As a member of the selection committee, Diaz said she and a handful of others spent a day at the charter school and emerged impressed. “I looked in the classrooms and I liked what I saw. I liked that the teachers keep the children engaged,” she said, adding that the children also appeared enthusiastic about being in school. “That’s what did if for me and why we recommended them.”