This week has been a big one for education reform. On Monday, former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee launched her new project, StudentsFirst. On Tuesday, parents in Compton, CA announced that they had organized 61% of parents in their community to support converting their long-struggling elementary school into a high-performing charter. Today, I was fortunate enough to join some of those parents to show my support for their efforts. All week long, I've been talking about the importance of working together and moving forward to improve achievement and demand success in our public schools.
The Parent Trigger is an amazing tool for change because it empowers parents to make decisions on behalf of the single most important stakeholders in education reform: the students. Under a new law passed last year in the California Legislature, when 51% of parents at a failing school sign a petition, it triggers a menu of reform options that allows them to make changes--small or large--to boost achievement and success.
I was proud to stand with eight of California's Big Ten mayors in support of the transformational legislation, and I was proud to stand today with the brave parents who are pulling the trigger for education reform in their community. Education reform isn't just about improving test scores or increasing funding, it's about building a community around our schools that is supportive of and responsive to the needs of teachers and students.