If you saw this post this morning:
Gem's Julie Cavanagh Debates Parent Trigger online this week in Manhattan Institute Sponsored Event starting Monday at 12 noon...and lasting through ThursdayStarting today, Julie will be debating Ben Boychuk on the Parent Trigger, an ed deform wolf in sheep's clothing at the Manhattan Institute's Public Sector.
Since there is no room for comments we are using Ed Notes as the vehicle for public comment every day.
Here is the link to today's debate:
Tomorrow at 12 noon you can see the responses to each other and so on through Thursday.
Parent Trigger supposedly allows parents at a school perceived as not functioning effectively to vote on a number of options, most of which could lead to some level of privatization. On the surface Boychuk's arguments may look attractive to some parents. But the reality in a time of of big money charter/voucher supporters what we will see is they will hire some front group to find a few parents (maybe even pay them) to organize other parents - you know the drill - innundate the community with flyers, ads, glossy posters, etc while the public school is left defenseless to fight back. And Voila - you have another public intitution disappear into the mitt of privatization. Why are the investing so much money in this endeavor? I don't think you need me to answer. Despite Boychuk's list of options we know this is the more likely outcome.
I should point out that Manhattan Institute is generally a pro-business right wing think tank. But this debate is possibly a sign that the weaknesses of ed deform are leaking through the cracks.
Leonie Haimson asks Why No Parent in the debate?
I posted Leonie's question to MI in the posting of the press release from MI this morning. Of course MI could just as well have gotten a parent to debate each side of the issue. But given they are using Boychuk who is associated with MI, Julie as an educator works out fine.
Julie responded to Leonie's question:
For the record, so folks on the Ed News list and PAA are aware, I raised this issue with he Manhattan Institute when I was first asked to participate. I felt uncomfortable as an educator being the voice, which I figured would be the 'opposition' voice, on the parent trigger. I was well aware of the strong opposition from many individual parents and groups across the country. I was told that they asked me because I could speak to the issue from the school level.
Now, we/I can hypothesize as to why a teacher, rather than a parent was asked (in the middle of the project is probably not the best time for me to do this), but I figured accepting the invitation was better than allowing it to go to someone else, who clearly would not have been a parent either.
I want all of you to know that I have heavily sought the input and advice of several parents including Leonie (and members of paa) and Mona and will be linking almost exclusively (if not in full) to parents' work and writing in my posts including paa, class size matters and ny charter parents.
Parent empowerment, true empowerment, has always been of paramount importance to me, which is precisely why I do oppose the parent trigger (in its current forms), and why I agreed to this forum/debate.