So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Among groups vying to takeover 'Parent Trigger' elementary school: LAUSD

LAUSD

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Parents of children at 24th Street Elementary held up placards for passing motorists as they descended upon LAUSD headquarters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 to deliver a petition to take over the failing school.

Two weeks ago, parents at 24th Street Elementary School felt like they were out of options. Today they have several.

Eight charter school operators submitted "Letters of Interest" vying to take over the failing school by the fall. Among them: L.A. Unified.

The offers started coming in almost immediately after neighborhood parents invoked the “Parent Trigger” law to take over the low-income school in South Los Angeles. Nearly two thirds of the school's parents signed the petition. It's the first attempt to use the controversial law in L.A. Unified since it was passed in 2010 – and could mark a turning point for parent-reform advocates.

Here’s a breakdown of the charter operators that met the Parent Union’s deadline for an application last Friday:

  • Academia Moderna
  • Crown Preparatory Academy
  • Frederick Douglass Academy Elementary School
  • Vista Academy Elementary School Global Education Academy
  • Celerity Global Development
  • Para Los Ninos
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • One was received from a former 24th Street Elementary School educator through an Education Management Organization

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Parents invoke trigger to shake up failing LA Unified school

LAUSD

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Parents of children at 24th Street Elementary held up placards for passing motorists as they descended upon LAUSD headquarters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 to deliver a petition to take over the failing school.

Hundreds of parents from a West Adams elementary school on Thursday invoked the “Parent Trigger” law to take over the failing 24th Street Elementary school. It's the first attempt to use the controversial law in L.A. Unified since it was passed in 2010 -- and could mark a turning point for parent-reform advocates. 

Amabilia Villeda, the leader of the Padres de 24 Parent Union leading the effort, handed Superintendent John Deasy some of the signatures she’d been gathering over the last nine months in a door-to-door campaign.
 
“I hope now you’ll hear us,” she said.

The school in the Historic West Adams neighborhood has a slew of problems. It’s one of the worst performing in the state and in the bottom 2% of the district. Two in three students can’t read at grade level and it has the second highest suspension rate for elementary schools in all of LAUSD. Villeda said parents want a new principal and experienced teachers.

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Parent Trigger group votes on new group for charter take over

Sorcha/Flickr

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.” 

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Parent Trigger group wins another legal battle

Parents in the desert community of Adelanto have won a critical victory in their mission to take over Desert Trails Elementary School under the “parent trigger law.”

A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge has upheld a ruling that allowed the Desert Trails Parent Union to move forward with plans to convert the failing elementary school into a charter school.

The judge also ordered the Adelanto School District to halt efforts to stop the changeover. In August, district officials announced they would not relinquish control of the school.

Cynthia Ramirez, a lead petitioner and organizer of the Desert Trails Trigger movement, said she’s “thrilled and obviously really excited" with the judge’s ruling.

"This decision finally lets us move forward with voting on who we want to come in and take over the school" said Ramirez.

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