Arnold Schwarzenegger has an op-ed in the Washington Post today about how great some new thing is working in California. Now, I know what you are thinking. “But nothing works in California! If I have learned anything from reading the Washington Post, it is that it is impossible to relay information about the political system of California without using the word ‘dysfunctional‘!” Well, thanks to the outgoing Governator, “school reform” is remarkably quite the cinch to pull off in the Golden State. And as we have discussed here before, the Post op-ed page loves nothing more than school reform, except possibly centrist politicians working hard to cooperate like grownups in the name of shared bipartisan goals such as busting unions and easing the tax burden on the rich. But anyway, here’s Arnold:
Using a new power known as the “parent trigger,” which I fought for and state legislators approved last year, these Compton parents banded together to demand change. The legislation allows parents of students at troubled schools to demand such significant reforms as closing a school, replacing a school’s management or most of its staff, or reorganizing a school into a charter, if 51 percent of parents sign a petition. McKinley Elementary is being reorganized and will soon be transformed into a charter school run by Celerity Educational Group, which is successfully operating three other schools in California.
Gosh, even if you haven’t managed to stay on top of the Post’s relentless efforts to inform its readers about the limitless virtues of charter schools, doesn’t this just sound inspiring, the idea of concerned parents in the one of the most impoverished swaths of Southern California gathering together to exploit some new law named for the specific part of a gun you use to kill people, to hand the reins of a struggling inner-city elementary school named for one of those dead presidents no one remembers over to a successful new outfit called “Celerity”?
Yeah, well… leave it to the haters on the state board of education to Californicadysfunctionalize this tale by calling for an attorney general investigation of the whole racket. At least Schwarzenegger has the heart to leave out this last part and save the dysfunctional reality from sullying his otherwise hope-filled op-ed. Which is why I will do my part and abstain from quoting anything from today’s LA Times story about corrupt and secretive astro-turf campaign to sucker parents into signing this petition; I don’t want to trigger any un-productive sentiments here.