South LA Parents Union Bargains with LAUSD Like Any Other Powerful Union

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

Last Friday, LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy came to West Athens Elementary School in South LA to sign a groundbreaking Partnership Agreement with the leadership of the West Athens Parents Union, called the “Aguilas de West Athens” (AWA). It marked not only an important day for the children of West Athens Elementary, but also an […]

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Parent Trigger Recognized at National Education Summit

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

The year 2010 was a game-changing year for parents in the United States. For far too long, many parents with children in failing schools across the country have been left to fend for themselves as best they can. That began to change for a few California communities in 2010. In 2010, California became the first […]

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No Hollywood Ending Yet for this Real Life Parent Trigger Saga

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

You may have heard of a new motion picture to be released nationwide on Friday, September 28th that tells the dramatic story of a community that unites to fix a failing school. “Won’t Back Down,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis and Holly Hunter, and produced by Walden Media, was inspired by the real-life efforts of […]

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School Board Violates Court Ruling on Parent Trigger

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

In the wake of Superior Court Judge Steve Malone’s historic July 18 ruling in favor of the Desert Trails Parent Union (DTPU) Parent Trigger Petition, the Adelanto school board on Friday night, August 17, voted to flagrantly violate Judge Malone’s order and to continue its never ending attempts to preserve the status quo at any cost. “As parents with children trapped in […]

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Parent Trigger Petition Wins in Court

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

History in the making happened last week when the Honorable Steve Malone in the San Bernardino Superior Court made a highly anticipated ruling on the Desert Trails Parent Union’s “Parent Trigger” petition to transform Desert Trails Elementary School.  In his ruling, Judge Malone upheld the parent’s union petition, while overturning the Adelanto School District’s attempts […]

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We Won’t be Bullied in Seeking Education Reform

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

We launched Parent Revolution just over three years ago on the weekend of President Obama’s historic inauguration, because we felt as though his campaign was a proof point that community organizing and grassroots movements can lead to transformative change.  As progressives, we believe that the status quo in public education is unacceptable, particularly for low-income […]

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Parents Enact Trigger Laws Nationwide

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

It’s been seven months since the brave parents at McKinley Elementary School approached Compton Unified and handed in the petitions that sounded off a revolution that has the entire country talking. Today, they know that, starting this fall, they will get the quality education they fought so hard to get for their children and only a couple of blocks from McKinley Elementary and that this movement is growing rapidly.

Since that historic day, the world has watched the story unfold as Compton Unified employed an endless series of illegal and unconstitutional maneuvers to fight their own parents — mounting an illegal “rescission” campaign, harassing and lying to parents, and engaging in a signature “verification” process that was so unconstitutional that L.A. Superior Court judges had to issue both a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction against Compton Unified. The entire country has watched for the last seven months as Compton Unified used every ounce of their energy to put the interests of adults before that of the children they are supposed to serve.

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Off the State Board of Ed, but the Parent Trigger Still Lives

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

Just one month ago, California Federation of Teachers President Marty Hittleman – the same man who called the Parent Trigger the “lynch mob provision” – confidently predicted to the media that Governor Brown would immediately remove me from the State Board because I had used my position to advocate for radical kids-first change, ominously stating that I would not be serving on the State Board “in a month or so.” It turns out he was right. Unfortunately, in the Governor’s first full day in office, he chose to stand with the state’s most powerful interest group that spent millions to elect him, rather than the parents and children of California.

I am proud to stand with Michelle Rhee, Gloria Romero and other courageous kids-first reformers who lost their jobs because a kids-first agenda is the most radical political agenda in America. The honor is not to serve on the State Board of Education — the honor is to serve the parents and children of California, and that is what I did.

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The Parent Revolution Continues

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

Just eighteen months ago, the Parent Revolution launched with a video making a simple promise to parents – organize the parents in your community, and we will find a way to guarantee you a great school. It was a crazy promise, but we knew it was possible, because when parents stand together and speak with one voice, nobody can stop us. That video launched a massive grassroots movement that proved us right – a grassroots movement which has marched all the way from LAUSD headquarters to Sacramento, demanding the power to fix our broken schools.

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Parents ‘Trigger’ a Revolution at State Ed Board

Ben Austin
Executive Director, Parent Revolution

In a huge victory for parents in Los Angeles and throughout California, the
California State Board of Education approved emergency regulations
for the Parent Trigger. These regulations, which lay out clear and common
sense rules and guidelines for how parents can go about using the Parent
Trigger, were critical for empowering parents to actually use this new law.
The parent trigger is an historic new law that allows parents to transform
their failing neighborhood school simply through community organizing.

Specifically, if half the parents sign a petition, they can trigger radical
changes, including bringing in new leadership and staff, or converting their
school into a charter school.

For the first time in the history of america, parents now have the power to
transform schools that have been failing neighborhoods and communities for
generations — and in doing so give their children the education they need
and the future they deserve.

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