For the second time, parents at a California public school have tried to use the state's "parent trigger" law to force structural change at a failing school. But just as in the first case in Compton, the process ended disappointingly for the pro-reform forces in Adelanto in late February. Although they submitted the signatures of 70% of the parents at Desert Trails Elementary School — the law requires 50% — to force a switch to a charter school, enough parents later rescinded their signatures that the petition came up 16 names short.
Pro-trigger parents and the organization coaching them through the process, Parent Revolution, were given another chance by the district. If they could add enough signatures to reach the 50% mark within a couple of months, the petition would be accepted. It took less than a couple of weeks.
But in the meantime, Parent Revolution leaders found troubling evidence that at least two of the documents on which parents rescinded their previous signature had been doctored; this needs to be investigated. Worse, the district is now telling Parent Revolution it will discount the signatures of any parents who left the school since the original petition was delivered in January. In less than two months, 51 students left the school and 28 enrolled. This could offset the signatures Parent Revolution has managed to add.