What’s that? The government and its agents, aided and abetted by the public school teachers’ union bosses, seizing the prior parental right to educate their children as they see fit.
Arguably, nowhere is this more the case than in the State of California.
Consider the case of Palm Lane Elementary School (Anaheim, CA) where basic transparency and accountability have been turned on their head in an effort to hide some terribly embarrassing facts:
- 62% of students are not proficient in reading.
- Student achievement has been so poor that in 2014 educational bureaucrats granted Palm Lane a federal waiver exempting it from being assessed upon student reading and math achievement scores. While students would take the tests, the results would not be used to make determinations about student achievement and the quality of education being provided.
- The same bureaucrats are now seeking a total federal testing waiver. Why? Rather than use standardized testing to measure achievement, Palm Lane can use graduation rates, attendance rates, and rates of participation to measure student achievement.
Parents of Palm Lane students have had enough of this educational malpractice which is detrimental to their children’s future. Under the Golden State’s “Parent Empowerment Act” (aka, “Parent Trigger Law” [PTL]), they petitioned the school board to turn Palm Lane into a charter school.
To what end? The school board rejected the petition. No suprise there. What is surprising is the reason: There weren’t enough valid signatures from current parents to trigger the transition to a charter school. Signatures of 50% of the parents of currently enrolled students were needed, but 100+ signatures were disqualified, leaving only 48% of the signatures valid.
Ever wonder who assessed those ballots?
Bad as that is, here’s the real deal: PTL allows parents of students in failing public schools to “overhaul the structure and operations of their schools.” This could include replacing school staff or transforming a public school into a charter school. However, PTL requires that a school demonstrate poor academic performance for 2 consecutive years, based upon the same metrics.
Do the math. Which is more likely to demonstrate poor academic performance for 2 consecutive years? Standardized achievement tests or graduation rates, attendance rates, and rates of participation?
Then, too, by the time those new data would be available--three years out--the turnover of parents would further delay any threat of substantive change to Palm Lane Elementary School.
That how those bureaucrats and public school teachers’ union bosses deny parents what is theirs by a prior right.
So much for caring for the children.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the case Palm Lane Elementary School as reported in the Orange County Register, click on the following link: