At a heated press conference in Lynwood today, a group of parents whose children attend the Lynwood Unified School District are trying to clear up some recent rumor-mongering by the local branch of the California Teachers Association (CTA).
Although the Lynwood “parent union,” who's hosting the event, is supported by Parent Revolution — the same non-profit that helped push California's controversial new “parent trigger” law through the Legislature in 2011, then tested it out for the first time in Compton — Lynwood parents say they have no intentions of trying to seize any schools from the district, nor putting any teachers out of a job, as the law allows.
But that's not what the state's teachers unions would have the public believe. According to a Parent Revolution press release:
From the first flyers threatening parents with deportation if they sign a petition, to [the California Federation of Teachers'] president calling Parent Trigger a “lynch mob provision,” to officials in Compton violating the constitutional rights of local parents and more recently the American Federation of Teacher's step-by-step PowerPoint with directions on how to stop grassroots movements from demanding Parent Trigger, parents have seen the status quo react severely to local parents organizing for change.Now, parents in San Diego and Lynwood have discovered two separate but eerily similar internal newsletters, written by the Lynwood Teachers Association and the San Diego Education Association (CTA affiliates) filled with lies and distortions about the work of local parents and the Parent Trigger law.
We'll post excerpts from said newsletters as soon as we get our hands on them. [Update: Here's page 1, and here's page 2. Highlighting and circling via Parent Revolution.] But Washington Elementary mother Gregoria Gonzalez, who saw the Lynwood letter, tells La Opinion that it falsely accused her parent union of conspiring to pull a trigger, bring in an outside charter operator and lay off teachers.
This, she says, has impeded parents' efforts toward friendly collaboration with their kids' educators.
“We urge the [Lynwood Teachers Association] to send a letter correcting this false information,” Gonzalez says in Spanish. “What we want as a group of parents is to take charge of these schools to improve their performance, and it is with that single goal that we seek the support of Parent Revolution.”
Indeed — the organization has expanded its services beyond facilitating the trigger law in recent months. Of about a dozen “parent unions” across the state that now seek Revolution's resources, only one is in trigger mode, and it's definitely not in Lynwood.
Education reformers in California have called Lynwood “ground zero for parent empowerment throughout the entire state.” For whatever reason, parents in the southeast L.A. County town have banded together with an extra sense of urgency, demanding a basic level of respect and competence from their kids' teachers and administrators that should certainly, by now, be the standard statewide.
But even demands as basic as theirs have now, it seems, been twisted by the local teachers union into some kind of attack on public education as a whole.
Sigh. Fixing this state's crap school system would sure be a lot easier if we could quit politicking and start discussing the needs of our children like civil human beings.