Good news from California. The NYT has the story:
So, using a new state law known as the parent trigger, organizers at an underperforming school here in Compton collected hundreds of signatures from parents who said they were fed up. Parents were eager, they said, to turn it into a charter school, where students would spend more time in class with a staff of new teachers.
After months of legal battles, the status of that petition remains tied up in court. But in the meantime, a new charter school has opened just blocks from the struggling school, and parents at more than a dozen other schools in California are hoping to take advantage of the trigger law, demanding that their schools radically improve.
The rise of alternatives to the traditional public school makes many people nervous and the transition will no doubt be rough, but America’s educational system—and California’s in particular—will never work well until competition and school choice empower parents. Ideally, parents would receive vouchers for their kids’ education which could be spent at a variety of qualified schools. We may never get there, but moving toward systems that make schools compete for students will improve traditional public schools as well as the emerging alternatives.Charter schools are only one alternative among many. Virtual schools, vouchers and homeschooling cooperatives all provide options which can be tailored to parents’ and children’s needs. Given the rotten state of so many inner city schools, school choice should be regarded as an important civil right.California gets a lot of things wrong; it’s good to see that citizens of the Golden State are pushing educational reform into new territory.