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Triggering LAUSD?

Alexander Russo | August 1, 2012

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A call around to some education insiders suggests that the likelihood of parents targeting an LAUSD school for the so-called “parent trigger” aren’t clear — at least in the short term. That hasn’t stopped LAUSD parents from starting parent unions, however — the precursor to a possible trigger.  Obviously there are still lots of schools with low scores and alienated parents.  But parents might want to wait and see how Adelanto, the Desert Trails school going through the trigger process now, pans out.

Some observers doubt the trigger will ever be tried (or succeed) in LAUSD, given the past two years of struggle:  “It is hard for me to believe that it will go much further than it has,” said one longtime education journalist via email on Friday, calling it “a waste of time, energy and money.”

Others think a trigger attempt might not happen right away in LAUSD, but still could happen in the spring.

“I think everyone is willing to take a breath and step backwards to see if he can get indeed some real change to happen at the schools,” said an LAUSD watcher. By next spring or summer, things could start to heat up again.

“PSC [Public School Choice] was tremendously flawed, but it gave parents a trigger-like role,” said another insider.  “Now that PSC is shut down for all intents and purposes, enlightened parents will be itching for another trigger, I’d think.”

Parent Revolution says it can’t divulge the entire list of schools where parents are organizing, but acknowledges that Lennox HS (outside LAUSD) approached them.The one LAUSD school with a formal parent union is Haddon Ave. Elementary.

“This movement will only scale if it’s driven by parents,” said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution. “If the parents want our help, we will support them in a parent trigger campaign. It’s up to them, not us.”

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