By now, you’ve heard of that California law whereby a vote of 51% of parents in a school can close that school, change that school, fire staff, etc.

(Down with parents)

Jay Mathews raises some concerns about it. A thought provoking and interesting read. And frankly, I am not sure how this should be handled….

My concern is the following–one I’ve raised many times before. When are we finally going to use ‘common sense’ and create a law/policy/bully pulpit so schools and parents have to work together to improve schools. We need policies that encourage parents to parent their children, to help their children learn not just to be activists against their schools. I take my clues from President Obama’s urging parents to help their kids learn more–read to them, talk to them, put them to bed on time, feed them nutritious food, work with teachers, etc. You get the idea. Etc. Etc. Etc.

If we gave that policy a good run, and that failed, I’d be more optimistic about the California law. Without it, I see merit in Mr. Mathews’ concerns.

Your thoughts?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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