Wednesday, May 15, 2013


  • "Someone on our staff is talking to Parent Revolution, and we need to know who it is," Boardmember Lamotte said. 

  • 4LAKid’s nominee for ‘someone’; is Superintendent Deasy.

By Beau Yarbrough, LA Newspaper Group from the San Bernardino County Sun |

5/14/2013 06:36:57 PM PDT  ::  LOS ANGELES -- A group of Watts parents have successfully ousted an elementary school principal.

On Tuesday, the Weigand Parents Union, representing some of the parents of students attending Weigand Elementary School, became the third group in California to successfully use the state's parent trigger law.

The law enables parents to force schools to make dramatic changes if they can gather signatures equal to 50 percent plus one of the families enrolled. On Monday, Los Angeles Unified certified the group had gathered signatures from 61 percent of eligible families.

Unlike previous parent trigger attempts in Adelanto and the West Adams district of Los Angeles, no charter school will be brought in to partially manage or outright take over the school. Instead, the parents union opted to push out a principal whom they said was unresponsive to parental complaints and demands.

The LAUSD board approved their petition 5-2, on Tuesday evening, with members Bennett Kayser and Marguerite Poindexter Lamotte dissenting.

"This process -- it really stinks," Kayser said. He called on the LAUSD to get the parent trigger law changed. Kayser complained that there are few guidelines for how petitions are circulated and that parents must sign the petitions if they want to participate in the process of transforming their child's school.

Lamotte voiced frustration that members of Parent Revolution, the parent trigger advocacy group that got the law enacted in 2010, knew more about what was happening on the Weigand campus than district officials do.

"Someone on our staff is talking to Parent Revolution, and we need to know who it is," she said.

In February, the board voted unanimously to approve a parent trigger petition from the 24th Street Elementary School Parent Union. That school will reopen for the 2013-2014 school year jointly operated by the LAUSD and charter school Crown Preparatory Academy.

Weigand received a 688 Academic Performance Index score in 2012, down 1 point from the year before. The score, derived from multiple statewide tests, ranges from 200 to 1,000, and 800 is the state's target for each school.

The school is overwhelmingly Hispanic and poor: Of the 254 students whose test scores were included in the 2012 API score, 220 of them were Hispanic, 179 of them were "English learners" whose family speaks another language at home and all of them were categorized as socioeconomically disadvantaged by the state.

Similar schools, according to the California Department of Education, have an average of 745 API.

  • Staff writer Barbara Jones contributed to this story.


Unknown said...

This is going to blow up in people's faces. When someone signs a petition they do it in seconds and the effects will be with the Watts community for years. Someone is cashing in on the schools demise and that is so wrong!

Unknown said...

It takes seconds to sign a petition but the repercussions will be with four hundred students and all the teachers, principal and parents for years to come. Successful trigger doesn't equal a successful school or did I miss that somewhere in the news!