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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Rick Scott proposes parent trigger for struggling Florida schools

2

December

Rick Scott's draft legislative agenda includes a proposal to give parents at low-performing public schools the option of converting their schools into charters, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. 

This should come as no surprise. Michelle Rhee hinted as far back as February that the Florida governor wanted to put even more control over schools into the hands of parents.

But is it a good idea? As several states debate the concept, sides are taking shape.

Some observers contend that the parent trigger gives parents fuller power over their children's educational destiny. But others suggest that most parents are ill equipped to run schools.

Californians learned that the big thoughts associated with the parent trigger didn't really materialize into what they had expected, as they learned lessons from mistakes as they worked through the kinks, the LA Times editorial board writes.

"The results so far are modest. A dozen or so parent groups have formed throughout the state to consider reforms, and only a couple of those are interested in abandoning their traditional public schools for charters. Some merely want a new principal; others seek to make it easier to get rid of teachers who consistently let their students down. Some yearn for basic, common-sense services such as regular communication from teachers. Not all of the groups are at schools that even qualify for parent trigger petitions — the schools have to be failing on a couple of fronts — but they nonetheless hope that an organized parent effort can strengthen their children's education."

Another gimmick? Or a way to get parents more involved in their children's education, something that schools have clamored for anyway? Wait to see if this even gets a hearing, but stay tuned.

[Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 6:46am]

    

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