New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN), a right-wing school privatization astroturf group funded by anti-public school plutocrats, is pushing to bring the deceptive charter school market share growing "trigger" legislation first passed in California to New York.
Anyone with actual experience in a school community knows that waging war against teachers is not going to work as a school-improvement strategy. — Caroline Grannan
NYC Public School Parents' Leonie Haimson discusses an unfortunate development of parent trigger laws in New York. Here is an important excerpt:
Today, a pro-charter school organization launched in New York called NY-CAN, and announced they will be advocating for a version of the so-called "Parent Trigger" legislation to be passed in New York State. The organization is headed by Christina Grant, former deputy director of NYC Department of Education's Office of Charter Schools.
The Parent Trigger law was first passed in California in 2010, the creation of by an astroturf group based in Los Angeles called the Parent Revolution. Since then, model legislation based on the Parent Trigger has been written and promoted by ALEC, the shadowy organization backed by the Koch brothers that has a radical right-wing agenda.
Sadly, some news outlets are giving NY-CAN somewhat of a pass and writing milquetoast articles about this frightening development. A GothamSchools piece went as far as to call Parent Revolution a "national parent reform group." Here are my revised comments posted under that article.
Calling Parent Revolution a "national parent reform group" is beyond disingenuous. They were formed by none other than charter charlatan Steve Barr to grow market share for their lucrative CMO chain under the name Los Angeles Parents Union (LAPU). Green Dot's Petruzzi eventually brought in his long time buddy Ben Austin to run LAPU. The three of them enlisted the financial help of the Walton Family Foundation, The Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, The Wasserman Foundation and other right-wing privatization organizations to push for public school to lucrative charter conversions. They were instrumental in passage of the charter market share growing PSC resolution in LAUSD, and Austin then worked with Schwartzenegger and Romero's staffs to create the vile "trigger" law. Rather than "empowering" parents, trigger allows a bare majority of parents at a school to make a decision for an entire community. Well funded CMOs manipulate the law to push for more charters. Having a tiny minority make decisions effecting the lives of entire communities is nothing new to the plutocrats funding Parent Revolution, and the trigger law does just that.
With these privatization accomplishments under Austin's belt he saw the organization could be better funded if he helped all charter corporations grow their market share, so LAPU became the Parent Revolution. They are the epitome of astroturf. Parent Trigger is a favorite of fringe right-wing groups, like The Heartland Institute. Not only has Ben Boychuck of Heartland hosted events with the Parent Revolution. They have created their own Parent Trigger website. When Birch Society types support your agenda, there's no question you are on the wrong side.
Years of watching these crafty charter charlatans using frustrated parents as pawns to build charter market share and land lucrative real estate deals gives me unique insight as to how "triggers" and other chicanery work out. I want to send a heartfelt warning to all New Yorkers, but Buffalo and Rochester residents especially: beware of gifts from school privatizers.