Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Duplicating Parent Empowerment Options through Trigger Law

Florida House Speak Bill Weatherford was recently interviewed by NPR's StateImpact about his views on education. Here is what he had to say about the pending "Parent Trigger" or "Parent Empowerment" bill.

Anytime you can empower a family and give them more options for their student, their child, that’s a good thing.
With regard to what people call the parent trigger – some people call the parental empowerment bill:
The idea is if you happen to live in a zip code where that local school that your child would go to is a habitually failing school, [if] it’s an F school year after year, we want to give those parents an opportunity to go to the school board and say,this is unacceptable. It’s time to make a changeEither change the staff, turn it into a charter school, do something.
We know for a fact, we have data that shows children learn differently. One student learns differently from another.
By giving parents and kids more choices, you’re kind of allowing them to find that form of education that they’re really looking for and that will help them aspire to be what they can be.
I think technology and choice and accountability – mixing those three things in together is changing the landscape of how we educate.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, such "empowerment" already exists in the Florida public school system. Parents have the option of participating in the PTA, PTO, PTSA or whichever variation thereof is offered at a particular school. Parents can play a direct role in school improvement efforts by sitting in on the School Advisory Council. As the Legislature does with its other reforms, instead of explaining, enforcing, and simply making people aware of the existing options, they just keep passing bill after bill. 

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