President's weekly report — March 11, 2016

March 11, 2016 | By ROB RIVETT

School choice — pulling the parent trigger

A “parent trigger” refers to the mechanism that allows California parents with children in failing schools to force the school to convert to a charter school. The “trigger” is based on the results of standardized test data. But in order to change its testing program, California has adopted a one-year hiatus on the standardized testing, leading to the question of how can parents pull the school choice trigger in the absence of data. Our answer to that question, found in this amicus brief that we filed in Anaheim City School District v. Ochoa, is that when a school has failed nine out the last ten years, the absence of fresh data doesn’t excuse the school district from doing what is best for the children. In other words, failing schools are failing schools even without a year’s worth of fresh data. For more detail about our arguments, see our blog post here.