Skip to main content

State Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, has announced he will introduce legislation in 2013 that will allow parents to overhaul chronically low-performing schools:
“A parent trigger law in Oklahoma would provide a way to break old patterns, and empower the people that are most invested in success — parents and students — to set a new tone for their school,” he said.”
In this article from Tulsa World, experienced researchers can point to this “legislation” as a key example of how the ALEC cabal (consisting of billionaire operated foundations, multi-national companies, conservative funded think tanks, bought and paid for state lawmakers and Congressional “alumni”) advances their conservative ideologies and pro-market concepts through drafting and then lobbying for enactment of laws they’ve written.  It also shows where the money being funneled into these activities comes from and how media influence is used to facilitate four decades of success;
The parent trigger movement was spurred by two controversial conservative groups, Heartland Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is financially supported by billionaires such as the Koch Brothers and Phillip Anschutz.

“Walden Media produced “Won’t Back Down.” The company is a division of The Anschutz Corp, which owns the Oklahoma Publishing Co., publisher of The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City.

The film also is being distributed by 20th Century Fox. The company is owned by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., which owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.”

This Parent Trigger legislation is written, lobbied for, proposed and supported by ALEC.  Their model legislation is titled “Parent Trigger Act” and has been introduced in several states and is pushed without shame or actual regard for our students.

Tulsa World did a great job of tying the Koch brothers and Anschutz to Heartland and ALEC…but they missed the fact that Murdoch’s News Corp is a member of ALEC, that Koch holds a seat upon ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board (holds seats upon ALEC’s Education Task Force and Communications and Technology Task Force…or that Senator Holt is in fact a member of ALEC.

Most lists you’ll find providing names of ALEC members does not provide information that Sen. Holt is a member of ALEC (perhaps that’s why he was chosen to sponsor this legislative bill?) but he very definitely is.  At his Oklahoma Senate bio page, Holt proudly lists that he is a member of ALEC and the Council of State Governments:

“A tireless volunteer, David has been a member of many organizations, including the following:

• Putnam City Schools Foundation Board of Directors
• Oklahoma County Republican Party Executive Committee
• Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee
• Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors
• Oklahoma State Chamber Congressional Activities Committee
• Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Foundation Board of Trustees
• Oklahoma Municipal League Legislative Committee
• Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Board President
• Oklahoma City Downtown Club Board of Directors
• Quail Creek Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors
• Allied Arts Board of Directors
• Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma
• ACM@UCO Business Development Center Advisory Board
• Oklahoma City Zoo Trust
• Arts Commission of Oklahoma City
• Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Board of Trustees
• Lake Atoka Reservation Association Managing Board
• McGee Creek Authority
• Oklahoma Olympic Engagement Committee
• Big 12 Basketball and Baseball Championships Host Committees
• Oklahoma Academy for State Goals
• Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association
• American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
• Council of State Governments
• National Conference of State Legislatures”

With millions from the likes of the Gates, Koch, Scaife, Coors (Castle Rock) and DeVos Foundations, ALEC’s pursuit of privatizing our public schools from K-12 through college is proceeding nicely.  Through their media outlets they fill the airwaves with propaganda denouncing teachers as inefficient, overpaid and members of Unions that are the cause of costly and undeserved wages for public sector workers.  Their answer to these problems they have created themselves through cuts in funding at all levels of public education is: privatization.  This is the ALEC/Conservative cabal’s primary goal: privatize all government services from prisons, jails and penal services to utilities, state lotteries, schools, school transportation and health services.  This is why theU.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses are members of ALEC…and share seats on many of the same ALEC “task forces” developing legislation such as this Parent Trigger Act to transfer public school operations (and the tax dollars that pay for those services) to private companies.

Take a brief few moments and look here at all of the model bills ALEC has developed and is marketing in regard to just education.  Then if you’re really feeling this doesn’t apply to you, your child or your state…visit your legislative website and take a look at current or past legislation that mirrors what you found in ALEC’s proposed model legislation.

VLTP, ALTP and our members wish more print, broadcast. digital and investigative media outlets would report on these ALEC efforts and let the public in on the massive amount of propaganda being fed to them by corporate owned media outlets.  However with Koch’s Institute for Humane Studies (operated out of George Mason University) supplying interns to our top U.S. media outlets it is difficult to find an unbiased outlet willing or able to disseminate any factual “news” to Americans today.

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Earthship Koch and American Legislative Transparency Project.


Do you support or oppose the Parent Trigger Act?

