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Austin stepping down as head of Parent Revolution

LA School Report | December 4, 2014

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Parent Revolution’s Gabe Rose and Ben Austin

Parent Revolution’s Gabe Rose (left) and Ben Austin

Ben Austin is stepping down as executive director of Parent Revolution, a group he founded six years ago to aid parents pushing for change in their children’s poorly-performing schools.

Parent Revolution played a role in creating California’s parent trigger law and, later, helping three area schools use it. Three other schools used the threat of it to force changes.

“Over the past six years, we have invented an idea, passed it into law, implemented it, built an organization and scaled a movement,” Austin said in a statement. “In the wake of the successful Parent Power Convention and the recent agreement with the LAUSD to work collaboratively on Parent Trigger, we are at an inflection point. We have normalized the idea of parent power and institutionalized Parent Trigger laws into our legal and political framework.”

He added, “It’s now about long term movement and institution building. It’s time to let new leadership and new energy take the reigns and help shape this next chapter.”

Parent Revolution said Alison Laslett, Pasrent Revolution’s Chief Operating Officer, will serve as interim executive director while the board searches for a permanent replacement.

California became the first state to pass a parent trigger law, in 2010; since then, at least six other states have followed suit.

Despite its victories, Parent Revolution has endured withering criticism from teacher unions and others who charge that schools are using parent trigger to skirt employment protections for public school teachers. The group has also been attacked for its sources of funding, including the Gates Foundation, and for doing the bidding of charter school operators.

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