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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Can you name successful parent coup?

Joseph Hawkins, senior study director at the Rockville.-based research group Westat, read my recent attack on the Parent Trigger Law in California and issued a challenge:

“If we put 10 hot-shot education reporters together in a room and asked this question I think the answer would be zero: ‘In the past 10 years of school reform, can you list any schools where a parent revolution took place?’”

Hawkins said he is talking about a successful parent rebellion-- “meaning that the parents were fed up with low performance and they literally took over the school and improved it—demanded that it become better.”

He said “I don’t think such parent ‘revolutions’ ever take place at all. We probably could find some schools where a group of fed-up parents started their own charter, but I’m talking about something totally different. I’m pretty sure that both us have been in those low performing schools where many parents when quizzed in depth about their school confessed their frustrations. But mounting a coup d’état? Out of the question.”

He said he didn’t think even a concerted search would find more than a dozen failed coups. The first attempt by parents in California to use their new law is tied up in court.

Is he wrong? Has there actually been a Glorious Parent Revolution? Let me know, either here or via mathewsj@washpost.com, and I will tell Hawkins.

By  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/13/2011

 
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