Putting Education Reform To The Test

On The Origins Of The Parent Trigger


Former California State Sen. Gloria Romero help write the nation's first parent trigger law.

Former California State Sen. Gloria Romero writing at redefinED takes education historian Diane Ravitch and others to task over the inspiration for the parent trigger.

Why does it matter to Florida?

Because the parent trigger was the most contentious education bill during the last legislative session and it’s coming back when lawmakers return in 2013. The bill allows parents at failing schools to choose how to restructure the school, including replacing faculty or principals, closing the school or converting to a charter school.

Ravitch has argued the bill is the brainchild of the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council. But Romero said the bill was born in California, among Democrats:

Please, stop saying that some organization I had never met until just this year gave me the idea and somehow, miraculously, turned it into law without me not knowing about it. ALEC happens to like the law and encourages other states to write similar laws. That is true. But that does not mean it developed either the idea or the law. That’s preposterous!  Quite frankly, it’s also a bit sexist and ethnocentric to assert my work actually came from someone else – that somehow the Latina senator from East Los Angeles couldn’t think on my own, or figure out how to write a bill and turn it into law.

We spoke with Romero about the law back in February. The bill eventually failed by one vote on the final day of the Florida legislative session.


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