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Underachieving Adelanto School To Be Overhauled Under ‘Parent Trigger Law’

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ADELANTO (CBS) — A superior court judge ruled Monday that Adelanto School District illegally threw out a petition to overhaul an under-performing elementary school.

“My daughter is going to have a shot at something good. She’s not going to be failing; she’s going to be able to apply for college,” said Cynthia Ramirez, mother and executive director of Parent Revolution.

The ruling was a victory for parents and members of Parent Revolution at Desert Trails Elementary School, as they became the first in the state to successfully pull the trigger on an underachieving school.

“What these parents did was take on the status quo and justice prevailed,” Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution, said.

The Parent Trigger Law, which was passed in 2010, allows the majority of parents of a chronically under-performing school to petition to overhaul staff and curriculum or to turn the school into a charter.

Parents of students at Desert Trails got more than enough signatures, but the district rejected their petitions, arguing many parents changed their minds after signing.

On Monday, the judge ruled the signatures on the first petition must be honored.

Repeated calls and emails to the school board and district have not been answered, but on a blog, the trustee president suggests he wants the district to appeal. He accuses Parent Revolution of circulating two petitions to confuse parents, calling it the old “bait and switch.”

Parent Revolution denies those allegations and says the ruling backs them up.

Parents now have 30 days to work with the district to overhaul Desert Trails Elementary School or begin the process of selecting a charter school proposal.

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