LOS ANGELES – Monday, May 13, 2013 – Parents at Weigand Avenue Elementary School in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles will move forward with the first ever 100 % in-district transformation option provided in California’s Parent Trigger law.

Parents deliberately chose this option as they seek new leadership for their failing school. At the same time, this option means no teachers at the school will need to be transferred or replaced. Additionally, there will be no charter operator selected to come in to turn the school around.

The decision was announced today following news the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has verified the Parent Trigger petition the parents submitted to the district four weeks ago. A total of 61% of eligible Weigand Elementary parents signed the petition.

“We are pleased the school district has verified our petition so now we can move forward and transform our school. As parents, we love the teachers at our school. They care about making sure our children have every opportunity to learn. The principal, however, has failed to provide leadership and a vision for success. In her time, 12 teachers have left, and the school’s academic performance has dropped by 28 points and stayed the same for the past two years. More than half of the children at Weigand cannot do math or read at grade level. We want to work with the district and the teachers to make our school a place where our children can learn and succeed,” said Llury Garcia, one of the leaders of Weigand Parents United, the parents union that lead the petition campaign.

“Since passage of California’s historic Parent Trigger law over three years ago, opponents of the Parent Trigger movement have rooted their ardent opposition almost entirely in a conspiracy theory about charter schools. But the Weigand Elementary parents are not interested in a charter school. They are using their power under the Parent Trigger to work collaboratively with their teachers and the school district in this first ever in-district reform petition. Unfortunately, the parents have still met with intense opposition. Because the parents of Weigand have chosen an option not involving charter schools, opponents of the Weigand Parent Trigger have been exposed as being simply opposed to parent power. While we strongly differ with these opponents, their position is perfectly legitimate and we welcome that debate,” said Ben Austin, executive director for Parent Revolution.

“The vociferous critics pushing and promoting Parent Trigger conspiracy theories must now either embrace the Weigand parents or admit their opposition is simply about denying parents an equal seat at the decision-making table for their children’s education,” Austin said.

The LAUSD Board will vote tomorrow – Tuesday, May 14 – to approve the transformation model option chosen by the Weigand parents.

Weigand is the third successful Parent Trigger in history. Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto California was the first, where the parents ultimately embraced a non-profit charter school to turn around their failing school. Twenty Fourth Street Elementary School was the second, where the parents selected an unprecedented partnership between the district and a high performing non-profit charter school. Weigand is the first pure in-district reform. All three will open up as newly transformed schools this fall.


AuthorParent Revolution