LA School Report writes: 

Ben Austin is stepping down as executive director of Parent Revolution, a group he founded six years ago to aid parents pushing for change in their children’s poorly-performing schools.

Parent Revolution played a role in creating California’s parent trigger law and, later, helping three area schools use it. Three other schools used the threat of it to force changes.

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Karla Scoon Reid writes for Ed Week: 

From 2012-13 to 2013-2014, Parent Revolution says, the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on the science assessment at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s 24th Street Elementary School, tripled—jumping from 21 percent to 65 percent. For Desert Trails Preparatory Academy in Adelanto, California’s first parent-trigger school, the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on the science test nearly quadrupled—climbing from 12 percent to 47 percent.

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Getting apples-to-apples numbers on how things are going at Desert Trails — rechristened as Desert Trails Preparatory Academy — is difficult. With the implementation of the Common Core state standards and the accompanying Smarter Balanced statewide test, the state has suspended all of its California Standards Tests aside from the science test (which will be replaced by a new test aligned to the not-yet-implemented Next Generation Science Standards), meaning that Desert Trails Elementary and Desert Trails Prep have different tests with different scores to compare.

In science, at least, the new school is doing well: Forty-seven percent of students who took the science CSTs last spring scored Advanced or Proficient on the test, up from 12 percent in spring 2013 and 31 percent in spring 2012.

“This is wonderful growth and shows the hard work and dedication by both scholars and teachers,” Principal Mandy Plantz wrote in an email.

The school has added a music program for the 2014-15 school year, Plantz said, along with a school library and food service program. A Desert Trails parent survey commissioned by Parent Revolution this past spring gave the new school high marks for satisfaction

“We’re doing well,” school director Debra Tarver said Thursday. “This is so much smoother this year than it was last year. I’m very happy with the way things are going.”

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From Politico:

The advocacy group Parent Revolution wrote Tuesday to the Los Angeles Unified School District, calling the district’s decision to exempt itself from the state’s 2010 parent trigger law illegal. LAUSD said last week that it is exempt from the state law for the upcoming school year for reasons having to do with its No Child Left Behind waiver. Parent Revolution urges the district “to correct its erroneous interpretation of the law in the hope of avoiding future litigation” to enforce the parent trigger law.

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