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Adelanto school is targeted in second test of 'Parent Trigger' law


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LA Times:

Parents file petitions seeking to convert Desert Trails Elementary to a charter school. They acted under a landmark state law that gives parents the power to force major change at low-performing schools.
Teresa Watanabe

Parents deliver petitions to the principal of Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto. They are seeking to have Desert Trails converted to a charter school. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2012)

By the fifth grade, Vanessa Diaz was reading only at a second-grade level at Desert Trails Elementary School in the high-desert community of Adelanto. But with a new reading teacher this year, the 11-year-old has made two years of progress in four months.

That convinced her mother, Doreen Diaz, that a major overhaul was needed at the school where students are from low-income families and more than two-thirds of sixth-graders failed proficiency tests this year in math and English. So she joined with more than 280 parents to take matters into their own hands.

In the second test of a landmark California law giving parents unprecedented power to force major change at low-performing schools, Diaz and others submitted petitions Thursday to the principal asking that Desert Trails be converted to a charter school. The signatures represent nearly 70% of the 665 students.

"It felt really good to finally be speaking for our children and taking back our right to fight for them," said Diaz, who turned in the petitions with about 100 other parents.


H/T Walter Russell Mead
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