Cali’s Parent Trigger Law

This week’s National Journal question is about California’s new law that allows the majority of parents in a failing to school to force major changes.  My response here.  Punchline:

Here’s the oddest part about this law, though. The only real upside here is that the law forces the hand of school administrators to make changes, in that a credible threat to the status quo is introduced. My question, then, is why not just upset the status quo? Are the billions of federal dollars on the table not enough for a state near bankruptcy? This seems like an incredibly redundant form of policy making. Rather than mandate some sort of reform – where reform clearly is necessary – here you have a state allowing parents to mandate reform when they think it’s necessary. Hasn’t California been down this road of direct democracy before? Officials are elected to make hard choices, not to defer them.

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