AirTalk for December 7, 2010

Pulling the “parent trigger” at McKinley Elementary

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Dave Einsel/Getty Images

A teacher prepares her classroom. A new study found that teachers are stretched thin in California, with cuts to education resulting in bigger class sizes and a diminishing pool of new recruits.

A little known law passed in January allows parents in a failing school to force a change. If 51% or more sign a petition it can trigger a forcible transformation of the school either by shutting it down, making it a charter or demanding other radical changes. 1,300 of California’s 10,000 schools are eligible, but McKinley will be the first school to actually receive a formal petition with the demand that a charter school operator take over the school. What does this mean for failing schools across the Southland? Is there any guarantee the charter operator will do better? How will teachers and Compton Unified School District board members deal with the fall out?


Adolfo Guzman Lopez, KPCC’s education reporter

Ben Austin, Executive Director of the Parent Revolution; directed the successful campaign to transform Locke High School from the worst high school in Los Angeles into a college preparatory model of reform; former Deputy Mayor under Mayor Richard Riordan (from 2000-2001)

Marty Hittleman, President, California Federation of Teachers

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