How long before parents revolt against schools here?

via LA Times

via LA Times

Doreen Diaz says the worst thing about the Desert Trails elementary school in Adelanto, California, a desert city 150 kilometres or so from Los Angeles, was not that it failed to teach her children, but that its teachers did not even believe her children could learn.

Desert Trails, says Diaz, in her quiet, nuanced second-language English, was not just a failed school, but one without even the will to succeed. Teachers taught only subjects that were to be covered in upcoming public tests and abandoned them immediately after the exams. The school churned out children who were given no classes in physical education, art or music, children who could not read and who were destined to replicate the poverty of many of their parents.

So in 2011 Diaz and a group of parents took radical action and suddenly found themselves at the centre of one of America’s new culture-war battlegrounds, the conflict over the rise of charter schools – schools that are largely publicly funded but operated by private companies.

Diaz and her friends began to use a controversial new Californian law, known as the parent trigger, that allows groups of parents to sack their school district, take over its administration and select a private operator to run their school as a charter.

Power to the parents… David Lange’s Tomorrow’s Schools was supposed to hand power to the parents but in reality it just created an extra layer of bureaucracy that the teacher unions use to play one off against the other.

Meaning their control of schools remains… the teacher unions are part of the problem not part of the solution.


Source: SMH


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  • Ronnie Chow

    The parent trigger . Sounds good , but would it conquer the widespread apathy to be found on Pitcairn personified .
    Call me cynical , but how would you get the parents to actually attend a meeting ?

    • Free KFC?

    • Gazzaw

      A good question Ronnie. Parental apathy is the root cause of many of the problems in our schools whether it be serving on the BOT or the PTA, coaching or managing sports teams, fund raising or working bees. It’s all part of the Gen Y syndrome – all about themselves and the school community can get fucked. It isn’t all the teachers’ fault.

      • NotForTurning

        No, because it doesn’t matter how “engaged” the parents are, whether they are on the BOT or PTA or whatever, they simply cannot root out the structural institutional socialism of NZ’s schools.

        • Gazzaw

          What’s institutional socialism got to do with managing an under-7s footy team?

          • NotForTurning

            It’s institutional socialism that means the under-7s footy games aren’t allowed to have “winners” and “losers”

          • Gazzaw

            Then appoint a BOT that deems otherwise. That decision comes about by parental pressure.

    • Teachersrock

      Last time parents were triggered National had to back down over larger class sizes.

      Do not expect a majority of parents to jump to Nationals defense.

      • Lopsy

        Sorry Teachersrock but for many of us parents you and yours are a major part of the problem. It seems to us that you seem to think that the education system is there for your own benefit and edification. The stats don’t lie, too many kids are passing through the system without achieving much and I’m afraid far too many of you are too quick to lay the blame with parents (my teachers never did this many years ago), the government or whoever is most convenient. I as a parent have seen far too many lame duck and frankly dysfunctional teachers who we all know are under the protective umbrella of your vaguely marxist union. I think it’s time you and yours woke up to the fact that we parents have had a gutsful of your high minded arrogance. Stop using our kids as pawns in your political posturing and get on with the effing job you are paid to do. Stop placing full page ads in national newspapers trying to justify why yet again why you are placing our kids education on the backburner in order to further your own narrow political aims. OK?

        • Teachersrock

          No the stats don’t lie. We have one of the best education systems in the world.

          And a little arrogant of you to presume to speak for ALL parents.

          I know MANY MANY MANY who would strongly disagree with your views and put you in your place.

          Naturally you are quite entitled to your view, and in a VERY few cases you have a point, but please do not make dishonest claims to back up your political view points about education.

          Oh and I hope you home school your kids, given how little you trust teachers.

          • Lopsy

            My kids have had some very good teachers who I know don’t expect the whole fucking world to bow down to them and their politics. My kids are achievers, we don’t home school them but we do our bit. The MANY MANY you refer to would be those whose politics conveniently dovetail with yours and would NOT put me in my place. There are MANY MANY people whose politics are ill conceived, shallow and the hand-me-down politics of their parents. Does the MANY MANY part make that right? The statement “we have one of the best education systems in the world” is interesting. What you should be asking is “Do we have the best education that NZ can provide?” You’ll probably say it isn’t, but for all the wrong reasons. Lastly, you can’t deny the overbearing influence your union plays on the education system of this country.

  • Graeme Edgeler

    Is this why we have national standards? By encouraging schools to teach to a test, parents will get annoyed an demand charter schools?

    • Dion

      You’re confusing the cause of the problem with the symptoms.

      The problem there wasn’t the fact that they have national exams, the problem was lazy, apathetic staff who couldn’t give a shit about the kids they were supposed to have been teaching.

      It’s a good argument for, rather than against a robust performance pay system.

      • NotForTurning

        If the staff were only lazy and apathetic…
        In fact they are zealous for communism
        and therein lies the problem.

        there’s only one proven way to get communism out of someone’s brain – 0.45 or above.

        • Teachersrock

          Excuse me?? Did you just advocate murdering teachers?

          • NotForTurning

            No – just preventing known communists from teaching. Unionists or ex-unionists are ipso facto known communists.

        • Gazzaw

          You’re a nutbar NFT.

      • Teachersrock

        Which is a total lie Dion. More right wing teacher hating rubbish.

        The problem is National trying to destroy one of the best education systems in the world and the no nothing self appointed experts who think they know better than those who actualy know how kids learn.

        • Dion

          A “lie”? How? Read the bloody article – it’s all there in front of you.

    • RightNow

      How does that work exactly? My son brings home reports that include National Standards measures, and yet he is taught a range of subjects other than what is reported on under National Standards.

  • thor42

    This is *great!*

    It’s all about giving power to the *parents* (which is where it belongs).

    It wouldn’t go at all well, of course, with Labour’s “we always know what’s best for you” mantra, which is why they hate charter schools so much.

  • Hazards001

    “David Lange’s Tomorrow’s Schools was supposed to hand power to the
    parents but in reality it just created an extra layer
    of bureaucracy that the teacher unions use to play one off against the

    Imagine my surprise..honestly..the Left creating bureaucracy..who’d have believed it?

  • NotForTurning

    the teacher unions are part of the problem not part of the solution.

    so get rid of the teacher unions! Pass the wisconsin law in NZ!

  • Peej

    Power to the parents? Supposed to hand power to the parents? How come we ended up with a compliance dominated system where the parents are Wellingtoned into submission? So much so that we have to have the Honourable John Banks come along to free schools. He will trust those running charter schools but he won’t trust me as a parent running my own kids’ schools.