Ben Austin with Parent Revolution,  a California-based advocacy group that seeks to transform public schools by empowering parents through community organizing, just released a new video which explains to parents how they can use “parent trigger” to transform failing schools in their communities.

Parent trigger is an immensely powerful new tool that empowers California parents to demand changes to failing public schools as long as they show that they have 51 percent of affected parents on their side. Changes can be as narrow as transforming certain administrative procedures or as far-reaching as subjecting failing schools to administration by a successful charter school.

Earlier this year, IWF’s Vicky Murray reported that teachers unions were fiercely opposed to parent trigger, likening it to mob rule and even arguing that parents of students in low-performing schools couldn’t be trusted with such power. Comments like these are revealing of the mindset that opponents to parental empowerment and choice have. Parents who naturally care most for their children are too often disenfranchised by stakeholders such as teachers unions who seem to have mostly their own interest in mind, never mind that our nation’s children are being left behind.

In a recent blog post on the role of personal responsibility in education, I argued that parents need to be institutionally empowered to assure the best possible education for their children. Parent trigger seems to be an example of that. I applaud Ben Austin, who was one of the panelist’s in IWF’s education town hall About Our Children, for working towards giving parents the tools to improve public education. I look forward to reading about how parent trigger ends up working for California parents.