13%5 votes
72%26 votes
11%4 votes
2%1 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

    by Bob Sloan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:28:03 PM PDT

  •  Just another heinous example of ALEC's (7+ / 0-)

    "model legislation."
        As if "Stand Your Ground," voter suppression, union-busting, etc. etc. etc., were not bad enough, they seek to ruin our system of public education on top of it all.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:20:06 PM PDT

  •  Clever poll, Bob. No meaningful answers. (6+ / 0-)

    ALEC is on a mission to destroy public education in America and Parent Trigger is just one mechanism to put vouchers in the hands of parents, and to put the public school systems in a financial death spiral.  This is what ALEC and the Radical Right wants, a generation of children coming from our schools incapable of critical thinking because they, by public policy, were never taught critical thinking skills.

    Republicans have run Ohio for 18 of the last 22 years, and their policy has been to continuously de-fund public schools.  Districts all over Ohio have large school funding ballot issues (new millage) to pay for a massive reduction in state financial aid for public schools brought about by draconian budget cuts by Governor John Kasich, an ALEC founder and alum.  I see a disaster for public education in Ohio coming this November.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:44:42 PM PDT

    •  I agree and it is in more than half of our states (5+ / 0-)

      today.  ALEC has a massive amount of legislation aimed at defunding education programs and lowering teaching standards...removing teachers or replacing them with those they prefer, will enable a "dumming down" of our children until they have their "institutional programs" in place.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 08:59:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is insane (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Bob Sloan, Eric Nelson, FarWestGirl

    I read this article this afternoon at St. Francis while waiting for part 2 of my nuclear stress test (which I expect to pass) and noted, in particular, a few points.


    "This is about empowering parents to really have a say-so in how their kids are doing. This is about an answer for low-performing schools," [State Superintendent Janet Barresi] said. "Look, we cannot wait for those schools another day to continue to improve. We're done waiting. Parents have to be able to come in and not be told to wait a year or two, but to be part of the answer now."
    What the hell is she talking about? She IS in charge. If she knows of something different that needs to be done by the teachers, why hasn't she already made sure that it's done? If she doesn't know what needs to be done, why is she in charge? As for the parents, if 51% of them would put as much effort into supervising their kids with their homework as taking over the school would require, their kids wouldn't be "low performing."


    More than 20 states have considered parent trigger legislation with seven of them having enacted some version of the law, including California, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas.
    As usual, the Tulsa World reported half the story, but not the part about how school takeovers are working out in those seven states. I'm a retired science publisher, not a teacher, but I was required to take some teacher training in graduate school, and I know that people can't just walk in off the street and do the job.

    And, finally:

    In some states, advocates have argued interventions also should include closing the school or providing students with private-school vouchers. Holt said he would consider all options, particularly the vouchers, but he isn't a fan of closing schools.

    "Closing a school isn't my first instinct," he said. "I think everything is retrievable, and why waste a good building?"

    This is all about a back door into privatizing our public schools for the financial benefit of a few vipers through voucherization. While I don't have school age children, I do pay property taxes, and I want my taxes to support public schools. As one who's paying for the vouchers the profiteers are dreaming about, I want my voice to carry the same weight as any parent's.

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:58:11 PM PDT

    •  So right and accurate on so many levels. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, FarWestGirl

      It IS a back-door way to profiting off of public funds earmarked for education.

      They have already made it necessary to divert funds from education to criminal justice and prison operations due to their legislation filling jails and onto lowering education for the next generation so they can become more fodder for the elite who profit from these efforts.

      Their newest measure is "long distance learning" or virtual schools...where they seek the same per-diem for teaching by internet as is now paid for brick and mortar education programs.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:03:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, here in Oklahoma, home-schooling mothers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        want the vouchers paid directly to them to teach their own children.

        We spend $7885 per child per year on public schools, so a mother of four could potentially collect more than $31,500 to keep her children out of school. I see this becoming a nightmare for education of kids in Oklahoma and antithetical to the reason I'm happy to pay my property taxes to support public schools. I want to live in a well educated society.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:23:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, agreed. If public funds are going to be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          spent on educating our children and those of our neighbors, then it should be spent on that.  Education like prisons and jails were never expected to be profitable.  They are both necessary programs for our society...but the corporate elite have discovered that with privatization the billions now spent on education can be diverted to their coffers, a percentage taken for them out of funds necessary for a quality education program, and they could care left if there's not enough left for real teaching.  One reason they are so dedicated to getting rid of teacher's salaries and tenured instructors - so more is available as profit.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:31:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Remember "Red Dawn" and the other crappy (0+ / 0-)

    right wing anti-communist movies from the eighties. Really, really pathetic propaganda, but propaganda nonetheless.

    Hollywood didn't get the red neck job done back then, and here's hoping that it fails again. (I read one thing last week that said this latest movie both sucked, and failed at the boxoffice.)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:09:37 PM PDT

  •  If (0+ / 0-)

    ALEC wants's real bad for the middle class...

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site